In an exhilarating finals match, William S. Reyes Elementary School 2 and Garapan Elementary School 1 went head-to-head, with the Kingfishers emerging as champions of the 2022-2023 NMIFA-PSS Interscholastic Soccer League last Wednesday at the NMI Soccer Training Center in Koblerville.
The two schools played into the sunset in front of a huge crowd made up of family, friends, classmates, and teachers who cheered them on.
The game was on as the Kingfishers wasted no time and pushed onto the Mallards’ home net, getting ever closer with each kick.
The speedy high-flying Kingfishers continued their conquest of the Mallards into the first half—with Joshua Lizama drawing first blood 10 minutes into the game, which was greeted by an uproar of cheers from WSR supporters in the stands and on the sidelines.
Lizama ended up completing a hat-trick, as he scored three goals in the game—much to the excitement of the audience in attendance and his teammates.
He received the award of most valuable player after his stellar performance and hat-trick during the match.
The first half came and went, with the Kingfishers in the lead at 3-0 after Izaiah Tenorio scored one goal after Lizama’s two.
However, GES, led by Kanoa Owens, fought back as the Mallards made strikes at the goal, with Owens’ first goal an easy kick into the net to finally put the Mallards on the board.
Owens came striking down once again to score a second goal, inching closer to tie up the game.
To the dismay of the Mallards, Lizama added one more goal for a score of 4-2.
Owens struck down one more goal but time ran out as the Group A topnotcher had no more goals in them to score, as they fell like sitting ducks against the Kingfishers, 4-3.
At the end of the game, Owens won the Golden Boot as he collected the most goals of the season at 28 goals.
The Kingfishers emerged from the Group C division, carrying their undefeated 5-0 regular season finish to the playoffs. They defeated San Vicente Elementary School 1 in the quarterfinals, 3-0, moving up to the semifinals against their sister team, WSR 1, which they defeated, 13-2.
The champion team, along with MVP Lizama and Tenorio, consists of Aldric Jon Antonio, John Paul Binghit, Roswell Castillo, Darshwana Chhetri, Salman Kamal, Michael Olaitiman, Jiro Quindoza, and Canisio Williams.
GCA 2, WSR-1 1
William S. Reyes Elementary School 1 and Grace Christian took to the field for the battle for third in the 2022-2023 NMIFA-PSS Interscholastic Soccer League, with GCA winning with just one goal ahead, 2-1.
The Kingfishers drew first blood as Landin Reyes scored their only goal in the sixth minute of the game.
Princess Sariol of the Eagles tied up the game quickly in the 13th minute, with Sarang Lee scoring the winning goal in the second half, and the Kingfishers fell after they were not able to hit back.
The Eagles were second best in Group A and defeated Koblerville Elementary School in the quarterfinals. They reached the semifinals and challenged GES 1, which they lost and ended up vying for bronze against WSR 1.
In the regular season, GCA had a 4-1 win-loss record.
The Northern Mariana Islands Football Association coordinated the 2022-2023 NMIFA-PSS Interscholastic Soccer League along with the Public School System Athletic Program.