Tafuna and South Pacific Academy upset the top two seeds (Fa’asao-Marist and Samoana, respectively) to advance to the ASHSAA Girls soccer championship game.
The final is set for Wednesday, March 22, at the Pago Park Soccer Stadium in Pago Pago.
No. 3 DOLPHINS 2, No. 2 SHARKS 2 (3-1 PENALTIES)
This game went to a penalty shootout after regulation, and the extra periods, ended in a 2-2 draw on Monday, March 20, 2017 at Pago Park Soccer Stadium.
SPA made sure of the victory by scoring their first two penalties, before their team’s hero of the game and season so far, Rapiel Fa’ata’a, clinched it on the Dolphins’ 5th and last attempt.
Fa’ata’a was involved in both goals credited to SPA with the first coming on an own goal by Samoana. With the Sharks leading 1-0, Fa’ata’a ran into the goalie’s box to receive a cross but a defender beat her to the ball, only to then knock it into the back of the net for an own goal, and the equalizer in the 15th minute of the first half.
Two minutes into the second, Fa’ata’a scored for SPA to go up 2-1, but Saono Enesi answered for the Sharks with her second goal of the game in the 35th minute. After two, 5-minute extra period halves, the game went into a penalty shootout that the Dolphins won 3-1.
No. 4 WARRIORS 4, No. 1 COUGARS 1
There will be no attempt for a repeat this year after the No. 1 seeded Cougars were upset by No. 4 Tafuna, 4-1, in the other semi-final of the girls high school soccer.
Fa’asao-Marist scored first in the game with Susan Godinet earning her team’s lone goal five minutes into the opening half. But Tafuna dominated the attacking, but could never quite score in the first half.
In the second, that all changed when Mercy Seui equalized in the second half. Minutes later, Mala Mataiao scored on a direct kick from the edge of the penalty box on a shot that ricocheted off of the wall 10 yards away, and into the back of the net for the go-ahead score.
Two more goals in that same half from Mataiao and Elcy Lui finished off the season’s No. 1 team, and defending champions.
No. 2 DOLPHINS vs. No. 4 WARRIORS
These two teams met twice during the season, with the first game ending in a 1-1 draw on January 21, and the Dolphins winning 3-1 in the second meeting on February 1.
SPA’s rise to the top 4 has been constant throughout the season, while Tafuna was sporadic, playing well at times and then not showing their form in other games. However, of the two teams’ performance during the semi-finals, the Warriors looked like the better team in their take down of the competition’s No. 1 seed, Fa’asao-Marist.
SPA is not a dominant team, but they play well as a team and use that to their advantage in winning games. Their most recent formula, moving star defender Fa’ata’a to the front, has paid off, with her scoring enough goals for the Dolphins to win their games.
SPA will be looking to Fa’ata’a and midfielder Monique Hollister to lead the attack against Tafuna, while relying on defenders Jane Faumuina and Nancy Satele to hold off the Warrior’s top scorers.
Those scorers include Tafuna’s new offensive weapon in Seui, a J-V player during the season that changed the dynamics of their semi-final game after scoring her team’s first goal. They have two other scoring weapons in Mataiao and Lui, the latter another player moved up from the J-V squad to the varsity.
The game is expected to kick off at 4:00 p.m., to be followed by a short awards ceremony.