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Defeat Royals in epic battle
THE two best teams in the IIAAG High School Girls Soccer League met up on Friday night at the Guam Football Association soccer field in Harmon to settle the score and decide a 2012 champion.
The last time both teams squared off, the match ended in a tie. After a long 80-minute battle in regulation and two five-minute extra time period, the two teams from down south ended up knotted at 2-2. It was from that point that a penalty kick shootout was needed to determine this year’s queens.
With the fans on the edge of their seats and thunderous roars cheering their team on, the shootout completed an epic battle between two great teams. At the end of the night, it was the Lady Dolphins who clinched this year’s crown after kicking their way to a 4-2 shootout victory.
Through four kickers, Southern held a slight 3-2 lead in the deciding shootout. Up next was the reigning league MVP Paige Surber. With the look of determination on her face and staying focused, Surber made her approach, took the kick, and moments later the ball found the back of the net for the championship clinching goal.
“I couldn’t ask for a better result,” said Southern’s seventh year coach Joseph Cruz proudly beaming after the shootout. “Last year we were 8th place, getting knocked out early on. We didn’t even have a chance to play here at GFA last year. Before tonight, the team had only gotten as high as 3rd place during my time as coach.”
Electing to go first in the shootout, the Dolphins called on Kiera Sanchez and with finesse put the ball through for a quick 1-0 lead. Notre Dame’s Demi-Rae Shimizu equalized the game after putting her PK past Southern’s goalkeeper. Zoe Surber didn’t keep the shootout tied too long as she converted to give the Lady Dolphins a 2-1 lead. The Royals’ Isabella Shimizu missed her shot. On the ensuing kick, April Talledo zipped one past the ND goalkeeper to put Southern up 3-1. The Royals weren’t quite finished as Jamie Soriano cut the deficit in half by converting her shot.
The Dolphins had the chance to go up two goals. However, Tanya Flores was unable to score. ND had the opportunity to tie the shootout, however a Jonimonay Tedpahogo kick went above the crossbar to keep it a 3-2 shootout and set up Paige Surber with the game-winning opportunity.
Southern blew an early 2-0 lead, as the Royals viciously fought back in the second half of regulation time to knot the game. ND made it a one-goal game in the opening minutes of the second half, capitalizing on a corner kick from Demi-Rae Shimizu. ND coach Noel Casilao credited senior Tiffany Judicpa with the last touch on the ball that traveled just enough to pass the goal line, despite a slew of Southern defenders desperately attempting to keep the ball out of the goal.
The Royals delayed the Dolphins championship win when Shimizu broke through Southern’s right-side defense and found Joneen Terlaje, who scored the equalizer with less than four minutes left to play in regulation time. Both teams went scoreless in extra time to set up the shootout.
In the day’s earlier game, the George Washington High School Geckos defeated last year’s champions, the Guam High Panthers 1-0 for third place. Anaka Park scored GW’s lone goal in the closing minutes of extra time.