Friday, August 29, 2008

Tournament Schedule

8 am: Cap't Morgans v. Sureshanks RIO (Devil)
9 am: GMF v. Devil's Advocates DEAN'S PICK(Dean)
10 am: C. Morgans v. Gil Fever PETER L. (Sure)
11 am: Devils Advocates v. Deaniacs GREG (GMF)
12 pm: Sureshanks v. Gil Fever NICK (Captain)
1 pm: GMF v. Deaniacs JASON (Gil)
2 pm: Third Place Final (Champ game team)
3 pm: 2nd Place Final (3rd place team)
4 pm: Championship (2nd place team)

Friday, August 22, 2008

USA is Gold, Gold, Gold!

The U.S. Women’s Olympic Soccer Team put together a near perfect defensive performance to hold powerful Brazil scoreless for 120 minutes while getting a goal from Carli Lloyd just six minutes into overtime to record a historic 1-0 victory and earn the gold medal.

This victory marked the third gold medal for the U.S. women in four Olympic Games. The USA also won gold in 1996 and 2004 while taking the silver in 2000.

The match was played in front of a raucous crowd of 51,612 on a field made slippery by rain that fell during the entire day and for the first part of the match.

The winning goal came on a shot from outside the box from Lloyd, who took advantage of a nice piece of possession in the U.S. attacking half that saw the ball go from substitute Lauren Cheney to Lloyd, who one-touched it to Amy Rodriguez. The speedy U.S. forward played a cheeky back heel to an overlapping Lloyd, and she took a touch forward before blasting a low left-footed shot into the lower left corner of the goal.

“What an amazing match,” said U.S. head coach Pia Sundhage. “I am so proud and I am enjoying the moment.”

The game was a rematch of the 2004 gold medal game that saw a similar result with the USA winning 2-1 in overtime off a game-winning goal from Abby Wambach.

Hope Solo played a super match in the U.S. nets, catching several dangerous crosses, stuffing Brazilian star Cristiane on a mini-breakaway, denying FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Marta on an almost-point blank shot and parrying away a terrifyingly dangerous cross near the end.

The U.S. team played Brazil even during the first half, with both teams producing only a few scoring opportunities, but the Brazilians picked up the pace in the second half. That’s when the U.S. defense shined the most, riding a spectacular defensive performance from center backs Kate Markgaf and Christie Rampone and outside backs Heather Mitts and Lori Chalupny to keep the Brazilian strikers off the board despite several close chances.

After a scoreless 90 minutes, the teams entered the overtime period with Brazil getting the nod on scoring chances, but the U.S. defense and Solo would not break.

Solo’s best save of the night, and possibly the biggest of her career, came in the 72nd minute, after Marta got around two U.S. defenders and into the six-yard box. Marta had a clear shot from point-blank range, but Solo reacted with lightning-fast reflexes to block the well-struck shot with her right hand to keep game scoreless.

The Brazilian attack of Marta and Cristiane was dangerous throughout the night, using their dribbling runs at the U.S. defenders to create chances. In the 31st minute, Cristiane got in behind the American back line, but Solo came off her line to smother the ball, sending the Brazilian forward flying into the air. Three minutes later, it was Marta who danced around Markgraf and Rampone, but her low driven ball hit the side-netting at near post.

In the 41st minute, the U.S. turned a half-chance into a great opportunity. Heather O’Reilly made a quick turn near the right touchline and lifted the ball up in the air toward the penalty box. Hucles was there to run onto it and hit a half volley, but her shot went wide.

Solo was called upon to make another big save in the 54th minute, after Cristiane and Marta combined again to get Marta down the end line. She cut in toward the goal and hit a shot from a difficult angle that Solo snared and held onto as other Brazilian attackers crashed in for a potential rebound.

At the other end of the field, the Americans pressed forward late in the game as they looked to win the game in regulation. Brazilian goalkeeper Barbara was called upon to make her best save of the game in the 86th minute when Hucles ripped a one-timer that seemed destined for the side-netting, but Barbara dove to make the save and keep her team in the game.

Just before the end of regulation, Rodriguez found herself in alone on goal as a ball skipped past the Brazilian defense. The 21-year-old striker saw Barbara slip and tried to chip her, but the Brazilian ‘keeper was able to recover and knock the ball down.. With the final regulation chance, it was Rodriguez again who received the ball in the center of field, turned and ripped a low driven shot right to Barbara.

The American momentum carried into the first overtime period and the U.S. Women got the game winner just six minutes after the restart.

Both teams made substitutions after the goal as Sundhage brought on Natasha Kai for O’Reilly and Brazil countered by subbing in Rosana.

The South American side ratcheted up their attack looking for the equalizer and almost got it in the second overtime period. Following a quick restart, Marta got around two defenders on the dribble and hit a hard shot that went just high of Solo’s net.

Minutes later, she took a dangerous-looking free kick from outside the penalty area that took a bounce near the far post before skipping wide of the goal, just out of reach of a crashing Renata Costa.

With Brazil pressing forward, the U.S. took advantage of the counter attack, almost doubling their lead. Kai ran down a ball in the corner and played it across the top of the box, where Lloyd took it on the run and battled through a few defenders before hitting a shot that caromed off the right post and away.

With time running out, Brazil earned three straight corner kicks and the third almost leveled the score. Marta’s corner from the right side swung to the far post for Renata Costa, who got her head on it, but her shot hit the outside netting of the goal. The last chance of the game belonged to Brazil as Renata Costa lofted the ball into the box for Cristiane. She was able to get a head on it and drive the ball low, but Solo was there for the save.

Following the 2008 Olympic Games, the U.S. Women’s National Team will take on Ireland in a three-match tour, hitting stops on the East Coast and Midwest shortly after their return from China. The Fall Tour gets underway on Saturday, Sept. 13 in Philadelphia at 8 p.m. ET at Lincoln Financial Field, and continues on Wed., Sept. 17 at 7:30 p.m. ET at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. The last of these three games will be played on Saturday, Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. CT at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill.

Match-up: USA vs. Brazil
Competition: 2008 Beijing Olympics – Gold Medal Match
Venue: Worker’s Stadium; Beijing, China
Date: August 21, 2008; Kickoff – 9 p.m. local / 9 a.m. ET
Attendance: 51,612
Weather: Rain – 68 degrees

Scoring Summary:
1 2 E E F
USA 0 0 1 0 1
BRA 0 0 0 0 0

USA – Carli Lloyd (Amy Rodriguez) 96th minute.

USA: 18-Hope Solo; 2-Heather Mitts, 15-Kate Markgraf, 3-Christie Rampone – Capt., 17-Lori Chalupny; 9-Heather O’Reilly (6-Natasha Kai, 101), 7-Shannon Boxx, 11-Carli Lloyd, 5-Lindsay Tarpley (12-Lauren Cheney, 71); 8-Amy Rodriguez (14-Stephanie Cox, 120), 16-Angela Hucles
Subs not used: 4-Rachel Buehler, 10-Aly Wagner, 13-Tobin Heath, 18-Nicole Barnhart
Head Coach: Pia Sundhage

BRA: 12-Barbara; 2-Simone (18-Rosana, 104), 4-Tania, 5-Renata Costa, 16-Erika; 6-Maycon, 7-Daniela (15-Fabiana, 77), 8-Formiga (13-Francielle, 106+), 9-Ester; 10-Marta, 11-Cristiane
Subs: 1-Andeia, 3-Andreia Rosa, 17-Maurine, 14-Pretinha
Head Coach: Jorge Barcellos

Statistical Summary: USA / BRA
Shots: 10 / 15
Shots on Goal: 7 / 6
Saves: 6 / 6
Corner Kicks: 3 / 15
Fouls: 11 / 15
Offside: 0 / 6

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Heather Mitts (caution) 37th minute.
BRA – Rosana (caution) 106+.
BRA – Erika (caution) 108.
USA – Natasha Kai (caution) 114.

Referee: Dagmar Damkova (CZE)
Asst. Referee: Maria Luisa Villa Gutierrez (ESP)
Asst. Referee: Hege Steinlund (NOR)
4th Official: Christine Beck (GER)

Sierra Mist Woman of the Match: Hope Solo

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Master List Redux

The Master List of Saipan bloggers has been updated over on The Saipan Blog.

There are currently over 140 Saipan bloggers along with almost 20 Coconuts Abroad.

Bloggers are requested to add a link to the Master List as it is the most comprehensive list of Saipan (and Tinian and Rota) blogs.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Women's CNMI National Team try-outs


CNMI Women's National Team Tryouts:

Location: ADA field

Monday Sept. 8th at 5:15 PM to 6:45 PM
Sat. Sept. 13th 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM

Monday Sept. 15th 5:15 PM to 6:45 PM
Sat. Sept. 20th 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM

Monday Sept. 22nd 5:15 PM to 6:45 PM
Sat. Sept. 27th 8:30 AM to 10:30 PM

There are few weeks to get into as best shape as you can, so everyone can come into tryouts ready.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Game 4: Deaniacs vs Devils Advocates

The Summer's last place team, Deaniacs, were too much for the Devils Advocates. They whomped them in a 3-2, uh, whomping.

Lar Theotherthaiguy scored both of the Devils Advocates goals. Masa Otsuka scored the first goal for Deaniacs and Pete Lokan scored two others. Pet's goals won't count towards the Golden Boot because he plays for another team.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

NMIFA 3-on-3 soccer a go today

With six full teams running up and down the CPA Airport Field three days out of the week and scores of unsigned players waiting in the wings, the Northern Mariana Islands Football Association is in the midst of its most successful coed soccer league in its three year history.

The most popular sport on the planet has finally gained more than a foothold in the CNMI, and the NMIFA Women's Committee is capitalizing on the excitement by hosting its first 3-on-3 Coed Football Tournament today, Aug. 10, at Navy Hill field

The Women's Committee has already drummed up support from the local community as PTI, Pacific Islands Club, Tan Holdings Corp., Whispering Palms School, and CNMI Parks and Recreation have teamed up to host the event.

Registration is $10 and will begin at 8am at Navy Hill field, adjacent to Whispering Palms School. In order to maximize the action during the tournament, organizers are limiting the tournament to a total of 60 players.

“There is limited space so arrive early! Once registration has closed teams will be chosen at random,” said NMIFA Women's Committee spokesperson, Laura Williams.

Williams added that the proceeds from the tournament will be used to fund equipment for the upcoming Woman's Futsal season, which is set to begin Oct. 1, at the Northern Marianas College gymnasium.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Game 3: Captain Morgans 2, Gil Fever 2

Another tie game this week. Reigning champions Captain Morgans tied Gil Fever 2-2.

Jason Schroeder scored two goals for Gil Fever, with both goals coming off of crosses from Bradley Whatshisface. Nick Swaim and Chris Nelson scored for Captain Morgans.

3 vs 3 Tournament on Sunday

The NMIFA women's committee is hosting a 3 vs 3 soccer tournament up at Navy Hill this Sunday. They are raising money to buy futsal goals for the upcoming futsal league.

Tournament Info:
  • $10 entry fee - additional donations are always welcome
  • 8-8:30 registration, games begin at 9:00
  • Navy Hill field - 2 fields, no more than 20 teams (that means we hope to get 60 people - if 65-70 show up we will give some teams subs)
  • Players must be at least 14 years of age
  • Top 3-4 teams will win prizes - futsal balls, PIC waterpark passes, a date with Brad Ruszala, etc.
  • Water will be provided and people are more than welcome to bring grills and BBQ
With over 130 people playing COED this summer, spaces are probably going to be limited. Make sure you get there by 8:00 to register.

Game 2: Devils Advocates 4, GMF 1

In a rematch of the Summer League's 3rd place game, Devils Advocates came out strong to defeat GMF 4-1.

The trio of Patty Coleman, Lyndsay Davis, and Meaghan Hasselhoff (that's not Irish) strung together a series of passes early in the first half, resulting in a goal by Davis.

The D Advocates scored again in the first half, wih Hasselhoff finding the back of the net.

GMF came back strong in the second half. Joe "Miller Time" Miller came out of his first half daze to score off a strong kicked right footer that seemed to break the sound barrier as it blew by second half keep Jetsada Thethaiguy.

With GMF threatening a tie game, the Advocates came back to score two more goals before the end of regulation. Lar Theotherthaiguy scored on a long dribble up the middle and Becky C. nailed a shot after a cross from Angelo Villagomez was deflected by the keeper right to her feet.

Tonight's game features a rematch of the Summer Leagues Championship game.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Game 1: Deaniacs 1, Sureshanks 1

The opening game of the NMIFA COED Summer League started off with a 1-1 tie between Deaniacs and Sureshanks.

The women scored first, with Zoe Jewel of the Deaniacs nailing a spinning header off a cross from Masa Otsuka in the final minutes of the first half.

Phil Theintern evened things out in the second half and the game ended without a clear winner.

Tomorrow's game features Devils Advocates vs GMF, a repeat of last week's third place final. Devils Advocates won that game 2-1.

A New Season Begins

The NMIFA COED Summer League ended last week and the COED Fall League is set to begin tonight.

Gil Fever, a team that remained undefeated until the final week of the regular season, took home the championship trophy after a grueling final game against Captain Morgans.

Devils Advocates completed the season in third place.

A brand new season starts tonight with Sureshanks taking on the Deaniacs in the season opener. The game starts at 5:15.

Other games this week have Devils Advocates playing GMF Wednesday, Gil Fever taking on Captain Morgans on Thursday, and Deaniacs playing Devils Advocates on Sunday afternoon. All games are at 5:15, except for the games on Sunday, which are at 3:00 PM.

The fall season will only last four weeks, which each team playing each of the five other teams once. At the end of the season, a tournament will be held to determine the league champion.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Coed Fall League Standings

I'll keep this as up to date as possible. At the end of the season the top two teams will play each other for first place.
TeamRecordGoal Diff.Points
Gil Fever0-0-101
Captain Morgans0-0-1
Devil's Advocates1-12

New Schedule

Game #DateDay HomeAwayResult
1August 5TuesDeaniacsSureshanks1-1
2August 6WedsD AdvocatesGMF4-1
3August 7ThursGil FeverC Morgans2-2
4August 10
SunDeaniacsD Advocates3-2
5August 12TuesD AdvocatesC Morgans
6August 13WedsDeaniacsGil Fever
7August 14ThursGMFSureshanks
8August 17SunSureshanksGil Fever
9August 19TuesSureshanksC Morgans
10August 20WedsD AdvocatesGil Fever
11August 21ThursDeaniacsGMF
12August 24SunGMFC Morgans
13August 26TuesDeaniacsC Morgans
14August 27WedsGil FeverGMF
15August 28ThursD AdvocatesSureshanks

There will be a tournament on Sunday the 31 if someone else will organize it.

Sunday games are played at 3 PM (except for the first game becuase of a conflict with the 3 vs 3 tournament). All other games start at 5:15 PM.