Alesa Dolino and Ina Araneta found the back of the net in their 2-1 victory against the UP Lady Maroons yesterday. Their goals kept a talented UP team, who missed good chances to break the deadlock and even level the score, at bay.
Crowned as the league’s Most Valuable Player, Dolino smashed a long range effort against the unsuspecting defense of UP. Lady Maroons Goalkeeper, Nicole Adlawan, managed to get a touch of it, but the shot had enough force to end up at the back of the net to give FEU a lead midway through the opening half. With only 24 minutes left in the game, Dolino produced a cheeky lob pass into the UP box. Araneta, then, surged to meet the ball, and headed it over Adlawan with just enough height for it to fall back into the goal to double the lead. UP pulled one back in added time, but it was a mere consolation as the Lady Tams marched on to win their third consecutive title.
“Masaya ako kasi nakuha ko ‘yung last goal, hindi lang para sa akin, pero para sa team at sa family,” shared Araneta, who scored thrice for the Tamaraws this season. Also in glee, Dolino championed teamwork in accomplishing such feat. “Nag-usap lang kami as a team para mag-unite kami. Teamwork lang kasi ‘yun talaga mag-lead sa amin sa championship,” she stated.
In the bigger picture, the girls, most of whom call Visayas or Mindanao home, see it as a reward of their sacrifices. “Nilagay lang namin sa isip namin na kailangan makuha ‘yun. Ilang taon na kami nagt-training. Hindi kami nakakauwi kapag Christmas, napapalayo kami sa family,” revealed Araneta, who comes from a footballing household that also produced Ian Araneta–one of Philippine football’s top strikers in the past decade.
Special thanks to FEU Advocate’s Lance Agcaoili who provided the reports.