Guam – The Harvest Christian Academy Eagles showed their high cards early, winning the gold championship of the Inaugural Guam Football Association Challenge Cup, a pre-season tournament for the IIAAG Girls High School Soccer League.
The Eagles defeated the Okkodo High School Bulldogs 1-0 in the finals behind a goal from Felicia Alumbaugh, who scored twice for her team during the double bracket tournament at the GFA facility in Harmon yesterday.
The Eagles’ road to the finals wasn’t easy, as the team first faced the John F. Kennedy High School Islanders, eventual runner up in the Silver Championship. Harvest blanked the Islanders 2-0 with goals from Phoebe Minato and Alicia Benavente to move into the next round against league runner up from last season, the Notre Dame Royals. The Eagles snuck past Notre Dame 1-0 on an Alumbaugh goal.
Okkodo also braved through some tough games both mentally and physically, first defeating the Academy of Our Lady of Guam Cougars 2-1 on penalty kicks. Three Academy shots missed the goal and another was blocked by the Bulldogs goalkeeper, Chyna Ramirez. Ramirez, who has trained as the U16 Girls’ National Team goalkeeper, also was one of the two successful players from Okkodo to get shots past the Academy goalkeeper. Okkodo then proceeded to defeat the St. John’s Knights also on penalty kicks – this time 3-1 – as the Bulldogs found a gem in Ramirez defending their goal through two games and two penalty kick shootouts to get to the final game of the night.
Other schools participating in the tournament included last year’s league champions, the Guam High School Panthers and the Simon Sanchez High School Sharks.
[Harvest Christian Academy’s Felicia Alumbaugh beats a John F. Kennedy High School defender and sends a pass to her teammate to carry the ball upfield in a preliminary round match of the Inaugural Guam Football Association Challenge Cup – a pre-season tournament to the IIAAG High School Girls’ Soccer League Thursday at the GFA facility in Harmon.]
The official IIAAG league begins tomorrow at various host venues. Final playoff games are scheduled for May at the GFA facility.