CNMI goalie Becca Newman, center, picks up the ball as teammates from left, Zoe Jewewll, Katie Peters, Jennifer Albers, and Meaghan Hassel-Shearer walk off the field in their game against Guam in the 2nd Annual Marianas Cup last Saturday at the Civic Center Field inside the Oleai Sports Complex. (Jacqueline Hernandez) 

The scoreless draw is a far improvement from the humiliating 0-7 thrashing they suffered from Guam last year.

The CNMI Men's National Team, meanwhile, dropped a 2-3 loss to the visiting Guam national team at the Oleai pitch yesterday afternoon.

The women's game last Saturday was a defensive battle from the start as both teams battled for every ball possession and neither of them giving each other a space to break away and score.

Special mention should be given to goalkeeper Rebecca Newman, left back Madison Smith, center midfielders Emily Gries and Zoe Jewell, and midfielders Lindsey Sosovec and Lindsay Davis who hounded Guam's scorers all throughout.

Smith, Gries, Jewell, and Sosovec kept the pressure off Newman as they helped their keeper out of harm's way by either stealing the ball or kicking it out of bounds from Guam's Simone Nichole Willter, Anjelica Claire Ungpingco Perez Victora Jadine Pauline Shimizu, Haldre Star Rogers, and captain Kyung Hi Quan.

Newman, who won the best keeper title in a Futsal tournament in Guam early this year, lived up to her moniker, “The Wall”, when she foiled numerous attempts to score by Perez, Willter, and Shimizu.

“Don't know who started that nickname, I have no idea who gave me that name 'The Wall' but it stuck,” said Newman in between laughs.

Guam had a number of chances to score but Newman prevented them from doing so. She had so many saves in the game that she hasn't had the time to count them. “I've lost track of how many saves and I have no idea.”

In the second half alone, Newman guarded the goal like her life depended on it as she blocked, dove, jumped, kicked, and sacrificed her body in order to prevent Guam from scoring.

“It was a great game. I feel I was at the right position at the right time. Their shots were coming in pretty hard but I had the confidence of blocking it plus I was also confident with our defense to not let the shots come in so hard,” said Newman.

“Defense helps the goalie look good. [My teammates] did a good job. Luck is also on my side. There are a couple of shots that hit the cross bar and the goal posts and that also helped.”

 -- Jon Perez, Saipan Tribune


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