Koblerville nips Mt. Carmel


Koblerville Elementary School, left, and Mt. Carmel School players fight for the ball during the second half of their semis game in the girls division of the 2017 NMIFA Fall U11 Interscholastic Soccer League yesterday at the Hopwood Middle School Field. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Koblerville Elementary School eked out a 1-0 victory over Mt. Carmel School to march into the finals of the girls division of the 2017 NMIFA Fall U11 Interscholastic Soccer League.

Megan Mae Elayda drilled the lone goal in the semis match yesterday at the Hopwood Middle School Field, making a left cross in the 30th minute to hand the Umangs the second finals berth. William S. Reyes Elementary School took the first finals seat after winning via forfeiture against Gregorio T. Camacho Elementary School.

“Our girls struggled a bit due to the bigger field. They are used to the smaller field when they played in the elimination round that’s why when it was time to play here at Hopwood, they had difficulty with the coverage. The usual shots and passes they made fell short,” KES coach Francis Mendiola said after the close semis game.

“So after the scoreless first half, I told the girls to be more aggressive and keep kicking the ball until they get closer for a shot,” said Mendiola, who spent majority of the second half shouting instructions from the sidelines.

The Umangs heeded their coach’s plea, as Elayda and Rosie Jean Saralu led Koblerville’s attack in the second half. Elayda dribbled in front of two Mt. Carmel players and after drawing the Lady Knights’ defense, she passed the leather to Saralu and moved to the left. With Mt. Carmel’s defense now collapsing on Saralu, Elayda was left open after getting back the possession off a feed from her teammate.

Elayda and company went on to keep the shaky lead, as Mt. Carmel tried, but failed to complete its offensive plays.

After the tight semis win over the Lady Knights, Mendiola challenged his wards to play better in tomorrow’s finals against WSR, which forced a draw against Koblerville in their lone meeting in the elimination round.

“We will have practice tomorrow and work on our coverage and positioning in a bigger field. I have faith in our players and encourage them to give their all in the finals,” said Mendiola, adding that having players who are seeing action with Southern United in the NMIFA youth league help Koblerville play good games this season.

The Lady Knights had only two players from their roster competing in a regular season, while majority of their members played organized soccer for the first time.

“I am proud of what our team was able to accomplish in such a short season, considering most of our players are new to the sport. There was a significant improvement from our first game to the last three matches. They played good defense in the first half against Koblerville and still held their own until that goal late in the second,” Mt. Carmel coach Catherine Attao-Toves said.

“The season maybe over, but the learning process for our players will continue. I encourage them to keep playing and join football clubs so they can play in a regular league to improve their skills,” she added.

Meanwhile, Mt. Carmel also played in the boys semis game yesterday against Garapan Elementary School, while GTC dueled WSR in the other Final Four match. Results of both games were unavailable at press time and will be reported in Saipan Tribune’s Thursday edition.

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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