The DLSU Women’s Football Team remained on top once again after beating the UST Golden Tigresses, 2-1, earlier today at the Rizal Memorial Stadium. Kyla Inquig bagged a brace as she found the back of the net in the 12th and 80th minutes of the match. Shelah Cadag scored UST’s only goal at the 22’ mark in a losing effort.
It was another championship for head coach Hans Smit with the women’s team and he stated that this team was special because, despite the injury issues that the team has faced the entire season, it was still able to defend its title and beat the league-leading Tigresses in the finals.
“It’s all about attitude and character,” Smit added.
The match started with a lot of intensity as both teams came out prepared for the final match of Season 80. Charisa Lemoran fired UST’s first shot attempt in the first minute but her efforts did not yield a goal. The following minute, Hazel Lustan took the Golden Tigresses’ first free kick of the match but it did not trouble La Salle’s goalkeeper, Tashka Lacson.
At the 6’ mark of the match, Irish Navaja ran down the right wing and attempted a left-footed shot but it just went wide for a goal kick. A couple of minutes later, Nicole Andaya whipped a cross from the left wing but Kyra Dimaandal was not able to capitalize on the scoring chance generated by the graduating player.
The deadlock was finally broken in the 12th minute courtesy of a brilliant free kick from Inquig. The reigning Most Valuable Player took a free kick near the left side of the penalty box and the ball curled to the top right corner of the goal, leaving Nicole Reyes no chance of keeping a clean sheet in the finals.
Despite getting the lead early on, La Salle still continued to push for another goal with Shannon Arthur leading the way. The former Rookie of the Year attempted a shot outside the box in the 19th minute but her long-range effort was blocked by a UST defender. Three minutes later, Cadag found the back of the net to equalize the scoreline. Inquig’s pass to a teammate was intercepted by the Golden Tigresses and the ball was quickly given to Lemoran who produced a perfectly placed through ball for Cadag. The striker was on-side and breezed past the La Salle backline to stun Lacson with a quick finish.
In the last 11 minutes of the first half, both Lacson and Reyes were tested but they calmly kept the match at 1-1 with stunning saves on both ends of the pitch.
La Salle kicked off the second half but it was Lemoran who quickly took the spotlight with a great individual play inside the box. She was able to get inside the box with relative ease but her shot attempt near the goal just crossed across the goal.
The match remained at 1-1 until the 80th minute as Inquig finally scored the winner after her shot attempt outside the box went straight into the left corner of the goal. Andaya dribbled her way down the left wing and cut inside but lost the ball after she was swarmed by the UST players. Inquig was the quickest to react as she picked up the loose ball and fired away with no hesitation.
“What’s wonderful about this girl is she’s self-taught. She only learned real football when she got in. I’m very glad I got her. It’s very hard to replace her,” Smit shared after the game.
After the match, four players received an award after their outstanding play all season long. Bea Delos Reyes won Rookie of the Year, Lacson was named the Best Goalkeeper, Arthur earned Best Midfielder, and Inquig won her second straight Most Valuable Player award.