Two goals inside the half hour mark ended the winless run of Ateneo against a struggling La Salle squad in the last game of UAAP Season 77 Women’s Football Tournament at the Moro Lorenzo Football Field on Sunday afternoon.
Anne Martin and Camille Rodriguez scored the goals that allowed them to join FEU, UST, and La Salle behind UP. All four teams are only three points behind the leading Maroons who remain the only undefeated team in the contest.
Ateneo relentlessly attacked from the get to. Rodriguez fired a free kick over the goal frame at the 3rd minute. Four minutes later, DLSU goalkeeper Inna Palacios gathered Martin’s harmless shot. The possession rested much inside the DLSU half but the Lasallians were capable of exposing the Ateneo defense. Megan Diaz had her shot inside the box cleared just 14 minutes into the game.
Had it gone in, it would have altered Ateneo’s approach in the game. Instead, the Ateneans continued to force their Lasallian counterparts to defend. They found a reward for their pursuit of the goal in the 24th minute. Mia Catedrilla floated in a cross that was nodded in by Martin into the bottom right corner, with Palacios helplessly watching the ball breach her goal. Six minutes later, Rodriguez doubled their advantage with a shot that she sneaked into the goal.
Cha Guancia replaced Irish Navaja afterwards to replenish La Salle’s ailing offense. It did not pay dividends however as Ateneo goalkeeper Marie Caparros stood comfortably for most of the game.
The score did not change after Rodriguez’s effort but Ateneo had several chances to inflict more damage against their rivals. Leah Cruz and Rodriguez had five chances between them. Yet, none of them were able to score as their shots lacked the pace and accuracy to beat Palacios in the second half.
On the other side, La Salle opted to string waves of unsuccessful passes towards the path of their main attacking players Nicole Andaya and Guancia. They developed good rhythm on the build up but lacked the killer connection that would have made the game more exciting towards the end.