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La Salle retains WLeague crown after subduing UST in season finale

La Salle flashed their number two sign after repeating as WLeague champions. Kevin Estrada/Dugout Philippines
By Kevin Estrada

CARMONA -- The PFF Women's League crown stays in Taft Avenue after La Salle caps off another unbeaten campaign Sunday afternoon in San Lazaro, defeating UST, 2-1 in the final match of the season.

With only a point separating the top two teams, Hans-Peter Smit's Lady Archers only needs just a draw to retain the trophy but they did more than just that by notching their eight win to finish the season with 25 points, four more than their victims who were the league's bridesmaids for the second straight year.

"It's a plus. But we're not that happy on how the team is played. Nevertheless, I'm not taking the win away but we still have to work," said a delighted Smit, whose men's side have taken the Emmanuel Trophy from winning Ang Liga the day before in Imus.

Maria Del Carmen Castellanos put the champions ahead a quarter of an hour into the match after being picked out by Rocelle MendaƱo's diagonal ball, with Jannah Barcemo doubling the lead six minutes later after her free kick took a high bounce that sailed past Carmela Sacdalan.

The Tigresses had a chance to halve the deficit in the 31st minute after a Mariell Tejada handball, but captain Nina Yanto had her spot kick denied by Natasha Lacson which kept the 2-0 scoreline at the break.

UST belatedly pulled one back right on the 90th minute through Cecile Deita's long-ranged effort, but they could not find two more goals in added time to threaten La Salle, whose unbeaten run in the WLeague extended to 22 matches since the inaugural season.

Lacson and Tejada were instrumental for the champions who had the best defence in nine matches, giving them the Golden Glove and the Best Defender award, joining the incoming fifth-year senior Chelo Hodges who was the league's player of the season.

Follow him on Twitter: @KevinLEstrada