'It's an overdue championship' - Palacios on DLSU's women's football title win
Santino Honasan on May 09, 2017 01:57 AM
DLSU team captain Inna Palacios (left, holding trophy) closes out her UAAP career in the most perfect way possible
Graduating team captain Inna Palacios knew the exactly how long ago it was.
"Seven years, seven years eksakto. May 7, 2010 was the last."
It has been seven years since De La Salle took home a championship in football.
It was the ladies that did it back in May 7th, 2010, and the ladies were the ones to go all the way once again, on May 7th, 2017.
It came at the final matchday of what was simply a perfect season for the De La Salle women's football team, who went unbeaten and undrawn in nine straight games to take home their ninth women's football championship.
For Palacios, it was the best way to close out her UAAP career.
"I wouldn't want to end it any other way, especially for me as a senior." Palacios said during the post-match presser. "It's so surreal, grabe. All the hard work, I can't even put it into words, I'm just so happy, so proud of everyone for working hard, for never stopping working, for pushing and for never giving up on anyone."
Truth be told, Season 79 could have easily been the second of back-to-back championships for the Lady Archers.
Similar to this season, the Lady Archers went unbeaten a year ago, were the favorites to take home the crown. University of the Philippines however, had other plans.
"We could have won it last year," said Palacios. "But I guess timing is something else."
Against University of Santo Tomas in this season's finale, the score may have read 3-1 in favor of DLSU, but the match itself wasn't without some tense moments, as all four goals came in the final 45 minutes of play.
73 minutes in, UST managed to even things up at one goal apiece, and it felt quite like momentum had shifted in the Tigresses favor, with the DLSU faithful in attendance at the Rizal Memorial Stadium sat in a stunned silence while their Thomasian counterparts were cheering their hearts out.
Even with the scored tied, and with what they went through in the Season 78 finals, Palacios never felt as if they were in any danger of coming up short again.
"No, because the team last year is so different from the team this year, even though we didn't lose anyone. We're more driven, we're focused, we're goal hungry, and more chemistry also, and teamwork."
True enough, the Lady Archers found a way to win, courtesy of a go-ahead goal from sophomore sensation Sara Castañeda, and a game-sealing goal from Palacios herself.
For the exiting goalkeeper, it was simply about time that they brought a title back home to Taft again. It was for the community, and it was for their mentor, coach Hans-Peter Smit.
"It's an overdue championship, for coach also."
Not everyone can say that they ended their career with a championship. Palacios can say that she ended her UAAP career with a spotless season, and she credits it to the effort that she and the rest of the DLSU ladies put into in their nine games.
"Speechless, I'm just so proud and happy that Mer [Ledesma] and I led the team where we are right now. It's all hard work."
While Palacios closes her career out in style, this is only the beginning for Castañeda, who has three more playing years ahead of her.
In Castañeda's words, Season 79's magical run was all about not giving up.
"I guess we just never stopped fighting, that's how we won it."
It may have taken them seven long years, but as they say, the longer you wait, the sweeter it is.
The wait is over. The ladies from Taft are once again the queens of UAAP women's football.