Costales to play soccer on NCAA level


Katrina Costales will officially be joining Whitworth University’s Women’s Soccer Team. (Contributed Photo)

Katrina Costales, a soccer player for Shirley’s Football Club, was accepted to Whitworth University and will officially be joining its Women’s Soccer Team.

The Northern Mariana Islands Football Association congratulates Costales, an NMI National Team member and Marianas High School graduate, as she will head out to Whitworth University to join their Women’s Soccer Team.

Whitworth University, located in Spokane, Washington, is a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III school.

In addition to her acceptance into Whitworth University, Costales graduated in the Top 10 of her class in May 28, 2021.

“There are no words that can express how grateful I am toward NMIFA and everyone who has helped me get to where I am today. The amount of opportunities, support, and experiences available through this program is unimaginable. I am so blessed to have grown up in the soccer community here,” Costales said.

Costales encourages others who dream to play sports like soccer on an international level, to take advantage of the opportunities on their home island.

“To those athletes eager to compete at a higher level, take advantage of all the opportunities available and don’t be afraid of failure. There’s no harm in trying. Reach out to alumnis or other individuals that could help you through the process. With our unique experiences on island, there is so much we could bring to the table. Play with your heart and always remember where you came from. Play with CNMI pride. Thank you to Jerry Tan, my coaches, family, teammates, and most especially, the man above, God. May all my successes be devoted to you,” she said.

Costales was named Female Student Athlete of the Month for the month of May for her accomplishment in soccer.

The honoree plays for Shirley’s Football Club in the women’s league and in addition to playing in the leagues and training with the national women’s team. Costales also coaches aspiring youth national team players selected for the NMIFA Junior Academy, also known as the Youth Elite Academy. She also coaches two TanHoldings Football Club teams, the Division B team in the women’s league, and the U15 co-ed team that is now preparing for the youth league.

Also, Costales just received a “C” License, or a coaching certificate, after taking the course in late February. A “C” license is the minimum requirement to be appointed as a coach for international soccer tournaments.

Costales has gained quite a bit of experience in soccer as she has represented the NMI in several international tournaments, the last of which was the AFC U16 Championship Qualifiers held in Tajikistan in 2018.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at

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