The University of Santo Tomas Lady Booters barged into the win column with a 2-1 come from behind victory over the Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles, Saturday morning at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila.
“Masaya of course kasi nga must-win na kasi yung game namin,” commented UST coach Priscila Rubio after her wards got their UAAP Season 80 Women’s Football Tournament campaign back on track.
The first half was a goalless affair between the two schools. It was the Lady Booters, though, that came closest to breaking the deadlock when the referee spotted handball in the Lady Eagles’ box.
Charise Lemoran stepped up to take the spot-kick only to see her penalty saved as Lady Eagles goalie Marie Caparros guessed correctly to save the attempt. It was in the second half when the Lady Eagles and Lady Booters found their shooting boots.
Tessa Bernardo opened the scoring just four minutes after the restart with a freekick that went past UST goalie Nicole Reyes. However, the Lady Eagles failed to capitalize on their momentum as the Lady Booters woke up from their slumber.
UST scored two goals in the span of nine minutes to turn the game on its head. Mae Cadag leveled the score with a longshot that went over Caparros at the 56th minute. Likewise, Lemoran made up with her penalty miss earlier with another long strike at the 65th minute.
“During the breaktime sinabi ko kung gusto ba namin manalo, gawin namin lahat para manalo. Whether ma score-an kami or hindi, kailangan naka-focus kami na gusto namin mag-score,” explained Rubio. “We need to score this time sa second half.”
The Lady Eagles failed to mount a comeback as Reyes’ goal was relatively unharmed. Deep into stoppage time, Ateneo center-back Nichole Calimbo’s unleashed a freekick that went narrowly over the bar.
In the end, UST got its season back on track with a 2-1 victory over Ateneo thanks to two fine goals. “Kailangan lang talaga ma-develop sa sarili ng mga players, lalo yung attacking namin, yung threat. Kapag may bola sila, kailangan threat sila sa opponent. Kung hindi ganun ang mentality namin, vice versa ang mangyayari. Kami yung matatakot kahit kami yung umaatake,” concluded Rubio.
Both UST and Ateneo shall next play on February 14 at Rizal Memorial. UST shall face defending champions De La Salle University at 9:00 AM while Ateneo will play versus Far Eastern University afterwards at 3:00 PM.