The NMI Women’s National Team pulled off a 4-3 victory over Guam in a training match last Tuesday at the Guam Football Association National Training Center in Dededo.
Kaithlyn Chavez, Guine Borja, and Britany Wally delivered the goals for the NMI WNT, which is in Guam for a four-day training camp. Chavez scored twin goals, including the game-winner five minutes before the seesaw battle ended. The 14-year-old unloaded the go-ahead from the penalty box with the ball going over the head of the Guam goalkeeper.
Chavez’s other goals came in the first half, which concluded in a deadlock. She knotted the count in the 39th minute, courtesy off a pass from Jannah Casarino. Earlier in the seventh minute, Borja put the CNMI on the board after converting a shot from Wally’s assist. Six minutes later, Guam also scored for the first tie in the match and the host team made it back-to-back and grabbed the lead in the 37th minute before Chavez drilled the equalizer for the NMI late in the first half.
In the second half, Guam regained the lead off a corner kick in the 67th minute. However, the NMI WNT stayed focused and forced the third standoff in the match when Wally scored in the 72nd minute off a penalty kick.
With the game tied anew and the clock winding down, both teams became more aggressive in their bid to hit the game-winner. In the end, the NMI delivered with Casarino and Chavez teaming up anew for the dagger. Casarino sent the ball from the left side to Chavez, who kept her composure and control of the ball on the way to the go-ahead goal in the 88th minute of the match.
After grabbing the lead, the NMI WNT hung tough on defense to preserve the shaky lead and prevail in the closely fought game.
Casarino, Chavez, Borja, and Wally were part of the NMI starting lineup, which also included Toremy Diaz, Dianne Pablo, Julianne Hall, Pia Ngewakl, Khristelle Itaas, Gabi Race, and Katrina Costales. Completing the roster are Deseha Mendiola, Mia Abuan, Christina Atalig, Aubrey and Audrey Castro, Summer Manahane, Rizza Relucio, Tamia and Tyana Hix, Allyssya Angeles, and Stephanie Flores. Luam Khen Koo is the team’s coach and is supported by assistant coaches Angie Ito and Irish Pagarao and team manager Emma Lee.
Koo said the successful results in their game against Guam were made possible through the hard work of all the players. He added that the training matches and sessions they are having in Guam are good exposures to the NMI players.
“This training camp will give them the opportunity to remember and experience the standard of soccer outside the CNMI,” Koo said.
After their tough win over Guam, the visiting team took a break from training matches yesterday and just focused on drills and classroom discussions. Tonight, they will play against a women’s club before heading back home Friday morning.