Shirley’s, Kanoa in title hunt


A Shirley’s FC player kicks the ball during their first round match against MP United in the girls U15 division of the NMIFA youth league at the San Antonio Middle School Field. (Roselyn B. Monroyo)

Shirley’s Football Club and Kanoa FC remained in the title race for the girls U15 division of the 2016 NMIFA Youth Spring League after the contrasting results of their respective games last Saturday at the San Antonio Middle School Field.

Shirley’s dominated Tan Holdings FC, 6-1, to retain the top spot in the team standings of the five-squad field. Jasmine Phan scored two goals, while Katrina Costales, Katherine Magat, and Therize Millare added one apiece to give Shirley’s an 8-0-1 win-draw-loss record.

Kanoa, on the other hand, forced a 2-2 draw against MP United, to keep the No. 2 spot with its 6-1-1 record. Brittany Wally and Kristelle Itaas nailed one goal apiece for Kanoa, which will play Shirley’s in a crucial match tomorrow at 1:30pm.

A Kanoa win against Shirley’s and another victory for the former next week will give the squad the division championship. If Shirley’s prevail in its last game, it will seal the title regardless of the results of Kanoa’s last match. Kanoa earlier defeated Shirley’s, 4-2, in their first meeting this season (March 12).

In other results in the girls U15, Matansa won via forfeit against Paire to move up to fourth place with its 5-0-4 card. Matansa’s victory brought MP United down to fifth with the latter holding a 4-1-4 mark, while Paire (1-0-7) and Tan Holdings (1-0-8) are at the bottom two.

Meanwhile, in the boys U14 division, Tan Holdings topped Paire, 5-2, at the Koblerville Elementary School Field to boost its title bid in the group.

Mark Esalan had a hat-trick, while John Michael Rojas scored a pair for Tan Holdings, which owns a 7-0-2 record. Paire got its two goals from Kaden Church.

MP United also notched its seventh win in nine games to tie Tan Holdings after nipping Matansa, 4-3. Oliver Lee knocked in two goals for MP United, while Eun Syu Hahn and Ye Seong Cho contributed one each.

Both MP United and Tan Holdings have one game left in the double round-robin season and the results of their matches will determine the winner of the division championship. Tan Holdings will duel Shirley’s tomorrow at 1:30pm, while MP United will take on Kanoa at 4:30pm. If both squads win, they will still end up in a deadlock and Tan Holdings will prevail in the tiebreak due to the head-to-head rule implemented by the NMIFA Youth Committee. Tan Holdings downed MP United in their first meeting on Feb. 20, 7-3, and had a repeat on April 2 after earning a 2-1 triumph.

If Tan Holdings loses to Shirley’s and Kanoa upsets MP United, there will be a three-way tie (MPU, Kanoa, and Tan Holdings holding similar 7-0-3 cards) for the lead and NMIFA Youth Committee did not indicate in its rules how the standoff will be decided.

Kanoa has a chance to force a three-team tie after blanking Shirley’s, 7-0, in the third game in the boys U14 last Saturday. Kirt Andon made three goals, while Thomas Benavente and Sebastien Manabat tallied two apiece for Kanoa, which has a 6-0-3 mark, going into this Saturday’s final regular season games.

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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