Guam – The Guam women’s national football team currently is in a training camp at LeoPalace up until Saturday. During the camp, the team will
play the second of two exhibition matches on Thursday.
The Thursday match will pit the national team vs. the Rovers FC Masters team. The community is invited to watch and there is no admission fee.
Based on consistency and impact during training sessions and performance during exhibition games, women’s national football team coaches Elias Merfalen and Brett Maluwelmeng will make their final cut for 18 coveted spots on the roster for the upcoming East Asian Football Championship preliminary round next month.
Merfalen said there are currently 24 potential team members and the final cut for the official 18-player roster will be made closer to the EAFF tournament, scheduled for July 17 – 23 at LeoPalace. The women vying for the 18 spots currently are in a five-day training camp at LeoPalace.
“The purpose of the training camp and exhibition matches during the training camp is to really get all the women accustomed to the team’s overall playing style for the July tournament,” Merfalen, the first-year national team head coach, said. “The two exhibition matches we have scheduled are opportunities for the women to apply all the drills they practice during training sessions in actual games. Performance during exhibition games is a great way for us coaches to evaluate each player not only on technical skill developed, but also decision-making in real-game scenarios.
“The camp also is a way for the women to get better acquainted with each other off the pitch, as this plays a big part of the team gelling on the pitch,” Merfalen added.
[ The Guam Women’s National Football team captain Anjelica Perez (No. 23) battles to stay in control of the ball against Julie Mages of the Bud Light Women’s Soccer League All-Stars during an exhibition game Tuesday at LeoPalace Resort Guam. The women’s national team defeated the All-Stars 7-1.]
The women’s national team will play the second of two exhibition matches during the camp on Thursday evening at LeoPalace. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. against the Rovers FC Masters team. The community is invited to watch the game.
The women’s national team won its first exhibition match last night against the Bud Light Women’s Soccer League All-Stars 7-1. The All-Stars team was composed of standouts during the league and former national team players, including some from the 2003 South Pacific Games silver medal-winning team. The only player from that medal-winning team still vying for a spot on the final roster for the July tournament is Kristin Thompson. Thompson had been selected to play for the women’s team in 2003 after she had graduated from Harvest Christian Academy that year and continued since then with the national team.
In last night’s game, Paige Surber, the IIAAG Girls High School League MVP and an incoming senior at Southern High School, erupted for a hat trick by the 32nd minute of play, as the women’s national team went to halftime with a 4-0 lead. Anjelica Perez scored the other goal for the women in the first half.
The All-Stars were not able to get a goal against the women’s national team until the 70th minute when Gabby Evaristo made a good run up the left side and beat national team keeper Jena Cruz near the goal.
Second-half goal scorers for the women’s national team were Analejsia Lee, Andrea Odell and Abbey Iriarte.
The women’s national team training camp is supported in large part by team donors: LeoPalace Resort Guam, Shirley’s Coffee Shop, Commercial Tire Depot, First Hawaiian Bank, Jamaican Grill, Quality Distributors, Coast360, Pacific Cooling Solutions, and Paradise Auto Spa, in addition to Guam Football Association corporate sponsors Budweiser, Guam Shipyard, Chevrolet, IT&E, and Ladera Tower.
The training camp will conclude Saturday, after which the final roster will be announced.