GTC tops NEA League


Participating teams and coaches in the National Elite Academy League pose for a photo before the start of their games last Saturday at the Koblerville Elementary School Field. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Gregorio T. Camacho Elementary School ruled the first leg of the National Elite Academy League after earning an unbeaten record in the six-team competition.

GTC posted a 5-0-0- win-draw-loss record in the initial leg of the NEA League that was divided into two parts with the opening set of matches played last Nov. 10 and the final last Saturday at the Koblerville Elementary School Field. The Binadus shut down its first two opponents last month, topping San Vicente Elementary School, 4-0, and downing William S. Reyes Elementary School. GTC then registered its biggest winning margin against Oleai Elementary School, 12-0, while the former completed a sweep of the first leg of the league after outclassing Koblerville, 2-1, and Garapan Elementary School, 4-1, last weekend.

With its 22 goals, GTC scored the most out of the six teams and also yielded the least (2) for an impressive showing in one of Northern Mariana Islands Football Association’s grassroots programs. NEA was created three years ago to introduce soccer to elementary school students. NMIFA staff members and other volunteer coaches conduct the program, visiting various elementary schools on Saipan on weekdays, selecting players, and teaching them soccer skills. Once a team from each school is formed, NMIFA coaches train them regularly and then have them compete in the NEA Cup at the completion of the program. This fall season, NMIFA had the NEA League, which is divided into three legs with the second one to start in January next year.

Garapan finished second to GTC in the first leg as the Mallards earned a 4-0-1 record. Garapan got off to a good start after blanking San Vicente, 6-0, and then edged WSR in its second game, 2-1. After a 1-4 loss to GTC, the Mallards swept their last two games, beating Oleai, 6-0, and Koblerville, 4-1.

WSR was ranked third with its 3-0-2 slate. WSR’s three victories were against San Vicente, 3-0; Oleai, 6-0; and Koblerville, 4-1. Koblerville registered a 1-1-3 record, the same mark San Vicente had, but the former won the tiebreak (decided by goal difference) to place fourth and drop the latter to fifth. Oleai was at the cellar of the team standings as it went winless in the first leg of the NEA League.

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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