DIV. I STATE GIRLS SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIPS
GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARBULLETIN.COM
Kaiser's Julia Borges, left, battled Kamehameha's Dara Pagaduan for the ball at the state soccer tournament yesterday. Kamehameha won 4-0.
Reigning champs dominate
Kanani Taaca figured some aggressive defense around the goal was also the best way for Kamehameha to keep protecting its two straight state titles.
The Warriors' senior goalkeeper displayed gutsy initiative in venturing off her line to snuff out several attacks, and four players accounted for goals in Kamehameha's 4-0 win over Kaiser in the Division I quarterfinals of the JN Automotive/HHSAA Girls Soccer State Championships yesterday at Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park.
Taaca, last year's state tournament most valuable player, explained there was no real risk in her bold tactics because of the way she and the rest of the Warriors relay information on the fly.
"Me and our defense try to work together and they did it really well, they mark up and we have communication," Taaca said. "We were excited coming in, we have a lot to live up to."
Take her word for it -- Kamehameha allowed only seven goals during the Interscholastic League of Honolulu season and posted nine shutouts in 10 wins.
Kamehameha takes on Oahu Interscholastic Association runner-up Mililani today at 8 p.m. in the semifinals.
Still, the win was a relief for national high school coach of the year Michele Nagamine, as the Warriors (11-2) got their first action since Jan. 23, a full week of downtime while other teams competed in the opening round Wednesday.
Such are the added pressures of winning the ILH and coming in with soccer-ball-sized targets on your back.
"Having that bye the first game, you have all this nervous energy," said Nagamine, who recently accepted the women's soccer coaching job at Hawaii Pacific University. "The week off, they've been kind of chomping at the bit to get out here and play. We started off just a little bit shaky, making some kind of silly mistakes because of all that pent-up energy. I thought we kind of rushed ourselves a lot in the first half."
GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARBULLETIN.COM
Alyssa Chee of Kamehameha hit a header against Sarah Clapp of Kaiser yesterday. Kamehameha won 4-0.
To the naked eye, nothing appeared out of order for the defending champs.
Jacqueline Ho assisted on two goals, including the most spectacular play of the game. Ho lofted a perfect cross to senior Shelby Moriguchi, who sailed in on the weak side for a perfect midair header to put Kamehameha up 3-0 at the 52nd minute.
"It was a beautiful, perfect cross," said Moriguchi, who was just moved up from fullback. "All I had to do was get my head there. She did all the hard work."
Thanks to Taaca's play around the net, the Warriors became just the second team to shut out Kaiser (10-5-2). The keeper was credited with only one official save, but she prevented a handful of other counterattack shots by the Cougars when she stepped out of the goalie's box to clear the ball.
"She had some very key saves," Nagamine said. "Kaiser was attacking the goal for a good amount of time in the first half, and she came off of her line and snuffed a lot of opportunities, probably two that should have been goals. Having a senior and last year's MVP in the goal, that's always a nice luxury to have."
Sanoe Souza, who led Kamehameha during the ILH season with 10 goals, got things started in the 11th minute when she blasted in a turnaround shot on a deflected attempt from Ho.
Sophomore Courtney-Rae Botelho also took a feed from Ho and put the Warriors up 2-0 before the half.
Freshman Gabriella Yates tacked on a final goal at 70 minutes to eliminate any possibilities of a comeback from the Cougars, who inserted their reserves late.
"I told the girls, when you're playing a team like this, just the little intangibles matter," Kaiser coach Adolph Samuels said. "You make those small mistakes, they just capitalize so fast. The best teams, you can tell when they come out here, the plays you don't expect all season long, don't see all season long -- they put on that kind of show."
STATE GIRLS SOCCER
At Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park
Kaiser 1, Kapolei 0
Mililani 3, King Kekaulike 0
Moanalua 3, Kealakehe 0
Punahou 3, Kalani 0
Kapolei 1, King Kekaulike 0
Kalani 3, Kealakehe 2, PK
Goal scorers--Kap: Chaney Lopez. Kal: Andrea Aguirre, Rosie Chinen. Keal: Ellie Villarin, Lisa Heslinga.
Punahou 5, Kamehameha-Maui 0
Kamehameha 4, Kaiser 0
Mililani 7, Konawaena 0
Pearl City 1, Moanalua 0
Goal scorers--Pun: Brittney Sanford, Monica Arnold, Karli Look, Aisha Price, Briana Afoa. Kam: Sanoe Souza, Courtney-Rae Botelho, Shelby Moriguchi, Gabriella Yates. Mil: Chelsey Goo 2, Breeanna Locquiao, Sasha Moscatello, Allison Kagawa, Shannen Hirata, Ashlee Fronda. PC: Chloe Maeshiro.
Kaiser vs. Konawaena, 4 p.m., field 7
Moanalua vs. Kamehameha-Maui, 4 p.m., field 8
Pearl City vs. Punahou, 6 p.m., stadium
Kamehameha vs. Mililani, 8 p.m., stadium
Kapolei vs. Kalani, 4 p.m., field 7
Kaiser-Konawaena winner vs. Moanalua-Kamehameha-Maui winner, 4 p.m., field 8
Semifinal losers, 4 p.m., stadium
Semifinal wiinners, 8 p.m., stadium