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KNIGHTS HOLD OFF ISLANDERS IN SCORELESS DRAW

St. John’s manages to tie top-ranked JFK

By Matthew Lorenzo

In the final week of the Interscholastic Girls High School Football League, the St. John’s Knights sent a message that they are to be reckoned with, playing to a scoreless draw with the top-ranked and JFK Islanders on Monday at the JFK pitch.

The Islanders had been rolling along at 9-0-0, outscoring the league 42-1 before facing a tough and talented Knights squad coming into the match in 3rd place at 6-1-2.

The balance of the teams were apparent from the first whistle, with the ball barely leaving mid field the entire first half. The lone offensive highlight came from Islander senior Jodie Halili with a quick strike to the goal, but fast reflexes from Knights goalkeeper Ha’ani Byerly stopped the ball in its tracks.

Being the first seed, JFK came into this game with a target on their back being the only undefeated team left in the regular season. Coming off of a win last week against Academy (1-0) the Knights defense was rock solid, if a JFK striker came within range they were met with a swarm of defenders quick to get the ball. It was apparent the offensive plans for each team were different with the Islanders taking more calm and planned out attacks, and the Knights taking a shot whenever possible.

Second Half

Coming back from the half the Knights defense remained set in stone, bolstered by goalie Byerly and sophomore phenom Jia Peters. The theme that was apparent in the game was, if anyone got past Jia, Ha’ani was right there to snag it.

JFK did keep St. John’s working all game, with key offensive players Cassandra Kido and Halili keeping the Knights defense on their toes. The offenses on both teams also seemed to be firing pretty well with a lot of breakthroughs from the JFK’s Jaelyn Han and Halili in the second half. The Knights offense deserves some praise as well as senior captain Ella Wigsten made some notable plays.

“Today was great, our team played amazing and I’m so proud of our girls. Knowing that JFK has scored on and beat every other team in the league, we’re taking this game as a win. We’ve been training hard this season and we’re gonna train even harder leading into the playoffs.”

– Ha’ani Byerly on the Knights strategy going into the playoffs

“We’ve been practicing for JFK for the past week and I’m really happy with how we played. We hustled and used what we learned in practice as we have a new formation which helped keep JFK from not scoring,” Wigsten added. “As we go into the playoffs we’re going to keep working on our chemistry, strengthening each position, and shoot game like shots during practice. We’re gonna go into each playoff game with the same mentality we had the whole season which is to work hard and put it all on the field.”

In another matchup, the 2nd-ranked Southern Dolphins (9-1-0) edged the Harvest Eagles 1-0. The quarterfinals is slated for this Friday.

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COMING SOON …

4th Quarter Post Season

Boys Volleyball Champion v Champion on May 19

QUICK HITS

The St. Paul Warriors are the 2024 IIAAG Boys Middle School Basketball League Champions! The Warriors defeated the 2nd seed Andersen Dragons 60-47 to cap off their undefeated season.
Mario Bork led the Warriors with 20 points in the championship game.
—————————————–
Sad News: Guam’s basketball community received word that long-time coach Gerrard ‘Gerry’ Barnes succumbed to cancer and passed away on May 7. 
Coach Barnes led the heralded Andersen Bombers from the 1980’s until recent years.
He also coached the Guam national team and at Simon Sanchez.
Coach Barnes was 73.

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