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Dove Women’s League returns

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Southern United Football Club, right, and Paire FC players are in action during the 2019 Spring Dove Women’s League at the NMI Soccer Training Center in Koblerville. The league returns this Sunday with the staging of its spring competition. (Contributed Photo)

Dove Women’s League will mark its return to action by playing in the newly rebuilt secondary field at the NMI Soccer Training Center in Koblerville this Sunday.

The Northern Mariana Islands Football Association’s competition exclusive for the islands’ female players did not have matches for nearly a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while the NMISTC’s secondary pitch was totally damaged by Super Typhoon Yutu late in 2018. Rebuilding of the facility was completed last year, while other improvements were also done at the pitch last month, making it ready for training sessions and actual matches, like the games in the 2021 Spring Dove Women’s League.

Dove’s spring season will have three divisions—A, B, and Masters and all matches will be played only every Sunday, as NMIFA is still taking safety measures against the COVID-19 pandemic by limiting the playing days, the number of participating teams, and players on the court.

Division A will have a 5v5 format and will feature four teams—Kanoa Football Club, Shirley’s FC, Southern United FC, and TanHoldings FC. Shirley’s will play Southern United on Court A in its season debut this Sunday, while Kanoa will collide with TanHoldings on Court B. Both matches will start at 3pm.

An aerial view of the NMI Soccer Training Center in Koblerville shows the newly rebuilt secondary pitch, left, which will host matches in the 2021 Spring Dove Women’s League. (Contibuted Photo)

Division A teams will play in a three-round robin regular season and all squads will advance to the playoffs. In the playoffs, the No. 1 seed team will meet the No. 4 team, while the No. 2 and 3 squads will duel in the other semis game. Winners of the two semis tiffs on May 23 will meet in the one-game finals scheduled for May 30.

Division B has the same regular season and playoff formats, but matches will be 6v6. Kanoa FC, Shirley’s FC, MP United FC, and Southern United FC are the participating squads. MP United will challenge Shirley’s, while Kanoa will square off against Southern United in the pair of 4:15 matches this Sunday.

For the Masters Division, the opening weekend matches will have Kanoa FC battling Paire FC 1 and TanHoldings FC taking on Paire FC 2. Both matches in the 6v6 competition this weekend will start at 5:30pm. Matansa FC completes the division’s field and the team drew a bye this weekend and won’t have its season debut until March 7 when it duels Paire FC 1. The other match next Sunday will have Paire 2 going up against Kanoa.

With five teams entered in the Masters Division, the No. 1 seed team after the double-round robin regular season will automatically advance to the semifinals. The No. 2 and 3 squads will then play in the first round of the playoffs with the winner taking on the No. 1 team for the first finals berth. The loser of the semis game and the winner in the match between the No. 4 and No. 5 seed teams will fight for the second and last finals berth. The title match will also be a one-game affair and is scheduled for May 30.

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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