UST outlasts Ateneo, sets up title showdown against DLSU
Santino Honasan on May 04, 2017 12:54 PM
Hazel Lustan (12) scored the go-ahead goal in the second half to help lead UST to a 5-4 win over Ateneo in their UAAP Women's Football semifinal knockout match
Charisa Lemoran scored twice, while three other Tigresses also found the back of the net as the University of Santo Tomas outlasted Ateneo de Manila University, 5-4, Thursday morning at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium to advance to the tournament Finals.
In what was an action-packed match from start to finish, UST took control early on, with Chriselle Cleofe scoring seven minutes into the match, and then Mary Joy Indac doubling the Tigresses' lead 20 minutes in.
The Lady Eagles managed to pull one back, with Tiffany Siy scoring in the 31st minute.
In a strange turn of events, following Ateneo's first conversion, UST head coach Prescila Rubio appeared to be upset at keeper Nicole Reyes and decided to keep her on the sidelines for an extended period, leaving the UST goal unguarded.
in that stretch, Ateneo capitalized with Siy finding the equalizer in the 35th minute, followed by a go-ahead goal from skipper Cam Rodriguez in the 41st minute to send the Lady Eagles to the break with a 3-2 lead.
The Tigresses responded in the second half, with Lemoran hitting her first goal of the match via a penalty conversion in the 54th minute to bring UST at level.
Hazel Lustan joined the scoring party and put the Tigresses back up 4-3 in the 67th minute.
Lemoran, the Tigresses' leading scorer, once again doubled the UST lead in the 79th minute with her second goal of the match to make it 5-3.
Not wanting to go out without a fight, senior striker Rodriguez also netted her second goal of the match in the 83rd minute to bring Ateneo to within one goal, 5-4.
Unfortunately for the Katipunan side, no equalizer would materialize, and the Lady Tigresses held on for the big win.
"Masaya dahil lahat ng hirap namin nag-pay off naman, tsaka nakita ko talagang ang laki ng improvement ng team," UST head coach Rubio said following the match. Rubio stressed that while making the Finals was indeed a bonus, it was the team's improvement that was priority number one this season. "Regardless kung aabot kami sa finals o hindi, ang kailangan lang namin ay mag-improve yung team, bonus lang talaga na umabot kami ng finals."
The Tigresses, who finished in second place after the eliminations, will go on to face unbeaten De La Salle University in the Finals. This will be their first trip back to the tournament finale since Season 74, when they went on to win it all.
De La Salle and UST battle for the UAAP Season 79 women's football crown on Sunday, May 7th, 6:00 PM at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium. The match will be available via livestream.
Catch the telecast on May 8th, 3:00 PM on S+A channel 23.