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Dolphins win title on Lubao’s goal

Marianas High School senior Brian Lubao scored the winning goal in the Dolphins’ 1-0 win against Saipan Southern High School in the NMIFA-PSS Interscholastic Soccer League championship game last Tuesday.

Competition was tough as both the Dolphins and Manta Rays had a hard time making their way through the field in the first half at the Northern Mariana Islands Soccer Training Center in Koblerville.

Lubao made several attempts at the goal, with one attempt not counted due to it being scored offside—as he was past the last Manta Ray defender. But finally, in the 36th minute of the second half, a goal attempt by Lubao stuck, which was the eventual winning goal for the Dolphins.

With that, Lubao was awarded the Golden Boot for scoring 18 goals which was the most goals of the season and is also the championship game’s most valuable player.

Along with Lubao, Mark Costales, Anthony Bergancia, Dylan Mister, Chanyang Woo, Jerald Aquino, Leland Deleon Guerrero, Andrew Sablan, Daniell Mar Pablo, and Cody Shimizu make up the championship team.

The graduating 18-year-old told Saipan Tribune that “scoring the winning goal was very rewarding for me as I had many chances to score but I couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net. Also, I could tell how important this goal was for [the team] because we were struggling to get a goal in the first half. Therefore, being the individual to score the winning goal feels great.”

Since the beginning of the season, he said that the team wanted to win the championship this year and “being able to accomplish this goal was fulfilling.”

As for winning the Golden Boot and the MVP award, the U20 National Team soccer player said, “It was nice winning the Golden Boot for the season. I would like to thank my teammates and coach Don [Cabrera] for giving me this opportunity to perform [at] this level. It wasn’t my goal to win the Golden Boot, but [after] noticing my performance each game, I knew I had the potential of winning this award.”

Third place went to Saipan International School after defeating Mount Carmel School, 2-0, in the bronze medal game before the finals. Ian Song scored the first goal in the 29th minute and the second goal was made by Casey Chambers in the 43rd minute.

Published by Saipan Tribune - Dec 15 2022


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