Guam – Defending champions St. John’s Knights will have a crack at a consecutive IIAAG Boys High School Soccer League title when the team takes on the Southern High School Dolphins 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the Guam Football Association National Training Center in Harmon.
The Knights upended the Father Duenas Memorial School Friars 7-1 to earn their berth in the finals against the Dolphins, who had earlier beat the George Washington High School Geckos 6-0.
The Knights’ T.J. Atalig opened scoring in the 25th minute following up on a shot FD goalkeeper Jerome Artero tried to punch out in front of the goal. Six minutes later, Atalig found a clear shot following a run on the right side to give his team a 2-0 advantage. Atalig completed a hat trick in the 34th minute, getting past Artero, who attempted a slide tackle to try to stop the ball at Atalig’s foot.
[Southern High School’s Austin Cruz tries to get around George Washington High School defenders Kristian Martinez and Kent Ono (partially hidden) during a semifinal match of the IIAAG Boys High School Soccer League Tuesday at the Guam Football Association National Training Center. Cruz scored once in Southern’s 6-0 win over GW]
FD’s Kristian Cruz prevented a St. John’s clean sheet in the 38th minute after going one-on-one with All-Island first-team goalkeeper Reed Meyer for the 3-1 halftime score.
The Knights’ Devin Hua extended his team’s lead to 4-1 in the 51st minute and seven minutes later, a Friars’ hand ball violation in the box turned into another goal for the Knights when Cedric Sevilla successfully converted the ensuing penalty kick. The Knights’ Jon Odell and Kai Frenay added a pair of goals in the 66th and 78th minutes, respectively, for the final 7-1 score.
[The St. John’s School Knights’ T.J. Atalig (center) keeps his eyes on the ball on a run toward the goal in a IIAAG Boys High School Soccer League semifinal match against the Father Duenas Memorial School Friars Tuesday at the Guam Football Association National Training Center. Atalig scored a hat trick in less than 10 minutes in the first half to help his team defeat the Friars 7-1]
In the day’s other semifinal match, the Dolphins’ Austin Cruz broke the scoring ice early, taking a pass from teammate Nick Roberto in the 7th minute for the 1-0 lead. Cruz later assisted teammate Napu Topasna’s goal in the 22nd minute, sprinting toward the goal line to save the ball. Cruz managed to pass the ball back to Topasna, who sent in his shot past GW keeper Joaquin Sanchez. Fifteen minutes later, Cruz found Roberto, who darted up the left side and scored the Dolphins’ final goal before the halftime whistle.
Jason Miller opened scoring in the second half, sending in a long-distance shot that sailed over Sanchez’s outstretched arms and into the goal. Topasna scored his second goal of the game in the 67th minute after colliding with Sanchez, who was trying to secure the ball off a Cruz shot from the right side. The Dolphins’ Eddie Lee Lorenzo added one more goal to Southern’s tally in the 74th minute for the 6-0 final score.
The Geckos and Friars will face each other for third place Saturday at 4:30 p.m. at the GFA National Training Center, before the Knights and Dolphins play for the championship title at 6:30 p.m. Admission to watch the games is $2 for students and $5 for adults.