In its UAAP Season 79 opener, the DLSU Women’s Football Team defeated last season’s champions, the UP Lady Maroons, 2-1. La Salle showed dominance in the opening half where several goal attempts were made. A stunning goal by Kyra Dimaandal at the 45+1’ mark gave the team its first goal of the season.
Meanwhile, DLSU added another goal to its lead three minutes after coming in the second half from a free kick courtesy of Kyla Inquig. Angeliza Sta. Clara of UP, on the other hand, scored at the 54’ mark giving the team its first and only goal of the game. Nevertheless, the team from Taft clinched the match with a 2-1 win.
First half opportunities
DLSU started the game with high spirits as it challenged UP’s defense early on. A shot-on-target by Nina Arrieta was made at the fourth minute, but was deflected by a Lady Maroon. Four minutes later, it was UP’s turn to score. The ball, however, went straight to the hands of DLSU’s goalkeeper, Inna Palacios. Two corners for the Lasallians were unsuccessful at the 11th and 16th minute, with Nicole Andaya and Mariell Tejada getting called for fouls.
The Lady Maroons were sent scrambling at the 26th minute as Irish Navaja stole the ball to make a cross to Arrieta, but unfortunately for DLSU, the ball was tackled away from the net. The closest chance for a UP goal in the first half was at the 29th minute as three attempts were made, but all were deflected by La Salle’s defenders.
Another opportunity presented itself for the Lasallians as a free kick from Sara Castañeda hit the wall and the follow up that was on target was blocked by UP’s goalkeeper, Vanessa Estrada, at the last second. La Salle continued to dominate with several scoring opportunities, but came up empty until a tremendous long shot from Andaya was saved by Estrada. The latter fumbled the ball as Dimaandal tapped it home at the 45+1’ mark to give La Salle a 1-0 lead.
Thrilling second half
Coming into the second half, Inquig was awarded a free kick from the left wing at the 48th minute. With no difficulty, she slotted the ball to the top corner giving La Salle its second goal in the game. The Lady Maroons tried to close in with a cross two minutes after conceding the second goal, but were denied by Meryll Ledesma.
A yellow card was then presented to DLSU’s Andaya as she was called for a foul against UP’s Christina Delos Reyes. The free kick at the 54’ mark that was awarded to the Lady Maroons was utilized as Sta. Clara’s follow up shot flew to the top corner of the net to trim the DLSU lead to a lone goal. Momentum shifted to UP as attempts by Blessie Perez and Claudia Mendoza had the Lasallian defense scrambling.
A Lady Maroon went against Palacios at the 73’ mark, as she slipped through La Salle’s defense and fired wide. Meanwhile, a minute after, Chelo Hodges breezed through UP’s defense to face off with Estrada as she sent the ball over the crossbar. DLSU struggled in the final minutes, while the team from Katipunan failed to capitalize on two free kicks.
Despite the win, coach Hans Smit was not pleased with the team’s performance. “They’re not playing the way they are supposed to. Too many mental lapses.” He explained that it may be a result from rust as La Salle did not play any games for over a month. “At least we were insured with two goals, that helped a bit. But mentally, they [the girls] are not prepared yet.”
DLSU will square off with UST for its second game in the season on Sunday, February 26, at 6 pm at the same venue.