HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER
GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARBULLETIN.COM
Iolani's Sammi Teramae fought for the ball against Punahou's Kryste Barbosa yesterday.
Sanford’s PK lifts Punahou
The Punahou girls soccer team attacked Iolani's goal time and time again with accurate lobbed balls yesterday afternoon.
Not from play, but from the sideline. Buffanblu players took gigantic running starts for throw-ins and targeted Iolani's goal itself, in the hope something good would happen by putting the ball in the penalty box.
Eventually, something did, and the host Buffanblu beat the Raiders 1-0 to stay unbeaten and knock Iolani from the unbeaten ranks in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu.
It took a while for coach Jorge Barbosa's sniper tactics to come to fruition. Sixteen minutes into the game and on the fourth such Buffanblu attempt, a Punahou ball took a one-hopper off a throw-in from the left sideline and went directly in the goal. Punahou players began to celebrate, but the referees ruled no one in play had touched the ball, so it didn't count.
At the 31-minute mark, the Buffanblu (4-0 ILH) lobbed another ball in that smacked off the crossbar. Iolani freshman goalkeeper Lauren Brown recovered it and passed the ball out.
"If it's going in the goal, let it go in and don't touch it," Brown said of her team's preparation for Punahou's strategy. "Catch it if you can, punch it out if you have to."
But persistence paid off for Punahou in the second half. At the 60-minute mark, Aisha Price lobbed another powerful throw-in from the left sideline, and Buffanblu forward Karli Look drew a holding call during a scrum for the ball in the penalty box. That set up Brittney Sanford, the ILH's leading scorer, with a penalty kick.
"We throw the ball in there, things will happen," Barbosa said. "Get a loose ball, an own goal, anything can happen. We capitalize on maybe one in 30, and that's not a good percentage, but we'll continue to work on it. And at least if we don't score, it'll keep them on their heels. It gives us a certain edge."
Sanford collected herself and booted the ball on the ground into the right corner of the net for her fifth goal in ILH play. Brown had no chance at it.
"I just chose (right) and I went with it," said Sanford, who now has two goals on penalty kicks this year. "It always could be our last chance, but I wasn't worrying about that. You have to remember who (drew) the foul. Karli got the foul, so it's a team effort. I'm just the one that finished it."
Iolani (2-1-1 ILH) spent the final 20 minutes pressing up field and had a couple of chances to tie the game in the final moments.
At the 72-minute mark, junior midfielder Kellee Murayama took a cross, and even though she didn't get a solid shot off, the ball appeared to be angling for the goal before it floated just to the left.
On Iolani's next possession, sophomore forward Presley Pawn was awarded a free kick halfway between the goalie's box and midfield. Pawn's kick sailed high and long, as did Kirsten Adams' attempt from about the same place 1 minute into stoppage time for the Raiders' last serious threat.
Iolani coach Chris Nied was pleased with his team's ability to stop Punahou's set plays, and was especially proud of his freshman goalkeeper.
(Brown) did a fantastic job; I thought she played exceptional today," Nied said. "Our issue at this point is put the ball at the back of the net, and we certainly had our opportunities to do that, and didn't do it. I'm not overly disappointed with the result other than that it's a loss, but there's a bunch of games left in the season and the girls need to be able to wash this one out of their minds and get ready for the next game."