D-I GIRLS STATE SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIPS
Punahou, Kamehameha in state final
STORY SUMMARY »
Punahou is coming to get its crown back.
State Girls Soccer
The championship games are set for today at Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park's main stadium:
» Punahou (12-1-2) vs. Kamehameha (12-2), 8 p.m.
» Roosevelt (14-1) vs. Kamehameha-Hawaii (16-0), 6 p.m.
The Buffanblu beat Pearl City 3-0 to advance to the state championship game last night at Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park. Punahou will meet Kamehameha, which beat Mililani 1-0 last night, for the title.
Kamehameha has won the championship the last two years but Punahou ruled for three years before that.
Punahou has rolled through the tournament with three wins and outscored opponents 11-0. Kamehameha was seeded first and only had to play twice, but was nearly as dominant, outscoring its opponents 5-0.
Roosevelt will get a chance to be the first OIA school to win the state division II title today when it takes on Kamehameha-Hawaii.
It is only the second year of classification in girls soccer. Pac-Five won the first division II championship last year.
The Rough Riders beat Kauai 3-2 in penalty kicks to get to the final game while the Warriors shut out Campbell 3-0.
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For 52 minutes, the defensive dam held tough against mounting Punahou pressure. But once it burst, everything Pearl City had built washed away.
State Girls Soccer: Division I
At Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park
Konawaena 2, Kaiser 1, PK
Moanalua 3, Kamehameha-Maui 2
Goal scorers--Kona: Chelsea Abril. Kais: Amanda Suiso. Moan: Tiana Fujimoto 2, Lexi Jones. KSM: Cheynice Ruidas 2.
Punahou 3, Pearl City 0
Kamehameha 1, Mililani 0, PK
Goal scorers--Pun: Erin Rementer 2, Karli Look.
Kapolei vs. Kalani, 4 p.m., field 7
Konawaena vs. Moanalua, 4 p.m., field 8
Pearl City vs. , 4 p.m., stadium
Punahou vs. , 8 p.m., stadium
Punahou scored three times in 19 minutes in the second half and the Buffanblu shut out their third consecutive opponent, 3-0, in the semifinals of the JN Automotive/HHSAA Girls State Championships last night at Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park.
The unseeded Interscholastic League of Honolulu runner-up has outscored its opponents 11-0 since tournament play started Wednesday.
League rival Kamehameha, which also hasn't been scored on all tournament long, advanced with a 1-0 win over Mililani on penalty kicks. The Buffanblu and Warriors meet in an all-ILH state title game tonight at 8.
Over the first half, attack plan A -- throw-in sniper tactics from the sidelines at the goal by midfielder Aisha Price -- wasn't working for Punahou. Pearl City's entrenched defenders repeatedly headed and cleared the throws. Unfortunately for the Chargers, option B for the Buffanblu involved getting the ball to the ILH's leading scorer, Erin Rementer.
"It was just about getting into a groove," said Matt Martinson, who has guided his team to the final in his first year as Punahou's head coach. "We were just looking for an opportunity -- we saw momentum was changing."
First, the Buffanblu earned a four-on-three counterattack, headed up by senior midfielder Brittney Sanford. She deflected the ball laterally to Rementer at the last moment when Pearl City's defense committed to her, and the open Rementer absolved the offensive frustration by planting the ball firmly in the upper left of the net.
"That goal doesn't happen without Brittney," Martinson said.
Nine minutes later, Rementer broke away at midfield with three defenders hounding her, but managed to dribble all the way down and elude goalkeeper Myra Yamamoto for Punahou's second score. It was reminiscent of her breakaway goal against Kalani during Wednesday's opening round.
"I had no experience against them yet, so I didn't know what to expect," Rementer said of the slow start. But it was mutual; on the go-ahead play, she thought Pearl City was "surprised" by Sanford's dish.
The Buffanblu defense held tough in the final 15 minutes, when the Chargers let loose offensively, just as Punahou had throughout the first two rounds of the tournament. This time around, Martinson went with goalkeeper Sarah Nonaka for the whole game, breaking from his usual half-and-half platoon system with a gut feeling. It paid off.
Karli Look tacked on a score from near-point-blank range at 70:44 to end any remaining suspense.
Pearl City coach Frank Baumholtz III drew upon the team's 3-2 loss to Punahou in the preseason to prepare, but he was still blown away by Price's throws and her team's overall attack. The Chargers bowed out in the semifinals for the second straight year.
"I can't take anything away from them," Baumholtz said. "It's hard to compete against that, but I thought we represented ourselves well."
In a scoreless first half, Yamamoto made two great saves to preserve the Chargers' dream, and she had five by the end of the game.
"We just had to stay in front (of the forwards), head the ball out," said Yamamoto, a junior, of Price's amazing sideline lobs. "I thought we did really well -- we knew they do that. It's always something we can use next year."
Kamehameha 1, Mililani 0, PK
The Warriors outshot the Trojans 4-1 in penalty kicks to reach today's final.
Tarra Gabriel, Shelby Moriguchi, Amber Fuller, Courtney-Rae Botelho connected for the top-seeded Warriors, while goalkeeper Kanani Taaca saved a shot.
With the shutout win, every victorious team in the winners bracket held their opponents scoreless through the whole tournament going into today's final, and no team netted a ball past the two ILH teams.