Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Filipina-American beauty to join Philippine Malditas Football

Heather Cooke
Source : Jojo Malig, abs-cbnNEWS.com

MANILA, Philippines - A former Loyola University Maryland women's football centerback and MTV "The Real World: Las Vegas" reality show star is reinforcing the Philippine Malditas in their 2011 ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Women's Championship title bid next month.

Heather Cooke, daughter of a US Naval officer and a Filipina, has been confirmed in the Malditas' official lineup for the tournament, which will be held in Vientiane, Laos, from October 16 to October 25.

She will arrive in the Philippines Tuesday night to join her teammates, according to the Malditas' official page on Facebook.

Aside from the 21-year-old Cooke, the team features another Filipina-American, Patrice Impelido, Filipina-Germans Cristina Keuter and Lorrene Bayani, and Canadian Mallory Dayot.

The other members of the team are team captain Marielle Benitez, Maan del Carmen, Louella Leah Amamio, Isabella Fernando, Samantha Nierras, Stephanie Pheasant, Jowee-Ann Barruga, Marice Magdolot, Nikki Regalado, Natasha Alquiros, Joma Clemente, Betina Yang, Inna Palacios, Jane Mariz Pacana, Camille Rodriguez, Aiza Mondero, Zipporah Luna, Marie Magdolot, Pricilla Rubio, Nenita Burgess, and Kyra Tagbo.

The Philippines, which is in Group B in the tournament, will open its campaign against Myanmar.

The Malditas will also face Thailand and Malaysia in the group stage.

The Philippines may take on Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, and host Laos in the knockout stage if the Malditas advance from the group stage.

Soccer standout

Cooke was a Division 1 player and was a 4-year women's football letter winner, an All-Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference First Team honoree, and a recipient of the Ernest Lagna and John R. Moller Awards while she played for the Loyola University Maryland Greyhounds.

She graduated in 2010 from Loyola University Maryland before she joined the MTV reality television series that documented the lives of diverse strangers living together for several months.

The Loyola Greyhounds website describes Cooke as a defensive standout.

She helped the Greyhounds to a 30-19-11 overall record in 3 seasons, and a 20-1-6 mark in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MACC) competition.

Loyola won 2 conference regular-season titles and a MAAC tournament title while Cooke was with the team.

Cooke was named MAAC Defensive Player of the Year in her senior season. She was an All-MAAC First Team selection and named to the NSCAA/adidas All-Northeast Region team in 2009, while earning All-MAAC Second Team honors in 2008.

Her mother, Elsie, was born and raised in the Philippines before leaving for the US at the age of 21.

It will be Cooke's second time to visit the Philippines.

"I'm so proud of her, and so happy that she has gotten the opportunity to play with the Philippine National Team," her former teammate and defensive partner Sarra Moller said in the Greyhounds website. "I know it's something she's wanted to do for some time now."

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