Ex-NMI women soccer players recall ‘crazy’ and other memorable moments from the past

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IN the second half of “Footcast” with Norman Del Rosario, he and four former NMI national women’s soccer players delved a little deeper into their personal experiences as athletes.

Lindsay Davis said her most memorable game was a warm-up match with a J-league team in Taiwan. She said the opposing team had the kick-off, made its way down the field, and found the back of the net in a matter of four seconds. “We just looked at each other,” she recalled. “Such a crazy moment and it was our first time playing anybody other than Guam. A level of play we weren't ready for.”

Natalie Hill said that game in Taiwan was “a learning experience.” The NMI was routed, 0-23.

Patty Coleman said when they played against South Korea, one of its players shot a long ball that knocked down one of the NMI players. “I was like, wow,” she said. “I could not believe the skill level. People weren't there to mess around and they were putting it all out there. So were we, even if it did not appear that way.”

 

The NMI Women's National Team members pose prior to a Marianas Cup game against Guam in 2009. Contributed photo

Emily Gries Maxberry said she remains proud of the fact that they fought Guam to a draw and beat Macau.

Del Rosario then asked the four former players who were among the NMI’s memorable female players.

Natalie and Patty said they admired Sarah Allen for her sheer hustle. Although she was not a national player, she acted like one and always battled for the ball.

Morgan Rose was another player that Lindsay thought was a force to be reckoned with.

As for Emily, she said Lindsay and Natalie always gave her a tough time on the soccer field.

Regarding coaches, the four former players said Sugao Kambe and Jeff “Ziggy” Korytoski made major impacts on their playing skills.

According to Lindsay, “Coach Kambe had this way about him — he went the extra mile in some ways.” 

The NMI’s Patty Coleman gets ready for a long pass during a Marianas Cup game against Guam in 2009. Contributed photo

“He's knowledgeable and wise,” Natalie said. “You wanted to work for him. He had a demanding but gentle manner which appealed to me.”

Korytoski, on the other hand, was a tough coach, Patty said.  He conducted rigorous training sessions, Emily said. “I will never forget him,” she added.

Before the podcast ended, Patty shared the following advice with today’s young soccer players. With the availability of coaches and a soccer facility, she said, there was no limit to achieving one’s dreams as a soccer player. “The sky is the limit. If they want it and are willing to work hard, they can get it.”

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