DUSHANBE, Tajikistan – Rogers State women's soccer signee Eva Madarang helped the Philippine National Team advance to the 2018 AFC Asian Cup for the first time ever, scoring a team-high four goals in five qualifying games.
Madarang scored the game-winning goals in all three victories as the Philippines went 3-1-1 in Group A to finish in second place. Jordan and the Philippines advanced to the Asian Cup as the top two spots in the group in a field that also included Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Tajikistan and Iraq. The Asian Cup serves as the final stage of Asian qualification for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup.
"The team accomplishment was to make it past this qualifying round and to make it to the qualifier for the World Cup. We accomplished that," Madarang said.
Madarang started hot in the first game, tallying two goals in the first half to help the Philippines build a 2-0 halftime lead en route to a 4-0 victory over United Arab Emirates to open qualifying. Her first goal came in the 14th minute, and she added one more tally in extra time right before halftime.
"Before the first game, I wasn't that nervous to be honest," Madarang said. "It felt like a normal game, but once I stepped on the field and heard the whistle blow it all hit me. I froze because I didn't know what to do at first."
She continued her torrid start to qualifying with a goal in the 21st minute against Iraq for an early 1-0 lead in a 4-0 win for the Philippines. In the next game, Madarang clinched a spot in the Asian Cup for her team with the game-winning goal in an 8-0 victory over host Tajikistan. She scored the goal in the 17th minute, her third straight game of opening the scoring for the Philippines.
"We are so proud of Eva," RSU Head Women's Soccer Coach Scott Parkinson said. "We knew she was a player the minute we saw her play live against Barbara City College last season. We want to show the world RSU is a place national team players can come and develop their trade and leave to represent their nations more prepared to compete at the highest level.
Madarang comes to Rogers State after playing two seasons at Moorpark College in California. She earned 2016 Moorpark College MVP honors and first team all-conference honors while leading the team to a Western State North Championships (CCCAA). The junior from Thousand Oaks, California will have two seasons to play on College Hill.
"This experience will help me with my college career because it showed me the level of soccer I want to play," Madarang said." And it also showed me what I want to do with school."
The Philippine Women's National Team will be one of eight teams to compete in the 2018 AFC Women's Asian Cup. South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, China, Japan and host Jordan complete the field with the top five teams advancing to the 24-team field of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France.
"The team is going to another tournament in August called the Southeast Asian Games," Madaring said. "Then after in 2018 is the World Cup Qualifiers in Jordan."
For more information on RSU soccer, go to www.rsuhillcats.com.