Hopwood shuts down FMS in IFL title game


Hopwood Junior High School players and their coaches are joined in the photo by Northern Mariana Islands Football Association officials during the awards presentation for the 2016-2017 NMIFA U14 Interscholastic Football League last Monday at the Hopwood pitch. (Contributed Photo)

Hopwood Junior High School proved to be too much for Francisco Mendiola Sablan Middle School as seen in the Hilitai’s 6-0 victory in the title match in the girls division of the 2016-2017 NMIFA U14 Interscholastic Football League last Monday.

Hopwood’s female strikers turned their home pitch into their playground after dominating FSM from start to finish en route to the easy victory in the winner-take-all finals. Katrina Costales anchored Hopwood’s demolition of FMS after making a hat trick, while Charmaine Francisco, Leisha Sally, Jenisha Dubrall, and Jerlyn Castillo contributed one goal apiece. Paulyn Joyce Grace, Khristelle Itaas, Therize Millare, Joanna Carreon, and goalie Irish Viray are the other members of the champion team that was coached by Connie Camacho and April Repeki.

Costales put Hopwood on the board in the 13th minute and posted her two other goals in the final half with her second recorded in the 32nd and the last four minutes later. Francisco handed Hopwood its second goal in the 20th minute, while Sally and Castillo found their targets in the 47th and 59th minute, respectively.

With its six goals in the finals, Hopwood collected 53 this season—the most by any team in the league. The Costales-led squad even outgunned Hopwood’s boys team (40), which also ruled its division. Included in Hopwood’s total goals were the nine it gained in its semis win over Tanapag Middle School last Feb. 10. Joyce earned four of those goals, while Castillo, Dubrall, Francisco, Millare, and Sally tallied one apiece.

In the other semis pairing, FMS recorded a 5-2 triumph over Chacha Oceanview Middle School. Keisha Deleon Guerrero stood out in FMS’ victory after firing three goals, while Marinel Falalimpa and Nathanette Blas drained the two other goals for the eventual runner-up. Anisa Villagomez scored the two goals for Chacha.

Chacha made it to the semis after placing third in the elimination round with its 1-1-2 win-draw-loss record. It beat Tanapag in the tiebreak for the third spot, while Hopwood and FSM took the Top 2 spots after earning 4-0-0 and 3-0-1 slates, respectively.

In ruling the eliminations, Hopwood totaled 38 goals and did not give up a single goal to its three opponents. By yielding no goals to their foes, including in the two playoff games, Viray was handed the Golden Glove award, while Joyce claimed the Golden Boot plum after collecting 16.

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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