Kanoa draws first blood

Kanoa Football Club, left, and Matansa Football Club players fight for posseison during the opening game in the 2019 Dove Spring Women’s 11 vs 11 League last Monday at the NMI Soccer Training Center in Koblerville. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Kanoa Football Club prevailed in the opening game in the 2019 Dove Spring Women’s 11 vs. 11 League after slipping past Matansa Football Club, 4-3, last Monday at the NMI Soccer Training Center in Koblerville.

Irish Pagarao scored all four goals for Kanoa with her shot in the 49th minute proved to be the marginal, as she won a “shootout” with Janna Casarino.

The Matansa striker caught Kanoa’s defense off guard with an early goal in the ninth minute, while Pagarao quickly countered, tying the count a minute later. The Pagarao-Casarino exchange continued, as the latter regained the lead for Matansa in the 12th minute, while the former’s second goal in the 14th forced the second deadlock of the game.

Pagarao then became the first player to record a hat trick in the season, as she found the back of the net anew in the 28th minute to put Kanoa in the lead. Ten minutes later, Casarino duplicated Pagarao’s fete and the opposing teams were back to square one after the first half.

In the second half, Pagarao had the final say in the seesaw battle and Kanoa tightened up its defense the rest of the way to prevent Casarino from scoring and win the first game of the season.

Besides Kanoa and Matansa, two other teams are competing in the Dove-sponsored league with Shirley’s Football Club and Paire Football Club playing in their season debut on May 20. Then on May 6, all four teams will see action at the Koblerville pitch with Paire taking on Matansa at 4pm and Kanoa battling Shirley’s at 6pm. For the last pair of matches in the round-robin prelims, Kanoa will duel Kanoa on June 2 at 4pm, while Matansa will challenge Shirley’s at 6pm.

For the playoff round, which will start on June 9, the No. 1 seed team will face the No. 4 finisher in the 6pm game for the second finals ticket, while the No. 2 and 3 squads will square off for the first finals berth at 4pm. Winners in the pair of semis tiffs will then collide in a one-game finals on June 16 at 6pm, while a consolation match will be played at 4pm.

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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