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Hopwood cruises to easy title win

Updated: Nov 26, 2021

Hopwood Middle School topped the boys division of the 2021-2022 NMIFA Interscholastic Soccer League after dominating Saipan International School in the finals, 7-0, last Friday at the NMI Soccer Training Center in Koblerville.

Mark Costales and Tyler Omelau led Hopwood’s easy title victory after scoring two goals apiece, while Paul Lizama and Izeah Jolo chipped in one apiece.

Costales handed Hopwood its first goal early when he converted his shot in the sixth minute. Hopwood went on to stretch the advantage to 4-0 at halftime break as SIS continued to fire blanks. Costales got his second goal in the 20th, while Omar and Lizama delivered in the 16th and 19th minute to boost Hopwood’s title bid.

At the resumption of the game, Hopwood was still on target, while SIS failed to get out of slump to settle for the runner-up honors. Jolo made it a 5-0 lead for Hopwood in the 35th minute, while Omelau closed out for the Hilitais in the 41st.

The shutout win over SIS completed Hopwood’s perfect season. The Hilitais swept their three matches in pool play, beating SIS, Tanapag Middle School, and Mt. Carmel School in Group A. With the unbeaten record in the preliminaries, Hopwood was pitted against Saipan Community School in the semis and won convincingly, 8-0, to notch the semis berth at the top half of the draw.

At the bottom half, the No. 2 seed SIS stunned Group B top-ranked Francisco M. Sablan Middle School in the semis after escaping with a 1-0 win in the penalty shootout to reach the finals. FMS went on to finish third in the competition, as it prevailed over SCS in the consolation match (7-1) that was also played last Friday.

Jerome Mettao drained four goals for FMS, while Jose Maratita contributed two, and Christian Lucero added one.

Meanwhile, Hopwood’s Mark Costales received the Golden Boot award in the competition after collecting 12 goals this season. He scored in all of Hopwood’s five games, logging three apiece in their 8-1 pool play win over Mt. Carmel School and in their semis victory against SCS. Costales is the only player in the league to tally goals in double figures, as the second best scorer in the league—his teammate Lizama—registered only eight goals. Mettao, Jolo, and Omelau are tied for third with seven goals apiece.

Published by Saipan Tribune - Oct 12 2021


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