CNMI plays training matches in Guam


The CNMI’s Gabrielle Race, second left, and a Personal Finance Center Lady Crushers player ward each other off during a training match last Saturday at the Guam Football Association National Training Center in Dededo. (Guam Football Association)

A big pool of CNMI female players left for Guam last weekend for a series of training matches that will prepare the crew for a couple of off-island tournaments this year.

The 25-player pool left Saipan last Friday morning and was scheduled to see action in four matches at the Guam Football Association National Training Center in Dededo. The group has a mixed of members of the CNMI youth and women’s teams and is composed of Princess Alcantara, Mary Kay Alferos, Chevy Kate Alipio, Sarah Allen, Carla Ballesteros, Guinevere Borja, Angelica Carreon, Jeraldine, Jeralyn, and Jerlyn Castillo, Katrina Costales, Elaine Enriquez, Renita Fleming, Diana Maniacop, Diane Pablo, Gabrielle Race, Angelica, Leisha, and Lyka Sally, Chloe Salvosa, Pinyarat Shankweiler, Krisel and Kyla Tuazon, Angelina Villagomez, and Britany Wally.

The Commonwealth players first dueled Bud Light Women’s Soccer League 2015 fall season champion Quality Distributors and dropped a close match last Friday. 1-2. Jeralyn Castillo hit the lone goal for the visiting crew, while April Talledo nailed the brace for the champion squad.

Then last Saturday, the CNMI bets faced Personal Finance Center Lady Crushers and lost another tightly fought match, 2-3. Villagomez knocked in the pair of goals for the CNMI, while Kimberly Sherman, Koharu Minato, and April Talledo scored for the Women’s GFA Cup 2015 champion.

The visiting team was scheduled to collide against the Lady Rovers last night and then will challenge Guam’s U14 and U16 training squad in a morning match today before heading home in the afternoon.

“NMIFA put together this training camp to allow our training squad to gain playing experience in preparation for upcoming AFC and EAFF girls and women’s tournaments this year,” said Northern Mariana Islands Football Association general secretary Ross Zapanta in a statement provided to Saipan Tribune by host GFA.

“Women’s competition on Saipan is limited and in order to do well in tournaments, they need to experience different playing styles,” added Zapanta, who accompanied the group along with NMIFA president Jerry Tan and coaches Luam Khen Koo and Taketomo Suzuki.

Angie Ito, who helps facilitate the pool’s training sessions on Saipan said the youth members of the group—Alcantara, Tuazon, Jerlyn Castillo, Leisha Sally, and Katrina Costales—will be competing in the AFC U14 Regional Championships in May this year (venue has yet to be determined), while the other players in the pool will play in the Luen Thai Cup and in an East Asian Football Federation-sanctioned tournaments this summer.

“This training camp is a great opportunity for our players and we thank GFA executives and staff for hosting us, coordinating matches, and allowing us to train. We also thank GFA Executive Committee member George Lai who helped us by loaning vehicles for our delegation,” Zapanta said.

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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