HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER
Warriors meet Trojans in final
PUKALANI, Maui » For a few fleeting minutes, it appeared as if Baldwin might actually make a game of it against top-seeded Kamehameha. But reality, in the form of two textbook scoring sequences, quickly set in. And what had been a deadlocked game turned into a runaway that the final score of 4-1 barely reflects.
HHSAA Girls Soccer
Seeds: 1. Kamehameha. 2. Mililani. 3. King Kekaulike. 4. Konawaena.
10: Kamehameha-Hawaii 5, Hilo 0
11: Konawaena 3, Kauai 1
12: Kaiser 2, King Kekaulike 0
13: Kamehameha 4, Baldwin 1
14: Mililani 1, Pearl City 0
15: Kamehameha-Hawaii vs. Kalani, 1 p.m.
16: Kaiser vs. Konawaena, 3 p.m.
17: Pearl City vs. Baldwin, 5 p.m.
18: Mililani vs. Kamehameha, 7 p.m.
The Warriors outshot Baldwin 25-2, earning a berth in today's 7 p.m. championship game of the state girls' high school soccer tournament against second-seeded Mililani, which edged OIA rival Pearl City 1-0 in yesterday's late semifinal.
Kamehameha jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute on a 25-yard blast by Marie Yempku and appeared to have matters well in hand when the Bears stunningly tied the score on a counter in the 24th minute.
Jasmine O'Brien pushed the ball hard up the right side, hit a square pass to Maris van der Lee, who kept the ball rolling to the left flank. Baldwin scoring leader Keisha Shishido ran to the ball and scored with a left-footed shot from 12 yards out.
Baldwin's joy was short-lived. Kamehameha -- which outshot the Bears 13-1 in the opening 40 minutes -- responded with two goals before the break.
"It was a bit of a wake-up call for us," said Kamehameha coach Michele Nagamine. "We had one defensive breakdown and Baldwin made us pay. To bounce back the way we did says a lot about the mental toughness of this group."
Caycie Gusman beat a defender on the right side and her cross to the front of the goal was hammered in from 10 yards out by Markee Nobriga in the 33rd minute.
The Warriors struck again in the 39th minute, when Meleana Shim's slick move from the right wing turned around her marker and her cross was ripped into the net from 7 yards out by Sanoe Souza.
Kamehameha continued to pepper shots on goal during the second half, but didn't break through again until the 78th minute when Shayna Kapona scored from a couple of yards out after winning a scramble following a corner kick by Gusman.
Although the Warriors entered the tournament as the top seed, Nagamine noted that Kamehameha has not qualified for the postseason since 2000.
"This is a new experience for this group," said Nagamine, who guided the Warriors to consecutive state titles in 1995 and 1996. "None of the players have ever competed in a state high school tournament. I'm so happy for them."
Mililani 1, Pearl City 0
Just when it seemed as if the two OIA rivals were headed for some bonus soccer, Mililani's Natalie Wong*
made the most out of a chance in a game long on intensity and short on scoring opportunities.
Shelyce Ichimura dropped a pass from the left side of the area that rolled to the feet of Wong just past the top of the penalty arc.
"I trapped and tried to set it up for my right foot, but the defender cut that off," Wong said. "So I touched it across my body and shot it with my left."
The junior midfielder's shot was on target, hitting the upper left corner of the net for the game's only goal with fewer than 8 minutes remaining in the contest.
Before Wong's goal, the best two chances came within 2 minutes of each other in the second half. First, Pearl City's Anne Ochiae struck a shot that caromed off the crossbar. Then, Mililani's Nicole Mitani struck a shot that bounced off the hands of Pearl City goalkeeper Kari Miyasato and off the right post.
"It's always a tough game when we play them," said Wong, whose team meets Kamehameha for the final tonight. "We knew that from the start we had to be first to the ball and possess it. If we just kicked long balls, they would just ram it back down our throats coming the other way."
Kaiser 2, King Kekaulike 0
Advancing to the fifth-place game may not seem like a big thing to the better-established programs. But for coach Adolph Samuels and his Kaiser girls, this week has been the culmination of a long road.
"We haven't been here forever," Samuels said after the Cougars posted a victory to eliminate hometown King Kekaulike from the tournament.
Actually, it's been eight years since Kaiser qualified for the state tournament and Samuels has been involved in the girls' side of the program for four.
"Just getting here, for us, is an accomplishment," Samuels said. "And then to win our opener like we did (4-3 after penalty kicks) against Hilo, to force Mililani into overtime (in a 2-1 loss) and then to beat a tough, physical team like Kekaulike, you can't imagine what this means to our program."
One thing it means is that Kaiser will get to play on the final day, facing Konawaena in the fifth-place match at 3 p.m.
It took the Cougars all of 70 seconds to get on the board. Adrianna Kinhult's shot from the right side was blocked by Kekaulike goalkeeper Melanie Dickson and Kehau Kim was in perfect position to touch the ball in.
Kaiser increased its lead in the 34th minute with Kinhult winning a scramble in front of the goal. The Cougars were economical offensively, scoring on both of their first-half shots.
With a 2-0 lead, Kaiser stacked the back and absorbed pressure against a third-seeded Kekaulike team that finished with a 15-4 edge in shots and forced Cougars' goalkeeper Amber Nakachi to make seven saves.
Konawaena 3, Kauai 1
Overcoming an early deficit, Konawaena erupted for all of its goals within 14 minutes in the second half for a victory over Kauai.
The fourth-ranked Wildcats bounced back from a 1-0 loss to Baldwin in Thursday's quarterfinals and appeared to head to a similar fate before defying all the statistical evidence to beat Kauai. The Raiders outshot Konawaena 13-5 and forced its goalkeeper, Marissa Minor, to make a tournament-high 12 saves. But Konawaena made the most of its chances as Kristee Biven converted a pair of free kicks -- in the 62nd and 64th minutes -- and Grace Hedemann capped the scoring in the 75th.
Rachael Taira scored Kauai's only goal.
Kamehameha-Hawaii 5, Hilo 0
Freshman forward Jessica Marote scored two of her team's four first-half goals as Kamehameha-Hawaii routed Big Island rival Hilo 5-0 in a consolation bracket game.
Marote opened the scoring in the ninth minute, with additional goals by freshman Tara Hottendorf in the 22nd, Marote again in the 25th and senior midfielder Melissa Costales in the 38th. Senior forward Amber Spencer capped the scoring in the 53rd minute.
The Warriors will play in the seventh-place game against Kalani.
Saturday, February 11, 2006
» Natalie Wong scored the goal in Mililani's 1-0 win over Pearl City in the HHSAA girls soccer championships Friday, not Stephanie Yoro as was reported on Page B6 of yesterday's Star-Bulletin.