HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER
CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARBULLETIN.COM
Kalani's Erin Arakaki and Lyndsee Sugano tried to steal the ball from Mililani's Shelyce Ichimura during the OIA Girls Soccer Championship yesterday at Kaiser High School.
Mililani back atop OIA girls soccer
One goal was all Mililani needed to continue its dominance.
Stephanie Yoro scored the game's lone goal as the Trojans claimed their fourth Oahu Interscholastic Association girls soccer title in the past five years with an 1-0 win over Kalani yesterday afternoon at a windy Kaiser High field.
The Trojans (11-1-1) should receive one of the four seeds in this week's state soccer tournament at Kamehameha-Maui. Pairings will be announced today.
Yoro's goal came off a throw-in from the left side. She was in front of the goal and headed the ball in during the 19th minute of the first half.
"We've been practicing throws-ins for a while now," Yoro said. "When the ball came, I just knew I had to hit it into the goal.
"Our coach told us in the beginning that we really needed to score in the first half to get our momentum going and motivate us to play hard and intense."
Yoro scored with the wind blowing behind her back and that proved to be a huge difference, as the gusts limited the looks by either team.
Play was concentrated to the Mililani offensive side of the field in the first half and it was held mostly to Kalani's offensive side in the second half as both teams had trouble going against the wind.
"I think the goal gave us a little confidence, knowing we had to go against the wind in the second half," Mililani coach Ray Akiona said. "It was very important for us to get a goal with the wind to our backs. It made a difference."
"It made a world of a difference to have the wind for us," Yoro added. "In the second half, it totally changed our way of play."
Kalani (8-3-3) had several looks at the goal in the second half, but could never score. Rosie Chinen's corner kick minutes into the half from the right side sailed far over the goal and went out of bounds untouched.
Kyla Tamayori shot over the Mililani defense midway through the second half, but the ball bounced directly at goalkeeper Traci Kusaka. The Falcons could not convert on two more corner kicks, one by Chinen and the best look by Tamayori from the right side that dropped into a crowd of players in front of the goal and was headed out to the left side.
Kalani, the surprise team of the tournament, was the sixth seed out of the OIA East and upset Kapolei, Kaiser and West top seed Pearl City to advance into the championship game. The top five teams from the tournament qualify for states.
"From the start of the year, that was our goal, to make it to the OIA playoffs first and then states," Shinkawa said. "It was just a matter of getting everyone to buy into it."
ILH CHAMPIONSHIP PLAYOFF
Kamehameha 1, Punahou 0
Three-time defending girls state champion Punahou was denied a berth into this year's tournament as Kamehameha snatched the ILH title with a 1-0 overtime win over the Buffanblu.
Sanoe Souza scored a goal in the 89th minute to give the Warriors the ILH's lone berth in the upcoming state tournament. It also ended the Buffanblu's streak of five-straight ILH titles.