Monday, August 10, 2015

Ateneo bags 3 crowns in Univille Homes Football Cup

(This report was published in Sun.Star Cebu's  Aug. 10 edition)
ATENEO de Cebu had a field day in the Univille Homes Football Cup, winning three divisions on Sunday at the Cebu City Sports Center.

Ateneo de Cebu won the Girls 15 and 18-Under divisions, and the Boys 15-Under division. It also made the quarterfinals of the Boys 18-Under division, which was being played at press time.

In the Boys 15 division, Ateneo earned the title after winning the shootout against Warshockz, 2-1.



Ateneo A topped Group A, going unbeaten against the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Balamban (1-0), Sais Gannet (1-0) and Guardians (4-0), while Warshockz topped Group B after beating Ateneo B, 2-0, Real Galaxy, 1-0, and drawing Springdale, 0-0.

In the finals, Ateneo, which beat Real Galaxy, 1-0, in the quarterfinals and Guardian, 3-2, in the semis, took control early with their crisp passing anchored on wily Yjoi Selman.

Three minutes in, they finally scored on a play that started with a goal-kick. Their impressive passing found an open Musashi Ayabe at left flank and he banged in the first goal from point-blank. They got two more attempts from Ayabe and Selman—who despite standing almost a foot smaller, stripped a defender casually to take a shot—but both were stopped.

Equalizer

In the 10th minute, Warshockz got the equalizer after Julian Cabatingan was called for a foul just outside the box. The free kick went straight to the wall, but Warshockz sent the rebound to the bottom right past Miguel Galang for the goal.

In the shootout, both teams made their first attempts and Galang redeemed himself with a save. However, Jacob Braun failed to capitalize as his shot went sky-high. After another save by Galang, Francis Snare sealed the win with a confident shot to the bottom left, sparking a celebration. The boys piled up on their keeper, who got cut in his right eye because of the melee.

The other members of the champion team, coached by Hayato Ayabe and Mitsu Tsunakiri, are Bryce Yunam, Wilmer Lopez and Anthony Mandaue.

In the Girls 18 finals, Ateneo simply outclassed a game Tabor Hills, 2-0, to win the crown. Ateneo topped Group A after running through Conslacion, 4-0, Saintz, 7-1, Razkals, 1-0, and drawing San Roque. They also beat Warshocks in the semis, 1-0.

On the other hand, Tabor Hills, made it through after a testy, 5-4, shootout win against San Roque.

In the finals, Ateneo was entirely on a different level and limited the play in the Tabor side of the pitch, getting attempts almost every minute. Guest player Kara Montilla, who is on vacation from California, got the first shot from an acute angle from right flank but missed.

Itsuko Bacatan joined the act and her 20-yarder was caught by the keeper. A minute later, she finally scored. She got an errant clearance that went square, turned and shot past a defender for the first goal.

Ateneo didn’t let up. Arantxa Trebol’s ambitious shot from left from almost 20 yards went just wide, while a volley by Itsuko off a long clearance went high again. After missing her outside shot, Trebol dribbled inside but still missed.

Tabor Hills finally got Ateneo keeper Peeve Layague to work with a prayer from half-court that seemed headed for goal but veered a bit left and the keeper collected it.

After another miss by Trebol from left flank, Ateneo got its second goal courtesy of a lovely free kick from Elisha Deller for the final count. Aside from the scorers and Montilla, the other members of the team are Katrina Rodriguez, Maegan dela Cerna, Sydney Gonzales, Samaeka Castillo, Shadinne Pepito, Yao Jin Kim, Regine Chua, Trisha Yu, Niya Camon and Roselle Zanuria.

Earlier in the day, Ateneo won its first crown against STC via shootout, 2-0, with Jen Cabatingan and Alex Gumilao scoring the penalties. STC topped the league-type elimination round with 13 points, while Ateneo was second at 11.

The other members of the Ateneo team are Trisha Fortuna, Kassandra Gillamac, Rae Tolentino, Talitha Chua, Kim Jooyin, Kyla Megio, Meriel de Leon, Allysa Preston, Aiyance Cecila, Isabel Ferol and Nicole Ruiz.

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