Christille Ardiente drilled the only goal of the opening game of the UAAP Season 77 women’s football tournament to guide the UP Lady Maroons, 1-0, against the Ateneo Women’s Football Team at the Moro Lorenzo Football Field in Quezon City.
UP piled pressure on the Ateneans from the start. Cristina delos Reyes got a touch on Christiana Mendoza’s cross just three minutes into the game. Six minutes later, Christina Vergara blew a chance off a delos Reyes pass. UP had a great look at scoring in the ninth minute. Delos Reyes was denied by Kim Jimenez after rounding past Marie Caparros. A minute later, the stubborn Ateneo defense gave in.
Ardiente supplied a deflected game-changing finish off a corner to give the Lady Maroons a slight advantage in the game. It was nearly doubled a few moments after when Vergara’s shot off a clumsy error by Caparros was halted by the latter just inches away from goal.
Both teams had their chances of scoring the next goal in the first half but no one came closer than Marie Navea-Huff who gathered Kali Huff’s pass before sending it to the goal only for it to be halted by the Ateneans.
In the second half, Ateneo worked hard to level the score at one each. However, UP forced their blue-blooded neighbors to defend more as Huff and Obra threatened to add to UP’s one-goal lead. With the game still within their reach, Ateneo had two good chances to cancel Ardiente’s goal.
With just 13 minutes left, Camille Rodriguez delivered one of her deadly crosses towards the UP six-yard box and almost sneaked in had it not been for Claudia Mendoza’s timely intervention in front of goal. A minute later, Anne Martin was denied by that post when her shot beat the outstretched Arianne Javier.
A quiet 12 minutes of football then followed to the delight of the UP supporters who joined the team in celebrating the first UAAP Season 77 women’s football victory.