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Tatagas get curtain call in middle school soccer

The lights are off over the final act of the middle school soccer season, with Tanapag Middle School 1 getting the curtain call after their win against Saipan International School, 3-1, in the 2022-2023 NMIFA-PSS Interscholastic Soccer League last Thursday at the NMI Soccer Training Center in Koblerville.

In a stunning championship game, the Tatagas powered through an evenly matched opponent, with the Geckos coming in undefeated as well, through the rainy and gloomy late afternoon.

The drizzle came lightly but constantly and blanketed the field with a wet sheen that each player had to traverse carefully or risk slipping and falling, which was hard to do considering they were sprinting to and fro. Nevertheless, cheers were heard during every attack toward either team’s goal, with the Geckos’ Leonard Delemarle drawing first blood just six minutes into the game.

Four minutes later, the Tatagas’ Jayten Villagomez scored their first goal to make it an even 1-1 game. The stage was set as the Geckos couldn’t stick their feet to the ball long enough to reclaim the lead, giving the Tatagas an opportunity to steal it away in the 18th minute with a goal made by Javen Camacho.

The first half came and went with the Geckos unable to make it past the Tatagas’ defenders for a score of 2-1, TMS in the lead—with the championship trophy looming in the distance.

The Geckos fought until the very last second but try as they might to push the ball into Tatagas territory, their defenders hampered every attempt at the goal. A few shots were taken at the Tatagas’ net but were either too wide or they were interrupted by a defender.

Then, in the 33rd minute, Villagomez scored his second goal and the third and final point of the match to claim the victory over the Geckos, 3-1.

In the end, the Tatagas claimed the gold while the Geckos settled for silver. During the awarding ceremony after the game, the Golden Boot award went to Javen Camacho who had the most goals of the season with 16. The finals Most Valuable Player went to Jayten Villagomez who scored two of the three TMS goals.

The path that led to the championships for the Tatagas was an undefeated one in Group A with three wins, as they cleared every obstacle in their way during the regular season.

Likewise with the Geckos, they remained undefeated throughout the regular season in Group B, with three wins, as each opponent succumbed to their prowess on the field.

The TMS 1 Tatagas reached the finals after defeating Mount Carmel School in the semifinals last Tuesday, 2-1; right after, the Geckos faced off with Saipan Community School, defeating them in the same fashion, 2-1.

MCS 4, SCS 1 In the battle for bronze before the championship game, the Mount Carmel School Knights and the Saipan Community School Guardians duked it out on the field with the Knights’ checkmate 4-1 final score.

Stephen Yeom of MCS made the first move only three minutes into the game to put them up 1-0. Yeom swiftly scored a second one 17 minutes in and completed the hat-trick after scoring his third and last goal before the end of the first half, making it 3-0.

The Guardians tried to defend their net in the second half but the Knights went in for the checkmate as Jason Tagabuel scored the fourth and last goal in the 38th minute. At this point, the Guardians had yet to make a move for the goal but in the 40th minute, David Ma’ase De Oro found the back of the net to finally put them up on the board.

However, it was too late as the final minutes turned into seconds, which then ended to secure the bronze for the Knights.

Published by Saipan Tribune - Oct 17 2022


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