Kanoa gets first boys U15 title


Kanoa Football Club players and coach Irish Pagarao, standing center, pose for a group photo after clinching the boys U15 division title in the 2018 NMIFA Spring Youth League last Saturday at the Koblerville Elementary School Field. (Contributed Photo)

Kanoa Football Club finally made it to the elite circle of champions after ruling the boys U15 division of the 2018 NMIFA Spring Youth League.

Kanoa secured the division crown, which was won by MP United and TanHoldings before the league switched to U14 age group in 2016 and 2017, after completing the double-round robin competition with an undefeated record (8-2-0 win-draw-loss). It capped its perfect run this season with an emphatic 10-2 victory over Paire last Saturday at the Koblerville Elementary School Field.

Jim Kurt Maniago and Merrick Toves starred in Kanoa’s lopsided win after scoring three goals each with the former’s shots coming in succession, as he found the back of the net in the 40th, 44th, and 47th minute. Toves, on the other hand, drew first blood for Kanoa with his conversion in the eight minute, while he completed a hat trick after lighting up the board anew in the 24th and 49th minute.

Ian Karl Maniago backed up his older brother Jim and Toves after making a brace with his first goal recorded in the 55th minute and the second in the 61st. Brian Lubao and Gil Sean were the other scorers for the newly-crowned champion with the former getting his goal in the 10th minute and the latter closing out for Kanoa in the 69th.

After collecting 10 goals in their last game, Kanoa totaled 58 and gave up 18, which were both second best in the division.

With Kanoa winning the boys U15 champion, the club has notched titles in three age groups and missing only one (either boys U17 or U18) in the competitive division. It took the girls U15 crown in the 2017 fall season and the co-ed U12 in the 2016 and 2007 fall. The club is the third youngest member of Northern Mariana Islands Football Association behind Southern United and Tinian Premier FC. MP United, Matansa, Paire, and the defunct Independents FC were the founding members, while TanHoldings and Shirley’s made up the second batch of the group.
Meanwhile, Paire finished the season at fifth place with its 2-0-8 mark, a win ahead of cellar dweller Shirley’s FC. Jon Villagomez and Kaden Church scored the two goals for the losing squad.

MP United 2, Matansa 0
MP United shut down Matansa in the final game in the division this season and settled for the runner-up honors.

MP United wrapped up the competition with a 7-2-1 slate, while Matansa earned a 4-1-5 card to rank fourth.

Rintaryo Miyawaki nailed the pair of goals for MP United, bringing the team’s total to 44. MP United yielded the least goal this season with 12.

Matansa made only 24 goals and allowed 21.

TanHoldings 9, Shirley’s 1
TanHoldings registered the most goals this season with its 69 after its easy win over Shirley’s in the first game last weekend.

Taka Borja added four to the total of the third-ranked TanHoldings, which ended the competition with a 5-1-4 record. Borja delivered back-to-back goals in the fifth and seventh minute and had his last two in the 22nd and 40th.

Brandon Tenorio contributed two, while Ekeziel Canape, Aloyzeus Angeles, and Taro Goto chipped in one apiece.

Shirley’s, which had only one win to show this season, avoided a shutout loss, thanks to Hassan Rakib’s goal in the 49th minute.

Roselyn Monroyo | Reporter
Roselyn Monroyo is the sports reporter of Saipan Tribune. She has been covering sports competitions for more than two decades. She is a basketball fan and learned to write baseball and football stories when she came to Saipan in 2005.

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