For the third consecutive year, the DLSU Women’s Football Team has earned a finals appearance as they drew against the FEU Lady Tamaraws, 0-0, yesterday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium. It was the women team’s first draw result since Season 78, after sweeping the entire campaign last year.
La Salle finished the elimination round with five wins, one draw, and two losses, giving them a total of 16 points at second place, behind the league-leading UST Golden Tigresses. Since there are only five schools competing in the women’s division, only the top two teams will move on to the next round, which is a winner-takes-all championship match.
“Lousy. They haven’t picked up for the last, I don’t know how many games. It’s a sure championship for UST. It’s up to them I told them. We started on the wrong foot already, bad omen and all that sh*t,” head coach Hans Smit shared after the match.
Smit also stated that some of his players in the starting 11 are not even playing in their usual positions as the team is now stretched due to injuries and the sitting out of the Castañeda sisters in this campaign.
With their season hanging in the balance, the FEU Lady Tamaraws were determined to extend their Season 80 campaign with a win. The Lady Tamaraws started the match with a lot of intensity and hugged most of the possession.
FEU starting striker Rhescy Bejic was the closest player to breaking the deadlock as she found an opportunity to score early on inside the box. Bejic’s shot from close range missed as the ball just curled across the bottom right corner.
La Salle’s only chance in the opening 45 minutes came from Irish Navaja. The right midfielder took a free kick near the right edge of the box but her attempt went over the bar for a goal kick. The chances for the defending champions were limited as they struggled to unlock the solid defense of the Lady Tamaraws and gain possession.
Navaja opened the second half with a shot attempt outside the box after receiving a long pass from Nicole Andaya but her effort completely missed the target. In the following possession, FEU’s team captain, Jovelle Sudaria, had her weak shot easily collected by La Salle’s goalkeeper, Tashka Lacson.
Both teams went to a water break at the 60’ mark of the match and two minutes later, Kyla Inquig showcased her skills as she breezed past the FEU defenders. The reigning Most Valuable Player dribbled her way inside the box and found Bea Delos Reyes in the middle but the rookie’s shot went out for a goal kick.
Three minutes later, Janna Barcemo and Andaya combined well to generate a shot on target but it did not yield a goal as FEU’s goalkeeper, Kimberly Parina stayed composed and kept a clean sheet. On the other side of the pitch, Lacson got her fifth clean sheet of the season as she denied Sudaria two more times before the final whistle. Lacson has now bettered her predecessor, Inna Palacios, as the latter only kept four shutouts in their title-winning campaign last year.
The DLSU Women’s Football Team will aim for a second straight championship on April 5 as they battle against the UST Golden Tigresses.