— ADVERTISEMENT —
Sunday, February 20, 2005
HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER
In a sport played mainly with your feet, it was using their heads that propelled the Punahou Buffanblu to their third straight state girls soccer championship yesterday.
Before an announced crowd of 1,878 at the Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park, Punahou overwhelmed Moanalua 2-0 in the HHSAA/Meadow Gold Dairies Girls Soccer State Championship final to claim its eighth state title.
"We didn't come out to lose. That's for sure," Punahou coach Jorge Barbosa said. "Our girls were ready. It feels awesome. This feels good. That was a good Moanalua team. They deserved to be here. I like to think we quieted the critics."
Since the start of the state tournament, Punahou has played with a something-to-prove attitude after criticism that the Buffanblu (11-2-2) didn't deserve to win the Interscholastic League of Honolulu championship.
With calm and poise, the Buffanblu played their brand of aggressive offense and outstanding defense to methodically run through the competition this week. No team scored against them in the tournament.
"My defense was absolutely unbelievable," Barbosa said. "With (Kelsey) Baker out there, you can sit back and have a (young) goalie like Ciana Aiwohi. It was unbelievable the line just stepped it up."
"I seriously have no words," Baker said. "I couldn't have asked for anything more from this team.
"This was the best way I could have ended my senior year."
Goals on headers by Marisa Schoen and Kelsie Look in the first half gave the Buffanblu control of the match early. Suffocating defense in the second half shut down the Menehunes' offense. Punahou outshot Moanalua 11-3.
The early cushion enabled Punahou defenders to take care of the game from the ground and keep the pressure off their young keeper.
Schoen scored her second goal of the tournament in the 10th minute of the game. The sophomore midfielder burst into the air to meet a 30-yard free kick from junior Lizzy Carlson. Schoen tapped the 5-yarder into the right side of the goal.
"Everyone did so well," Schoen said. "We were just all playing so hard for each other. I'm just really proud of everyone.
"We had a free kick. Lizzy just played this awesome ball. I just came in and headed it."
"We played a great second half," Menehunes coach Nikki Dela Pena said. "We were just slow in the first half.
"(Punahou) is always on the ball. Their girls were so crisp and clean."
The Menehunes weren't at full strength last night. Moanalua started junior goalkeeper Brooke Schreiner for senior Amanda Fukushima, who suffered a shoulder injury in Moanalua's semifinal win on Friday.
For the Menehunes (10-3-4), yesterday's loss will sting, but Moanalua can take consolation in the fact that it went deep into the postseason with a roster of mostly underclassmen.
So too did Punahou, which has a realistic shot at four consecutive championships with the majority of its roster returning.
Mililani had 13 shots on goal and Aiea had 11 shots on goal but neither team was able to put one in the goal.
Senior Ashley Nakamoto had three saves for Mililani, while her counterpart Shareyn Muneoka had five saves.
Notes: The start of the championship was delayed 5 minutes for the television broadcast.
HHSAA girls soccerAt Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park
Seeds: 1. Punahou. 2. Aiea. 3. Baldwin. 4. Hilo.
Game 1: Pearl City 6, Kapaa 2
Ê2: Mililani 2, King Kekaulike 0
Ê3: Konawaena 2, Kailua 1, PK
Ê4: Moanalua 3, Kealakehe 2, OT
Ê5: King Kekaulike 1, Kapaa 0
Ê6: Kealakehe 2, Kailua 1
Ê7: Moanalua 1, Baldwin 0
Ê8: Aiea 3, Konawaena 0
Ê9: Mililani 3, Hilo 0
10: Punahou 2, Pearl City 0
11: Pearl City 3, Hilo 1
12: Baldwin 3, Konawaena 2
13: Moanalua 2, Aiea 0
14: Punahou 1, Mililani 0
15 Seventh place: King Kekaulike 2, Kealakehe, 1
16 Fifth place: Pearl City 2, Baldwin 1
17 Third place: Aiea 0, Mililani 0
18 Championship: Punahou 2, Moanalua 0
GK Ciana Aiwohi Punahou Def Kelsey Baker Punahou Def Aysha Abut Moanalua Def Sophie Merrifield Punahou MF Lizzy Carlson Punahou MF Maris Van Der Lee Baldwin MF Marisa Schoen Punahou F Tobi Kanehira Aiea F Chelsea Arakawa Pearl City F Kelsie Look Punahou F Sarah Yoro Mililani
Most Outstanding Player: Kelsey Baker, Punahou