Punahou overwhelms Kaiser


POSTED: Thursday, February 12, 2009

Punahou boys soccer coach David Trifonovitch spent the opening minutes of yesterday afternoon's match against Kaiser imploring his squad to slow down, settle down and pass the ball.

The Buffanblu heeded the advice. Senior captain Alessi Sia took a cross in the middle of the field and rocketed a shot past Cougars goalkeeper Keane Ellis off a short hop in the match's seventh minute.

Punahou went on to down Kaiser 3-0 in the Division I opening round of the Hawaii High School Athletic Association/JN Automotive Group Boys Soccer State Championships at Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park. The Interscholastic League of Honolulu runner-up Buffanblu advance to today's quarterfinal match against third-seeded and undefeated Kealakehe (15-0-0), champion of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation, at 3 p.m. on the complex's stadium field.

“;We played 'Iolani in that last game of the (ILH) season, and they came at us real fast,”; said Trifonovitch of the league champion Raiders. “;I was telling them we weren't getting the same kind of pressure we did in that game, so we needed to settle down and have some composure. Once we did, we were able to work the ball in and get the goals.”;

The Buffanblu (8-2-3) added their second score in the 38th minute as Christian Patmont crossed to an open Matthew Walker, who popped the waist-high pass into the left corner of the goal to give Punahou a 2-0 advantage just prior to halftime.

“;The runs and offensive tactical game for Punahou were nice; I wish my kids could do that,”; said coach Herb Schreiner of his squad, which includes a mixture of 15 freshmen and sophomores. “;It's a building team, they work hard, and they want to win every game. But, they get frustrated when they start losing, but they don't realize that they're going against (an experienced squad like) Punahou.”;

Thanks to an own goal from Kaiser in the 65th minute (credited to Punahou's Alexander Ching by the officials) Trifonovitch gave his substitutes some valuable playing time, while continuing to advise his starters on the sideline as they watched the game from a different vantage point.

“;Kaiser in their OIA (playoff tournament) upset some very good teams, and made it all the way to the semis, so we weren't taking them lightly,”; Trifonovitch said. “;You've got to go out there and establish the tempo early, try to get possession, and be more intimidating on tackles.

“;We didn't start out very well. We got the early goal, but then we were very complacent, so it was tough to get the rhythm back again. So to get everybody in at the end, I was very fortunate. It's nice to get everybody a chance to play in the state tournament because you never know when that will happen.”;

The Cougars fell to 5-9-3 on the season, and while the young team became increasingly upset as the game slipped away, Schreiner was pleased with the positive steps it took by facing the experienced Buffanblu.

“;I thought we did really well in the sense that we worked hard,”; Schreiner said. “;Unfortunately we're not in the championship bracket anymore, but we're looking forward to King Kekaulike (today in a consolation match).”;

Punahou now turns its attention to Kealakehe, the only squad in the state tournament to have won all its matches (top-seeded Iolani finished with 11 wins and one tie).

“;They're a very good team, undefeated, and the Big Island champs,”; Trifonovitch said. “;We really don't know what to expect, but they're going to have a lot of speed, so hopefully we can neutralize that. If we can keep the ball on our offensive side of the field, then we'll be fine. If they play a long ball out, we've got to be deep enough (on defense) to settle in and not let them get behind us.”;

Roosevelt 2, Moanalua 0

Brad Pena scored two goals to lead the Rough Riders (9-4-3) past Na Menehune (9-5-3) and into the next round.

Roosevelt meets top-seeded 'Iolani, the ILH champion, in the quarterfinals today.

Kapolei 1, Hilo 0

Lyle Santiago's goal in the 22nd minute for the Hurricanes (11-5-1) held up in a victory over the Vikings (9-4-3).

Kapolei moves on to play Maui Interscholastic League champion Kamehameha-Maui (9-3) in the quarterfinals today.

Kalaheo 3, King Kekaulike 1

Joshua Amoroso scored all three goals for the Mustangs (11-3-2) in the win over Na Alii (7-4-2).

All of Amoroso's goals came after Jeremy Gomes gave King Kekaulike a 1-0 lead in the 24th minute.

Kalaheo plays third-seeded Mililani (12-1-2), the Oahu Interscholastic Association champion, in the quarterfinals tonight.



Honokaa 1, McKinley 0

Joshua Robinson scored 3 minutes into the second half to break a scoreless tie and give the Dragons (10-5-1) a victory over the Tigers (6-5-3).

Honokaa takes on top-seeded Seabury Hall (10-1-1) in the quarterfinals today.


Kailua 2, Makua Lani Christian 1, 2OT

Cameron Lee scored 4 minutes into the second overtime to give the Surfriders (11-2) the win over the Lions (9-5-2).

Dylan Hardie-Jordan gave Makua Lani a 1-0 lead in the 62nd minute. Two minutes later, Matthew Nakata's goal tied it up for Kailua.

The Surfriders advanced into today's quarterfinals against Kauai Interscholastic Federation champion Kapaa (7-0-1).

Kamehameha-Hawaii 1,

Radford 0

Jordan Lerma's goal in the 56th minute lifted the Warriors (7-4-5) over the Rams (6-2-1).

The Warriors moved into today's quarterfinals against Hawaii Prep (12-3).

Mid-Pacific 2, Konawaena 0

Ryne Shimabukuro scored two first-half goals for the Owls (6-7) in the win over the Wildcats (9-6-1).

Mid-Pacific takes on Waialua (12-0) in the quarterfinals today.