KOBLERVILLE Elementary School 2 won the 2020-2021 NMIFA-PSS Interscholastic Soccer League championship by plowing through Saipan Community School, 6-2, on Thursday at the NMI Soccer Training Center.
Last year’s runner-up, KoES 2 established control right from the start with nonstop offensive pressure and countless shot opportunities. The Umangs were soon rewarded with a goal after Jose Maratita found the back of the net.
The SCS Tsunamis tried to turn the momentum around but could only hold the possession for a brief moment before the Umangs swiped the ball away. Two more goals were then added by KoES 2’s Jairoh Guilas at the 16th and 20+1 minute marks to stretch the Umang gap, 3-0.
KoES 2 remained ascendent in the second half.
The Umangs picked up where they left off with Maratita completing the hat-trick with two consecutive goals at the 22nd and 23rd minute marks while Selena Atalig added a goal at 30th minute mark to give KoES 2 a decisive 6-0 lead.
But SCS was not going down without a fight.
Jose Sablan showed that size did not matter at all in soccer. As soon as he entered the field, Sablan never stopped moving and as soon as he created an opening, fired his shot and connected at the 38th minute mark to give his team its first goal.
He did not stop there as he found the back of the net once more during the 40+2 minute mark before KoES 2 claimed the championship, 6-2.
In an interview, KoES 2 head coach Francis Mendiola said: “First of all, I would like to say that I am most proud of our students for putting their time, effort, and heart into each game they played. Their dedication to represent our school is one key factor that I believe led to our success. The Umangs’ school culture is filled with a spirit of competitiveness but at the same time we stay humble in all the sports we participate in. With this short season and with two different cohorts, it was difficult to have consistent practice times but they all put their trust in one another to deliver their best during game time. Another key factor was their ability to listen to their coaches’ advice and strategies then executing them on the field. This would not have been possible without the support of my co-coach Mr. Joe Etpison, the parents, our KoES alumni, and school staff for taking their time to show their support in their own way. We would like to take this opportunity as well to thank the NMI Football Association and the Public School System athletic program director, Mr. Nick Gross, for coordinating this season. The work that they do continues to help build strong communities on our island.”
Jose Maratita won the Golden Boot Award with a total of 17 goals while SCS' Jose Sablan was named the Most Valuable Player.
In the battle for third place, KoES 1 outscored Saipan International School 7-2.
After a strong 2-0 lead thanks to KoES 1's Kian Estolas and Jerz Navarro, the Umangs added five more goals in the second half. They committed only one error when they scored into their own goal which handed SIS a free point.