GTC leads Final 4 cast


Garapan Elementary School, left, and Koblerville Elementary School players fight for possession during their game in the elimination round of the NEA League at the KES pitch. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Four teams are left to battle for the championship in the 2018 NEA Spring League as the preliminary games were completed last month at the Koblerville Elementary School Field.

Gregorio T. Camacho Elementary School led the playoff qualifier after topping the team standings with its 8-2-0 win-draw-loss record. Joining GTC in the semifinals are Garapan Elementary School (8-1-1), William S. Reyes Elementary School (6-0-4), and Koblerville Elementary School (3-2-5). San Vicente Elementary School (2-1-7), and Oleai Elementary School (0-0-10) missed the cut.

In the Final Four, GTC will be paired against Koblerville, while the other semis tiff will have Garapan challenging WSR. Both the semifinals and title matches will be played on May 12 at the KES pitch.

GTC kept its undefeated record in the elimination round after winning against San Vicente, 1-0, and forcing a draw versus Garapan, last March 23. Garapan, on the other hand, prevailed in its two other matches in the last day of the elimination. The Mallards shut down Oleai, 4-0, and WSR, 2-0.

In other results in last month’s matches, Koblerville eased past Oleai, 5-0, to take the last Final Four berth. Koblerville then bowed to WSR, 1-4, in its second assignment in last month’s competition, but the loss eventually did not cost the Umangs the playoff seat, as GTC defeated San Vicente in the next game.

Meanwhile, Garapan may have placed second in the team standings, but it was ranked first in the most goals category after collecting 35 in 10 games. GTC earned 32 goals for second place and allowed the least with five. WSR gathered 25 goals and yielded nine—the same number Garapan gave up. Koblerville tallied 27 goals, just two more than what it allowed its opponents to score. San Vicente earned 11 and gave up 26, while Oleai failed to hit the board and yielded 58.

The NEA League is one of Northern Mariana Islands Football Club’s grassroots programs. NMIFA staff members and coaches visit school in the afternoon to tap and train talents. Players selected then suit up for their respective schools in a series of competition as part of their training process.

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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