SAIPAN International School outplayed Koblerville Elementary School 1, 4-1, to win the NMIFA-PSS Interscholastic Soccer League Elementary School Division championship Wednesday at the NMI Soccer Training Center.
For the first five minutes of the game, both teams went head to head, filling the field with back-and-forth action.
SIS, however, played more aggressively. And soon enough, the Geckos’ persistency paid off when they brought the ball deep within enemy territory. The KoES 1 Umangs committed an error during the scuffle, scoring in their own goal to give SIS a one-point lead.
In the second half, SIS kept the momentum burning. This time it was Juwon Lee who made the highlight reel, ably handling the ball under pressure as he slithered through to find the back of the net at the 21st minute mark.
When the Geckos broke through the Umangs’ line of defense once again, Lee delivered SIS’s third goal.
Leading 3-0, the Geckos tried to take more shots, but with each attempt, KoES 1 goalie Leon Duenas threw the ball over the SIS frontline to open up shot opportunities for the Umangs
At the 32nd minute mark, KoES 1’s Eleazir Mettao followed through with the transition play, tapping the ball twice to slip past SIS goalie Beatrice Gross and deliver the Umangs’ first — and last — goal.
SIS’s Quido Jambor retaliated a minute later to seal the Geckos’ 4-1 victory and clinch the championship.
For fending off several shots and keeping KoES 1 at bay, SIS goalie Beatrice Gross was named the Finals Most Valuable Player.
For his part, Garapan Elementary School's Jazzroy Villagomez, the league’s top scorer with 29 goals, received the Golden Boot Award.