Independents wins women’s league opener

A Matansa FC player runs into the defense of an Independents FC player during the first half of the opening game in the NMIFA women?s league last Saturday at the Oleai Sports Complex Field. (ROSELYN B. MONROYO)

A Matansa FC player runs into the defense of an Independents FC player during the first half of the opening game in the NMIFA women?s league last Saturday at the Oleai Sports Complex Field. (ROSELYN B. MONROYO)

The 2014 NMIFA Women’s League kicked off last Saturday with Independents FC winning over Matansa FC, 1-0, in the opening game at the Oleai Sports Complex Field.
Farleen Esmundo scored the first goal of the season with her shot in the 13th minute. Joining Esmundo on the IFC roster are Sarah and Terra Allen, Mel and Melissa Borja, Laurea Briosos, Ericka Dela Rosa, Dyenina Diaz, Amy Furnare, Temary and Vanessa Gramlich, Leah Legacion, Lina Manalili, Cleo Nening, Reena Patel, Catherine Perry, Miles Rodriguez, Cailin Trasmano, and Jhie Vallo.

Goalie Pratoom Stoffer leads Matansa’s side, which also listed Amando Agulto, Maile Aldrich, Tawny Barcinas, Elizabeth Basa, Bunruang Brasuelle, Devannie Camacho, Katrine Castro, Elna Curate, Ditwiset Ratree, Nimei Geroge, Jumlong Horey, Benikina and Kelsey Lizama, Agne Mongami, Justice Norman, Veisinia Peteru, Isabel Reyes, Jacqueline Route, Melanie Santos, Sabrina Santos, and Cristy Villaflor as members.

Beside Matansa FC and IFC, five other teams are competing in this season’s 11 vs 11 contest. Completing the field are MP United FC, Tan Holdings FC, Kanoa FC, Shirley’s FC, and Paire FC. The league will have a double-round robin format in the regular season, while playoff rules have yet to be determined.

Kanoa FC 5, Shirley’s FC 1
In the second game in the opening day, Kanoa FC dominated Shirley’s FC.

Kanoa drew goals from five different players to have a winning debut in the seven-team league.
Lalaine Pagarao put Kanoa in the board with her goal in the 28th minute and the team ended the first half with a 2-0 advantage, as Jurinah Navarro made a last-minute goal.

Kanoa then scored early in the second half, courtesy of Marielle Gariguez’s goal in the 49th minute, while Shirley’s FC finally broke the spell off Alexa Vergara’s conversion in the 54th minute.

Two more goals in a span of five minutes handed Kanoa the easy victory. Friendly Joy Pena made it to the board in the 64th minute, while Mariebell Aldan canned the last goal in the game five minutes later.

MP United FC 6, Tan Holdings FC 1
In the third game, MP United clobbered Tan Holdings FC.

Manami Tadokoro led MP United’s lopsided win over Tan Holdings with her pair of goals. Michelle Kautz, Karleen Reyes, Lydia Tan, and Masami Sato added one goal apiece.

Tan Holdings absorbed a tough beating at the hands of MP United despite scoring first off Yvonne Zhu’s goal in the 14th minute.

MP United quickly evened up the count with Kautz recording the equalizer two minutes later.
Tadokoro then tallied her two goals in back-to-back fashion, hitting her first one in the 34th and the second two minutes later to give MP United the driver’ seat. Reyes made it three in a row for IT&E in a span of five minutes, as she found the back of the net in the 39th minute.

MP United kept going in the second half with Tan kicking the ball in off a rebound in the 57th minute, while Sato closed out the squad’s offense with her goal in the 77th minute.

Meanwhile, Paire will have its season debut this Saturday when it takes on Matansa FC in the nightcap at 8pm. Two more matches are scheduled this weekend with MP United going for its second win when it faces Shirley’s FC at 4pm and Independent FC colliding against Kanoa at 6pm.

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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