Soccer game

JFK ends season undefeated, beats Southern 4-1 in league football game | Guam Sports

The Southern High School Dolphins scored first, but the John F. Kennedy High School Islanders couldn’t deny their football hat-trick.

In a game that featured the top two men’s soccer teams in the Guam Department of Education’s Interscholastic Athletic Association, the Islanders beat the Dolphins 4-1 in Friday night’s championship game at the Association. Guam football stadium in Harmon.

Southern’s James Atienza Trecepona scored in the seventh minute, but it was the only offense allowed by JFK.

In rainy conditions and a noisy crowd, JFK’s Joshua Benavente scored in the 23rd and 47th minutes. Between two doubles from Benavente, Noah Medler scored in the 31st minute.

“Thank you to my team for playing so hard all season,” said Benavente. “I’m so proud of everyone on this team because we always believed in ourselves and worked hard for each other every day.”

Although Benavente played injured most of the season, he wasn’t going to let the pain stop him from making the final.

“I was dealing with an injury earlier in the season and just wanted to give it my all tonight,” he said. “We faced a tough young team from the south tonight and luckily we were able to take the win as champions. I’m just very happy that we were able to pull it off.

Both teams came out in a 1-4-4-2 formation, looking to play a quick possession-based game, hoping to find space behind each other’s back line.

Throughout the season, no team had played a match on synthetic turf. The first few minutes were therefore a bit hectic, with both teams adapting to the speed of the ball and the way it jumped on the wet surface.

Southern adapted to the weather and terrain first, creating an opportunity by passing the ball to Gatbo Topasna on the right side of the box, who created space and shot. Islanders keeper Leeland Reyes made the first save but was unable to keep the ball wet as Trecepona pounced on the rebound, ending the 1-0 lead.

Undaunted, the Islanders continued to pressure the Dolphins back line as Bryan Nakamine and Taiyo Kanekatsu found pockets of space in midfield, allowing them to play through the balls for the super fast and equally deadly Benavente.

Unfortunately for the Dolphins, the Islanders were relentless with their offense as they looked for the equalizer, using one of their many weapons up front and through their midfield. If it wasn’t Nakamine, Kanekatsu or Benavente who posed the threat, Medler, Irvin White and Alex Jorlang were equally capable of rising to the challenge.

The Islanders finally found the back of the net in the 23rd minute with Benavente scoring the equalizer.

Nakamine was really cooking and in the 31st minute he played a brilliant through ball for Medler. Medler timed his run and took a positive first touch, finishing confidently at the near post to emerge as the match winner.

Knowing that a one-goal lead was not enough to get rid of Southern, JFK took a 2-1 lead at halftime.

Seven minutes into the second half, Benavente scored the insurance goal. Benavente, relying on his speed and finishing ability, converted Kanekatsu’s pass into an assist, finishing ahead of San Nicolas with a shot through the middle.

With the game out of reach and postponed in stoppage time, Jorlang assisted Rhenan Sagun in the 83rd minute.