Sarina Bolden (right) and Yasmeen Khair of Jordan fight for possession during their AFC elims clash.
Ex-US NCAA booter key weapon for Malditas in SEA Games
Olmin Leyba ( - November 22, 2019 - 6:16pm

MANILA, Philippines – After making history in scoring the Philippines' first goal in the AFC Asian Women's Cup last year, Fil-Am Sarina Bolden is ready to be unleashed on home ground as the Malditas vie for a podium finish in the Southeast Asian Games beginning November 26.

"Watch out for Sarina Bolden, she's a quality forward who scored for us in the Women's Asian Cup against Jordan. It's her first time to play here," said Philippine Football Federation secretary general Edwin Gastanes.

The 5-foot-8 Bolden is a product of NCAA Division 1 side Loyola Marymount U system. She trained at the US U-23 camp prior to her international debut for Team Philippines in the Continental meet in Jordan.

Bolden netted the decisive strike in the Malditas' come-from-behind 2-1 opening day victory over the host Jordanians — a sublime shot through the legs of the keeper — which provided the spark in the Filipinas' eventual fifth-place finish.

"It's just so exciting to be part of something so special and big. Not only am I playing for myself but I get to play for a country which is a part of myself and it's so much bigger than playing for a college or a club team," Bolden, whose mother Sherry hails from Pangasinan, said during the WAC.

The Malditas are bunched with Myanmar and Malaysia in Group A of the SEAG hostilities at Binan Football Stadium. The Pinay booters face the Burmese on Nov. 26 and Malaysia three days later with the ultimate goal of copping a medal for the first time since a bronze feat in 1985.

"Our women's team has a chance," said Gastanes of the squad, which achieved a milestone semis appearance in the Asean Football Federation Women's Championship and underwent training and played tuneup matches with Japanese clubs in Osaka recently in the run-up to the SEAG.

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