Published on February 18th, 2014 | by DLSU Sports0
Lady Booters hapless against a much-improved UP team
A three-goal deficit with just an hour of football left to play was just too much for the Lady Booters to overcome as the resurgent UP Lady Maroons avenged their opening-day defeat to La Salle with a 3-1 win on the last day of the UAAP Women’s Football elimination round.
Despite falling on the wrong end of a 3-0 score line, the Lady Booters could have even scored three goals themselves if not for a mix of bad luck and superb defending by the Lady Maroons. Megan Diaz had a couple of good chances but both attempts were ill-struck. Fellow sophomore Regine Metillo hit the frame of the goal in the dying minutes of the first half—a period when the girls from Diliman made it a lot difficult for DLSU.
If La Salle squandered their chances, the girls from UP did not. Improving drastically after the appointment of Anto Gonzales as their coach, they deservedly took the lead in the 16th minute with Mary Obra putting the ball on the far post of Inna Palacios’ goal as the La Salle keeper went forward and attempted to narrow the shot’s angle. UP was pressing the La Salle back line moments before the first goal and they kept on doing so. Still, the Lady Booters kept on pushing for an equalizer with one of Diaz’s chances coming in between the two UP goals in the first half. The second goal came from Molly Manalansan who fired a scorching shot that went beyond Palacios’ reach.
In the second half, UP and La Salle played end-to-end football but both defences stood firm for the first ten minutes. Unfortunately for the girls in green, UP scored their third via Kali Huff who coolly picked her spot as she was left alone with only Palacios to beat. The Malditas custodian was helpless as the former Poveda standout made no mistake from around 10 yards, putting UP comfortably ahead 3-0.
Five minutes later, the Lady Booters’ persistence on the attacking end rewarded them with a goal. Rookie Nicole Andaya headed the ball in off Diaz’s corner to give her team a glimmer of hope of nabbing at least a draw. But it was not to be the Lady Booters’ day as UP held on to seal a 3-1 win and send Coach Hans Smit’s ladies down to fifth place.
Lady Booters captain Adrianne Yniguez had an emotional day as she played her last 90 minutes with the team she was part of for five years. The only surviving member of DLSU’s last UAAP-winning side, Yniguez has been thankful for her colorful UAAP career. “I can tell everyone that I went through it all. Not all athletes can say that,” tells Yniguez who has been a champion, a beaten finalist twice, and a member of a team that finished at the bottom in her time with the Lady Booters. “I’m bummed to have finished in last place but I am thankful that I can take this with me later on. After football in La Salle, I can say that I’m a much stronger person,” she utters with fulfillment.
Coach Hans Smit, meanwhile, cannot help but express his frustration on his team’s paltry performance this season. This was the first time since the inception of women’s football in the UAAP that the Lady Booters ended in last place. “I’m just glad that it’s over,” said La Salle’s long-time mentor.
Both teams were already knocked out of finals contention prior to kick-off.