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ISLANDERS WIN ISA SOCCER TITLE IN SHOOTOUT

JFK wins 4th straight championship over scrappy Geckos

By Patrick Lujan

The JFK Islanders won its fourth straight ISA Boys Soccer League championship, but it was far from easy as they had to beat the GW Geckos 4-2 in a shootout Saturday night at the GW Field.

It is the Islanders’ seventh title in 11 years.

JFK’s quest for yet another trophy was a hard-fought one as GW played great defense the entire game as neither team could find the net, ending the regulation and extra time in a scoreless deadlock.

“They’ve come a long way from needing a win to make top four and upsetting Southern to make the finals,” JFK head coach Lad Manansala said about the Geckos. “We knew it was going to be a defensive game.”

In the shootout, both teams found the next with their first two shooters. GW, however, couldn’t connect after its second goal, while JFK’s CJ Sablan, Landen Cruz, Takayuki Kobayashi and David San Agustin all connected to win it 4-2.

“Tonight’s game was a thriller,” GW head coach Aaron Sumbang said. “It was back and forth on both sides. It was crazy that we headed to another shootout back-to-back games. At the end of the day, JFK prevailed.”

In regulation, the Geckos actually had more scoring opportunities but both defenses were super tough, resulting in the 0-0 tie to force the penalty kick.

Though they fell short in the title game, it has been quite a success story, especially the turnaround from an 0-10 team two years and ago and making the championship game for the first time in 24 years, according to coach Sumbang.

“I am proud of my boys for doing their very best to get this far. Being a #4 seed and making it to the championship is a testament to how much work they put in this season.”

CHAMPION vs. CHAMPION on MONDAY

The stage is now set for the two league champions to face off on Monday, January 8 at 6 pm as the Islanders will take on the well-rested FD Friars at the Guam High Field. The Friars beat the Harvest Eagles for the IIAAG title on Dec 15.

“It’s a disadvantage with one day rest and not able to prepare against a complete team like FD, but we just have to be ready and compete,” Manansala said.

The matchup will be broadcast live on www.guamsportsnetwork.com.

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COMING SOON …

10th Micronesian Games from Marjuro June 15-24

Guam National Bodybuilding Championship June 29

QUICK HITS

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Three graduating ruggers have signed Division I letters to play college rugby stateside.
Saige Calvo from Okkodo heads to Mount St. Mary’s
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Tanner Costa from FD heads to Iowa Central

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