After primarily being utilized as DLSU Football’s catalyst off the bench in 2016, Kyra Dimaandal has established herself as the team’s lead striker in UAAP Season 79. There was much concern in the preseason as La Salle had lost Shannon Arthur to another torn ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament). Arthur was last season’s co-Golden Boot Awardee along with midfielder Sara Castaneda.
After last season’s heartbreaking loss to the UP Lady Maroons in the finals, the striker is determined to take back the women’s football title to Taft. Dimaandal has come a long way, especially after tearing her ACL on two occasions.
She appears to be mixed on her post injury performance so far, as she explained. “Yes [I’m pleased] that I’m able to get a bit of my groove back. No, because I can do better. Its just that I have some lapses and considering we’ve been playing for how many weeks, yung injuries naiiwasan. That’s one thing that holds me back from being at my peak.”
In the preseason, La Salle participated in the Philippine Football Federation Women’s League (PFF WL). The tournament is currently on hold to make way for the UAAP, the primary tournament of the Green-and-White. The Lasallians are currently undefeated in the PFF WL after six games and currently sit atop of the standings. With utmost composure on the attacking end of the pitch, Dimaandal has been able to pester defenders and notch nine goals to her name.
The striker and the team’s spectacular form have carried on to the UAAP. La Salle remains undefeated after three games and has carried on its winning streak from the preseason. The team from Taft opened its season in style, defeating the Lady Maroons, UST Golden Tigresses, and ADMU Lady Eagles.
“We’re starting to get our groove. Since our first game, we’ve been really trying to build up and try new combinations,” she says in her assessment of the recent games. “Its good [that] the others are able to give what coach [Hans Smit] is expecting and we hope that we can still do better because we still have lapses,” she added.
A team effort
The Biology Major has found the back of the net on four occasions in the UAAP so far, highlighted by a brace versus UST. Dimaandal has etched her name on the goalscorers’ list in every game so far since the opening day of the PFF WL.
On her goal scoring prowess so far, the junior gave credit to her teammates, saying, “It’s really the team who’s giving me this streak. Actually, I’m not thinking about it. What’s important is that we have this winning streak going so that we have good momentum [for the coming games].” Dimaandal continues, saying, “I think the crowd portrays that I’m the finisher. They [my teammates] are the ones who are feeding me. I’m just there to tap it in and they’re the one’s who should be praised.
With the Lasallians almost halfway into their campaign, she emphasized that communication will be vital in sustaining their drive to the elusive championship. “It’s important to have communication in the team. Once someone breaks down, everyone breaks down. It’s really a [large] effect if one person is down.”
DLSU will resume its campaign versus the FEU Lady Tamaraws on Saturday, March 11, at 3 pm in the Rizal Memorial Stadium.