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LADY ISLANDERS TAKE PRESEASON SOCCER TOURNEY

Private and public schools to combine leagues under GFA for upcoming season

PRESS RELEASE – The John F. Kennedy High School Islanders avenged an earlier loss to the Southern High School Dolphins, winning 1-0 in the championship match of the Challenge Cup Girls High School Preseason Tournament Sunday at the Guam Football Association National Training Center.

JFK sophomore Jaelyn Han scored the eventual championship match winner in the 12th minute, while the team held down the Dolphins defensively for the victory.

“It feels really good that the team was able to win the preseason tournament – it’s a good start for us,” Han said after the tournament’s trophy presentation ceremony. “When we had the earlier match against Southern we saw how they played; we had a good visual of what to expect after we made it to the championship match. We just had to fix what we needed to fix and then put it into the championship game. I believe our team improved on our passing and connecting more, as well as our through balls.”

Earlier in the day, the Islanders lost to the Dolphins 4-3 in a penalty kick shootout, but stayed alive in the bottom half of the bracket, winning against the Academy Cougars to make the championship match of the tournament. The tournament, now in its 10th year, is supported by Japan Football Association.

This year’s edition featured eight teams: the JFK Islanders, Southern Dolphins, Tiyan Titans, Academy Cougars, Okkodo Bulldogs, St. John’s Knights, Notre Dame Royals and the GW Geckos. A handful of players from Sanchez, Harvest, and Guam High joined the eight teams in the tournament, as their respective schools did not field a team in the preseason tournament.

During the tournament, Guam Football Association donated football equipment to the 11 schools set to compete in the upcoming Interscholastic Girls High School Football League, coordinated by Guam Football Association. For the first time in over a decade, the interscholastic league will feature schools from both the Guam Department of Education and the island’s private schools. GFA President Valentino San Gil and GFA Executive Committee Member Peter Toves presented the equipment to team captains and school representatives.

“I’m really looking forward to the upcoming season because we’re going to be able to play against the private schools – this season will be a combined league,” Han said. “From here, we just need to be mentally prepared and build throughout the season because it’s only one round against all different teams. We look forward to the new challenge.” 

In last year’s seasons, the Islanders were three-time winners of the ISA Girls High School League and the Guam High School Panthers won the IIAAG Girls High School League crown.

The newly combined league is scheduled to kick off Mar. 22 with two matches at GW: Okkodo vs St. John’s at 4:30 p.m. followed by Tiyan High School vs GW at 6:30 p.m.

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