HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER
Kapolei teams up to beat Leilehua
Credit for Kapolei's 3-0 win over Leilehua in the Oahu Interscholastic Association semifinals was spread equally last night.
Senior forward Curtis Kiyabu, who scored two of the Hurricanes' goals, gushed about goalkeeper Austin Healy's shutout.
Healy gave props to the entire Hurricane defense.
Coach Bryce Kaneshiro praised his seniors and returnees, who rallied the team back to the OIA championship game after a heart-breaking 1-0 loss to Mililani last year.
The Hurricanes will have the advantage of hosting Kalani in the OIA championship game at 6 p.m. Saturday.
Both teams had previously clinched a berth in the HHSAA state tournament.
Leilehua (10-2), the top West seed, had few opportunities to score and just one on a breakaway. The Hurricanes swarmed at the ball in the penalty box and Healy deftly denied all five Mule shots on goal.
The most spectacular came at the 32-minute mark, when Healy anticipated a Leilehua attack and made a stretching leap straight to his right to deflect a shot wide. No other attack seriously threatened the rest of the game.
"(On that play) I forced him to go one way, and I kind of just reacted and was able to stop the ball," Healy said. "Our defense, all the credit goes to them."
Kaneshiro made sure Healy, who wasn't a full-time goalie until this season, got his due.
"Austin Healy has grown tremendously as a goalie. At the beginning of the season he was a little unsure, his confidence has grown throughout the season. "He's been one of the biggest assets for us."
Kiyabu agreed, saying "Props to Austin, he got it done."
The West's No. 3 seed, Kapolei (11-2) at 10-2, had more than enough offensive assets to get the job done as well.
Aaron Santiago got things started for the Hurricanes before Kiyabu finished it; Kapolei converted on three of six shots on goal.
The Hurricanes jumped out 1-0 at the 22-minute mark when Santiago broke away up the right sideline. He beat a defender and his crossing shot deflected off the Leilehua keeper and into the net.
Healy's booming punts, aided with a favorable wind, helped keep Leilehua on its heels in the second half.
At the 52:00 mark, Kiyabu, the OIA West's leading scorer during the regular season at 16 goals, launched a ball from about 30 yards out that found the net.
"(Against Kiyabu) just don't let him get the ball and shoot," said Leilehua coach Carl Friedl with a resigned laugh. "Curtis is more deadly when he gets the ball anywhere near 30 yards in front of the goal. He has pop in that ball. Just gotta make sure he doesn't turn and get a good look. We didn't do that."
It didn't help that Leilehua defensive stalwart Bryant Moniz went out with a sprained ankle at 20:00. He didn't return.
"(Moniz) cleans everything up in the back for us. Corner kicks, anything in the air," Friedl said.
Kiyabu proved he could also mix it up at the 71:00 mark by slipping past the defense on a corner kick and heading the ball almost straight down in front of the goal. The ball one-hopped and bounced into the net to seal the win.
Leilehua lost only to Pearl City in the regular season, a game in which the Mules had only 10 players for most of the match because of a red card. The Mules won the regular season meeting with Kapolei 3-2. In that match, Kapolei was down a player for the same reason.
Eleven players were enough to get the job done yesterday.
"It was a physical, hard-fought game, and that was what we had to shoot for, that was our goal," Kaneshiro said.
Kalani 2, Kalaheo 1, 2OT
A letdown at the end of regulation didn't stop Kalani from punching a ticket to the OIA championship match. The Falcons prevailed over Kalaheo in two overtime periods.
Tyler Eng's shot from the left side deflected off Kalaheo's goalkeeper and rolled past for the golden goal just moments before the end of the second overtime, saving the result from coming down to penalty kicks.
It was the junior's second goal of the season -- he wasn't a starter until the postseason.
"It was...good," a breathless Eng said after he was mobbed by teammates, while Mustangs slumped all around.
Kalani (9-3-1) actually led most of the second half of regulation, when Danny Higa scored with a minute before halftime. Kalani kept the pressure up with three consecutive shots on goal in the 69th minute, but the Mustangs' Dylan Eichelberger scored in the 76th minute to tie things up at 1-1, forcing overtime.