More work for CNMI women’s team


The starting 11 of the NMI Women’s National Team pose for a group photo before their game against Guam in the Marianas Cup 2017 last Sunday at the Guam Football Association National Training Center in Dededo. (Contributed Photo)

The CNMI Women’s National Team’s recent loss to Guam in the Marianas Cup 2017 would not bring the squad down and instead will push the group to work harder and get ready for future tournaments.

The Guam Women’s National Team eased past CNMI, 6-0, during last Sunday’s match at the Guam Football Association National Training Center in Dededo.

“There are many things that we need to continue to work on and many lessons learned. We are using this experience (loss) as a motivator in preparing for the upcoming tournaments and for the Marianas Cup 2018, which will be hosted here on Saipan,” team manager Catherine Attao-Toves said.

Attao-Toves added that despite the defeat, the squad did well under the tough condition on game night, especially in the first half. The CNMI’s female strikers played under the rain and in a bit of strong wind at the artificial turf of GFA.

“It was a challenge adjusting to the turf and weather. With the wind, rain and turf, it took us time to get our timing. However, we came out very confident and it showed. We stayed aggressive and had a couple of looks at the goal,” she said.

The CNMI made the first attempt in the 11th minute off Guine Borja’s pass to a teammate, but Guam goalie Chyna Ramirez denied the visitors. The Commonwealth bets had one more attempt in the first half (20th minute), a free kick, and a corner kick, while Guam scored its first goal in the 17th minute, courtesy of April Talledo.

“And even when Guam scored their first goal, we didn’t let that bother us. The girls kept attacking and communicating,” Attao-Toves said.

Guam then made it a 2-0 lead in the 36th minute off a penalty shot from Skyylerblu Johnson and that turned things against the CNMI.

“With the wet turf and it being slippery, the call went against us. The penalty kick, for me, was questionable. Our goalkeeper Carla Ballesteros made her first saved PK, however, it was called back because supposedly one of our players crossed the line before Guam made contact with the ball. From there, our motivation and momentum shifted,” the team manager said.

Guam went on to tally four more goals with Talledo and Johnson scoring anew and Samantha Fegurgur and Chloe Salas adding one apiece.

After the loss, Attao-Toves said the CNMI squad, which is made up of mostly U19 players, is moving forward and hopes to rally other individuals to join the sport and be part of the Commonwealth’s future national teams.

The team manager also thanked GFA for hosting this year’s Marianas Cup and Northern Mariana Islands Football Association for sending teams to the weekend tournament.

“We would like to thank GFA executive director Cheri Stewart and the entire GFA team, for their warm hospitality. We look forward to hosting them in 2018. We would also like to extend a huge thank you to NMIFA president Jerry Tan, general secretary Ross Zapanta, executive members and staff for all your support and to those who cheered for our team,” she said.

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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