CHANTAL Van Ommeren scored the goal of the tournament as she led the Higala FC girls to the Women’s Open title in the PIA/CDO Futsal Invitational Championships here at brgy. Bulua gym here.
The Vigan Palaro veteran for the Region X Futsal team, capitalized on a play brilliantly set up by coach Paul Cabio after a timeout put the Higala Girls up front to turn back a strong Sacred Heart School/Ateneo De Cebu side, 1-0, in the championship match.
Van Ommeren, a Filipino-Dutch based here in Cagayan de Oro, banged in the winning goal after a quick kick-in by Andrea Cabactulan at the right side.
The play was a stroke of a genius from coach Paul Cabio as Melgrace Camarillo then received the pass from Cabactulan and dished it to Van Ommeren who then whipped to the back of the net that shocked the unsuspecting SHS/Ateneo de Cebu goalkeeper Alexandria Gumilao.
The Ateneo girls pushed for an equalizer and hoped to extend the match.
However, Higala FC leaned on the solid defense of Uyel Villanueva and the very young but solid goal keeper Chavone Joelle Uy to turn back any attempt from the Cebuanos to secure the title.
The Higala girls also dominated the special awards with Van Ommeren winning the the Best Striker award, Uyel Villanueva the Best Defender award, and Andrea Cabactulan the Most Valuable Player award.
The Ateneo girls won two awards with Gumilao winning the Best Goalkeeper and Martienne Jenn the Best Midfielder.
“That championship win was the sweetest that I have won. Ateneo Cebu was a very solid and good team. They were bigger and very skillful. The girls worked very hard,” said coach Paul Cabio after the match.
Despite of the loss, the visiting SHS/Ateneo de Cebu coach Melanie Bordalba was still positive.
“The tournament was a good tune up for the girls. We are preparing for the Mandaue City Division meet. It was good facing those tough teams,” she said.
She was impressed by three teams Higala, Stonefield FC, and Bulua Strikers FC. “These teams are good. Their players know how to position themselves, and their build up were solid,” she said.
Higala FC girls then completed their sterling performance by winning the Girls 14 title sweeping the three teams they played.
They beat Rosevale School 3-0, Bulua team A, 3-0, and Bulua team B, 4-0 to win the title.
They also dominated the individual awards with Gale Loking winning the Best Defender award, Ella Micabalo the Best Goalkeeper award, Trexie Sostinto the Best Defender award and Angel Buendia the Most Valuable Player award. Bulua’s Lizel Catamco won the Best Midfielder award.
Higala FC advanced to the championship in the Women’s Open division after defeating Iligan City FC, 1-0, in the semis. SHS/Ateneo Cebu advanced when it downed Baroy FC of Lanao del Norte, 2-0.
The tournament was another project of the Pinay In Action (PIA) Football of senator Pia Cayetano, the champion of women’s rights in the Philippine senate.
Other sponsors of the two-day competition are the families of young Cagayan de Oro footballers, JB and Jethro Borlongan, and Troy Limbo.
The tournament was also made possible through Bulua High School, Bulua Elementary School, Pagatpat Elementary School and the Cagayan de Oro Department of Education Division office.
It was sanctioned by the Cagayan de Oro Misamis Oriental Regional Association and the Philippine Football Federation.