Guam – A strong bond among teammates played a huge factor in the ASC Trust Islanders Betde’s U17 championship title defense in the Docomo Pacific Robbie Webber Youth Soccer League at the Guam Football Association National Training Center.
The defending champions soundly defeated the Wings FC 4-2 in Saturday’s finale.
[The Wings Red’s goalkeeper Joseph Cho chases down the ASC Trust Islanders Betde’s Phillip Ogo in the U17 championship match of the Docomo Pacific Robbie Webber Youth Soccer League at the Guam Football Association National Training Center. The Islanders Betde successfully defended the team’s championship title with a 4-2 win over the Wings Red.]
“It feels really good to help bring my team to the top again,” said 16-year-old Phillip Ogo, who has played with most of the same teammates in the youth league for years. “We’re one team, one family. That’s how it’s been.”
[The Southern Cobras’ Jay Cruz beats the Wings Black goalkeeper on a follow-up shot for goal in a U17 division match of the Docomo Pacific Robbie Webber Youth Soccer League at the Guam Football Association National Training Center. The Cobras edged the Wings 6-5 to claim third place in the division.]
The John F. Kennedy High School student led the Islanders Betde’s scoring charge with a hat trick. Ogo scored the lone goal in the first half after drawing out Wings Red keeper Joseph Cho and shooting into an empty goal. The Wings Red managed to equalize on a shot from Isiah Lagutang early in the second half, but it was déjà vu moments later with Cho chasing Ogo outside of the box. Ogo broke away and took a shot in the empty goal to regain the lead for his team at 2-1.
[The Wings FC’s Jordan Jasmin takes a shot for goal against the Strykers in the championship match of the U14 division of the Docomo Pacific Robbie Webber Youth Soccer League at the Guam Football Association National Training Center. The Wings FC successfully defended its title with a 3-2 win over the Strykers.]
Later, a handball infraction right outside the penalty box cost the Wings, as Ogo’s free kick sailed into the goal. Minutes later, Ryan Quitugua extended the Islanders’ lead to 4-1 with just five minutes left on the clock. The Wings’ Agustin Choi managed a second goal in the closing minutes, but time expired before his team could attempt a comeback.
[Quality Distributors FC’s Carlo Bilong puts his arms up in celebration after scoring a goal in a U8 Grassroots Jamboree activity at the Guam Football Association National Training Center.]
For the Islanders Betde’s 17-year-old defender Joshua Mendiola, winning the U17 championship fittingly capped all his years playing in the youth league.
“I really enjoyed playing in the youth league because I got to play together with all my friends,” said the Okkodo High School student, who reached the youth league age cap and played in his final match for the Islanders. “It feels really good to end the season with all my friends celebrating a win together.”
In the battle for third place, the Southern Cobras edged the Wings Black 6-5 with four goals from Donovan Reyes. Keith Surber and Jay Cruz also scored for the Cobras. Xavier Kirksey scored twice for Wings Black and teammates Daniel Del Carmen, Sean Evans and Toy Matsushita also scored.
The Wings ruled the U14 division with a 3-2 win over the Strykers for its second championship title this year. Jordan Jasmin scored a pair of goals early in the first half and a second half penalty kick from Takumi Ito was the eventual game winner. Xavier Naputi scored both goals for the Strykers.
[The MWR Barracudas and the Wings FC U6 teams play in a Grassroots Jamboree match of the Docomo Pacific Robbie Webber Youth Soccer League at the Guam Football Association National Training Center.]
Community First Dededo Soccer Club claimed third place in the division with a 3-2 win over the Islanders Betde. Kennedy Macatuno, Arnold Torres, and Michael De Leon scored for Dededo. Devan Mendiola and Caylani Estoy scored for the Islanders.
For all other teams in the younger age categories, Saturday was GFA Grassroots Jamboree day, with fast, back-to-back scrimmages, and an activity station mixed in the fun. The Strykers’ Samuel Quan and Kidman Florencio both partook in their final Jamboree and will move up to the U14 division next year.
“I look forward to the U14 division, I want to challenge the older kids in teams that’ll be hard to beat,” said Florencio, a 12-year-old student at Guam Adventist Academy.
“I also look forward to playing in the U14 division – I have other friends on the team,” added Quan, a 12-year-old student St. John’s School.
On Jamboree day, youth clubs traditionally stage celebratory fiestas for club players, coaches and parents, and recognize players for their achievements during the 10-week-long league. The youth league teams will return to the pitch in February.