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DESPITE some early afternoon rain showers yesterday, action in the IIAAG High School Girls’ Soccer League went on as scheduled. The Okkodo Lady Bulldogs took a trip down to Maite to take on the hosting Harvest Christian Academy Lady Eagles at the Harvest field. With the regular season nearing its end, the Eagles were able to keep their playoff hopes alive after blanking the Bulldogs 3-0.
"We played well and just stuck to our game plan, we converted and scored early in the first half which paid off," said Harvest's Felicia Alumbaugh. "Okkodo did really well especially in the second half, not allowing us to score."
The Lady Eagles wasted no time playing the aggressors early on as it only took six minutes to nab the game's first goal. After working her way through the Bulldogs defense, Elisha Benavente was able to find the back of the net as she zipped one pass off Okkodo goalkeeper Tonni Arellano. Minutes later, the Eagles found themselves up 2-nil after another goal.
For quite some time, both teams played hard and battled for possession while looking for chances to score. Defensively, the Lady Bulldogs turned the intensity up a bit. However, in the 30th minute of play, a handball gave Harvest a chance from the penalty marker. The Eagles upped their lead to 3-0 after Alumbaugh placed her penalty kick in the bottom left corner of the goal.
Okkodo had several opportunities to end their drought in the final five minutes of the half. However, Harvest wasn't going to let their guard down on defense and held their opponents scoreless and would head into the break with a three-goal lead.
Second half shutout
Returning from the break, it was apparent both teams discussed what needed to be executed. The Eagles came out with a notch of intensity applied to pressuring and keeping possession of the ball. Okkodo came out playing a lot more aggressive and attacking on every chance.
Despite keeping the ball on their side of the field for a majority of the half and taking 11 shots-on-goal, the Eagles just couldn't penetrate through the Bulldog defense. Led by the heads-up play of Arellano, the score would remain the same at the final whistle. Both teams held the other scoreless and played to a second-half shutout.
"Harvest did really well – they knew how to pick and choose their opportunities to score," Arellano said. "In the second half, it was just about playing with heart for both teams."
IIAAG High School Girls Soccer League action resumes tomorrow.