Guam – Some speed, accuracy, a hint of desperation and a bit of drama were the ingredients in the Rovers FC Royal’s 4-3 victory over the Paintco Strykers to cap its undefeated run in the Bud Light Masters Co-Ed Soccer League Saturday at the Guam Football Association facility in Harmon.
Although the Rovers FC Royal already clinched the championship title a few weeks ago, the win against the Strykers in its final match of the inaugural league – albeit a narrow victory – further solidified the team’s season invincibility.
The Rovers FC Royal needed close to 30 minutes of play to secure its first goal when Byung Choi connected on a blocked pass from teammate Ian Lawton intended for Kristin Thompson and sent the ball toward the left post for the score.
[The Rovers FC Royal’s Kristin Thompson and the Paintco Strykers Marfil Doronila fight for possession of the ball in a match of the Bud Light Masters Co-Ed Soccer League Saturday at the Guam Football Association facility in Harmon. The Rovers FC Royal defeated the Strykers 4-3.]
The Strykers got on board about eight minutes later when a long pass toward the goal drew out Rovers FC Royal’s goalkeeper George Stewart. The Strykers’ Chul Park was able to win the ball past Stewart and easily trotted toward the empty goal for the early game equalizer.
Park came through again for his team three minutes later, this time running up the right side for his shot on goal, giving the Strykers a 2-1 first-half edge.
The Rovers FC Royal tied the contest early in the second half after Lawton sent in a shot on goal after taking the ball from the Strykers’ Julio Gonzales. The Strykers’ goalkeeper William Dunn was there to initially stop the shot, but could not get a complete grip on the ball, allowing the point for the Rovers FC Royal. Lawton struck again about 10 minutes later, this time running the ball up the right side for his shot to regain the lead for his team.
Despite losing its first-half edge over the Rovers FC Royal, the Strykers weren’t done. The Strykers’ Kim Sherman connected on a corner kick play midway through the second half to knot the contest for the third time.
Both teams continued to eagerly fight to stop any game-winning goal, committing a few defensive infractions in the last few minutes of play. The Rovers FC Royal’s opportunity came in the 83rd minute when Thompson used her speed to take the ball toward the goal. As soon as she entered the penalty box, she took a bump from the Strykers’ Chan Sik Park that sent her tumbling along the turf, prompting a whistle on the play.
After a brief tirade, the Rovers FC Royal set up the ball for Thompson’s penalty kick, which she sent toward the left post for the eventual game-winning goal.
In the evening’s earlier game, the Rovers FC Gold blanked the Toyota 4Runners 7-0, led by two goals each from Randy Allen and Alexy Barbe. Stephen Grantham, Pedro Marmolejo, and Eladio Manansala each added goals to the Rovers FC Gold’s tally.
Following the matches, the 4Runners were awarded the league’s Fair Play Award boasting the least number of cards during the season. The Rovers FC Royal’s Take Inoue was distinguished as the league’s Golden Boot winner. The Rovers FC Gold took home the second-place trophy and their Royal counterparts accepted the championship trophy.