UAAP 73 Women’s Football: UP vs Ateneo, 1-1 (30 January 2011)

I watched the UP-Ateneo UAAP Women’s Football game last Sunday. For some reason, I just couldn’t prod myself to wear maroon, even if my sister is the State University’s starting goalkeeper. They say that blood is thicker than water. The age old saying proved ever so true, as I found myself cheering for the UP team.

The Ateneo booters dominated the ball possession. They had more attempts at goal, spearheaded by the speedy striker Trinidad (this girl ought to run for the track team). UP’s rare forays into the Blue and White goal were foiled the strong defensive line. The game remained scoreless for the better part of the first 45 minutes. A fierce tackle by a UP booter saw Ateneo being awarded a penalty kick, which the latter easily converted.

Ateneo was up 1-0 by halftime (or shall I say UP was down 0-1?).

The intensity of the game turned up a few notches in the second half. Bodies were flying all over, emphasizing the fact that these girls weren’t pushovers. A couple of lapses in the Ateneo offensive machine prevented the Loyola-based booters from sealing the outcome. But still, UP was unable to hit the back of the net. With the final minutes gradually winding down, all seemed hopeless for the State University.

Well, not for the aptly-named Hope Solis.

The spunky Maroon-clad striker hit the upper left side of the goal from  beyond the goalkeeper’s box.  It reminded me of Cristian Gonzales’ dagger of a goal in the Philippines-Indonesia Suzuki Cup semifinal. Solis’ volley, for a time, flew above everyone’s heads. For once, the vaunted Ateneo defense proved helpless in the face of such a brilliant shot. The UP gallery erupted in wild jubilation.

It was the first time I saw my sister’s team score. It felt strange cheering for UP whilst clad in Blue. Perhaps the outcome of the game signified my mixed feelings.

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