The still-perfect De La Salle University Lady Archers whitewashed last season’s Finals tormentors University of the Philippines Lady Maroons, 5-0, to take their seventh straight win of the season, Wednesday afternoon at the Far Eastern University Diliman Field in Quezon City.
The undeafeated Lady Booters piled up the pressure early and were rewarded with a goal in the second minute. Kyla Dimaandal found some space and shot straight into the post. Fortunately, Kyla Inquig was there to clean up the rebound.
This incessant pressure got another goal. UP stopped a La Salle run and conceded a corner in the 28th minute. Sara Castañeda, fresh from her productive stint at the Women’s Asian Cup qualifiers, added one more after scoring directly from the corner kick.
Dimaandal would not be denied the second time as she scored seven minutes after, finishing the attack of a goal mouth scramble. The goal put La Salle way ahead at the break.
The league-leaders resumed theid dangerous form in the second period, withstanding the more stringent Maroon defense. Another corner produced La Salle’s fourth, as Regine Metillo registered a beautifully taken shot that curled past Nic Adlawan.
The defending champions had two straight chances, but Bling Perez could not finish the first off the buildup play. UP skipper Cristina Delos Reyes then tested substitute keeper Erika Turtur, only for the shot to fall into the latter’s hands.
Cristine Duran then sealed the clinical win at the death with another goal.
“I used the heat to our advantage,” admitted La Salle head coach Hans Smit. “But since we train 6-9 in the morning, we spend an hour, especially this summer in extreme heat.”
Smit also praised her wards of playing well at this juncture, but believes they have still lots to work on saying, “They are at the stage that they are like Voltes V, they are aligned. But, of course, there are still some individual mistakes.”
The Lady Archers (21 pts) will end their elimination round assignments as they face their likely Finals opponents, the University of Santo Tomas Lady Booters (11 pts), on Sunday, April 23, at 3:30pm at the same venue. On the other hand, the Lady Maroons (5 pts) will fight for their lives against the Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles (7 pts) the same day at 1:30pm.