HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER
CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARBULLETIN.COM
Tani Costa helped Kalani to an undefeated season with a win over Moanalua yesterday.
Kalani completes undefeated run
Junior sensation Tani Costa helped make senior day for nine different Falcons a memorable one.
Costa scored two first-half goals and Trisha Tengan added another as host Kalani capped an undefeated regular season by defeating Moanalua 3-1 yesterday in an OIA East girls soccer match.
Kalani (11-0-1) had already clinched the East's top seed in the OIA playoffs and used yesterday's regular-season finale as a chance to get all the girls valuable game experience.
"We wanted to get everyone in there to get some playing time and get prepared for the postseason," Kalani coach Myles Arakawa said.
The Falcons outscored their opposition 34-5 during the season, thanks in large part to Costa.
Her two goals yesterday gave her a league-leading 19 for the season in just nine games. She has scored more goals by herself than five of the other six teams in the Red East division.
Costa missed three games this season while practicing with the under-17 national team on the mainland, and it could become a problem during next month's state tournament.
"Every month we have practice on the mainland to train for the World Cup this November in New Zealand," Costa said.
Costa added that she's "not sure" what she will do if there's a conflict between the two, but before the Falcons look ahead to states, they have the OIA playoffs coming up in less than two weeks.
"We have a game plan that is going to help us do well in the playoffs," Costa said.
The game plan in the first half for the Falcons was simple. Both goals came off the foot of Costa, who opened the scoring in the 22nd minute by dribbling through three defenders and launching a shot past Na Menehune goalkeeper Keli Kuikahi.
Seven minutes later, Costa scored her second goal. Senior Kyla Tamayori hit Costa with a pass in the middle of the field and she chipped one into the upper left corner of the goal from about 20 yards out.
"I got a good pass and just curved it into the corner," Costa said.
Tengan added another goal in the 45th minute off a corner kick by Sabrina Doi. The ball came bouncing into the box, and Tengan just got enough of the ball to sneak it into the net for a 3-0 lead.
Moanalua finally attempted its first shot 2 minutes later as freshman forward Tiana Fujimoto got loose behind the Kalani defense. Her shot went wide left, but in the 60th minute, she got free again and had no problem putting the ball into the net. It was just the fifth goal allowed by the Falcons all season.
"The girls work well together and are willing to learn and accept new ideas," Arakawa said of his team's success.
Moanalua finished the season 7-4-1, and gave up the second fewest goals in league play. It will either be the second or third seed when the playoffs kick off.