Kanoa rules Dove women’s league

Members and officials of the Kanoa Football Club flash the No. 1 sign after beating Shirley’s Footbal Club, 3-1, in the finals of the 2019 Dove Spring Women’s 11 vs 11 League last Sunday at the NMI Soccer Training Center in Koblerville. (Contributed Photo)

Kansa Football Club topped the 2019 Dove Spring Women’s 11 vs 11 League after outclassing Shirley’s Football Club, 3-1, in the winner-take-all finale last Sunday at the NMI Soccer Training Center in Koblerville.

Irish Pagarao and Paulyn Joyce teamed up in handing Kanoa the season championship and keeping the squad’s perfect record in the competition. Pagarao delivered a pair of goals, while Joyce contributed one.

The lefty’s goal in the 10th minute opened things up for Kanoa. Pagarao was dribbling way out of the penalty area with four Shirley’s defenders keeping an eye on her. She then managed to push the ball forward and in between two defenders and sprinted to follow the leather. A couple more Shirley’s defenders chased Pagarao, who then kicked the ball just a few yards away from the penalty area with Shirley’s goalie Katherine Magat diving for the save, but failing.

Kanoa hung on to the lead in the next 24 minutes and change before Katrina Costales equalized in the 35th minute. The game-tying goal was set up off Mae Ito’s pass to Costales, who had only Sharmaine Francisco defending her, as she dribbled a bit before launching a long shot from the left part of the penalty arc. Kanoa goalkeeper Chevy Kate Alipio jumped to catch the ball, but the shot was way too high for her and then went down right into the goal, allowing Shirley’s to knot the count.

However, the deadlock was short-lived, as Pagarao attacked anew and scored the go-ahead in the 44th minute. She received a pass from Jenny Lee, dribbled to her left, as expected, and with only Lilian Podziewski bodying her up, Pagarao quickly went for the cross from around 15 yards to help her team regain the driver’s seat.

Kanoa kept the shaky lead at the break despite Shirley’s repeated attempts to tie the match anew. Joyce then gave Kanoa the insurance in the 65th minute after stealing possession from Shirley’s. Joyce anticipated a pass and then dribbled her way out of three Shirley’s defenders before going for a straight shot just after she entered the penalty area where she later collided with another defender and fell. Joyce then stood up unharmed and celebrated with her teammates.

A bigger celebration came later after the game, as Kanoa was awarded the championship trophy. Shirley’s and Matansa Football Club also received the runner-up and third place trophies, respectively, while Costales was handed the Golden Boot award for scoring 11 goals this season.

Kanoa Football Club’s Paulyn Joyce, seen here kicking the ball during their semis game against Matansa Football Club, scored in their 3-1 title win over Shirley’s Football Club. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

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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