- November 04, 2022 08:46
The Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Booters finished their season as first runners-up after losing against the defending champions De La Salle University, 0-2, in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) season 81 women’s football tournament Finals, May 16, at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in Malate, Manila.
For FEU head coach Marnelli Dimzon and her team, they have always wanted to be in the Finals as they worked hard for them to get there – knowing that the team has not tasted a championship yet since their historic three-peat from seasons 75 to 77.
“’Yung target namin for [the] season, from the start, we wanted to be on the Finals. Although, ‘di namin siya na-workout during the first round, tinatrabaho namin siya during the second round, kasi we wanted to play for the Finals (Our target for the season, from the start we wanted to be on the finals. Although, we didn’t work it out during the first round, we put our work on it during the second round, because we wanted to be on the finals),” coach Dimzon mentioned.
Prior to the match, both teams boast 10 women’s football championships each under their belts, which is why this was considered by the spectators as a battle for the best women’s football program in the league.
Both DLSU and FEU had their chances to break the ice in the first half but could not convert with a zero-all score at halftime.
“We have a lot of chances in front, especially doon sa set pieces pero ‘yun nga di namin maka-capitalize ‘yung attacking (especially in the set pieces, but we couldn’t capitalize our attacking),” coach Dimzon shared.
But it was the resilience of FEU’s goalkeeper Kimberly Pariña to keep DLSU scoreless in the first half while the Archers enjoyed their offensive chances. At the end of halftime however, DLSU’s Rocelle Mendaño found the back of the net in the 54th minute mark, as she gave her team the lead.
Archers goalkeeper Natasha Lacson stepped up in the second half. The Lady Tamaraws had the opportunity to equalize the game, but the shot was ruled offside.
The Rookie of the Year and Best Striker recipient Alisha Del Campo of DLSU put the nail in the coffin when she cruised past the FEU defense in the 80th minute mark.
In the end, the Taft-based squad came out as the winner and the winningest women’s football program with 11 championships under their belt. FEU’s defensive specialist Hannah Pachejo bagged home the Best Defender for the second-straight year.
“Ginawa ko lang lahat para sa team, ‘di ko naman ine-expect na makuha ko ulit ‘yung best defender, basta iniisip ko na lang talaga na every game is my last game (I did it for the team, I didn’t expect to win the award Best Defender again, my mindset is that every game is my last game),” Pachejo shared.
Moreover, FEU had a successful season from their last year’s results, wherein they finished third in the standings, just a game shy playing for the UAAP Finals season 80.
“Opo, naging successful naman kasi naka-abot kami sa Finals tsaka lumaban lahat sa amin (Yes, it was successful because we made it to the Finals and everyone fought for us),” Pachejo said.
The green-and-gold lady booters will look forward for the next season and will try again to redeem themselves as champions. As of writing, FEU holds 10 championship glories in UAAP women’s football.
-Joaquin Luis E. Quesada