Punahou's Stephen Carlson and Mililani's Chris Castell fought for the ball last night. The Trojans won the state title in double OT.

Shimatsu the hero
as Trojans win crown

He scores in the second OT to give
Mililani a 2-1 win over Punahou
for the state title

By Nick Abramo

It's doubtful any of the boys playing in last night's 2003 Meadow Gold Boys State Soccer Championship Tournament final will ever forget the masterful double-overtime struggle between undefeated Mililani and Punahou.

Least of all, Mililani senior Whitney Shimatsu. A place-kicker for the Trojans' football team in the fall, Shimatsu was simply the hero last night, scoring in double overtime on a pass from Nathan Amous to give Mililani a 2-1 victory before approximately 2,800 fans at the Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park's stadium field.

"It feels so great to go out on top as a senior," Shimatsu said while being mobbed by teammates and well-wishers after the dramatic victory.

In the 94th minute, Shimatsu dribbled to the right side of a Buffanblu defender and fired a roller from 18 yards out to the low left side of the net. The goal gave the Trojans their third straight state championship.

"I saw a big open space in the goal, but I wasn't thinking put it left or right," Shimatsu said. "I was just trying my hardest to put it in, any way, any how."

Shimatsu also scored the first goal of the game for Mililani (14-0-1) in the 57th minute, and it looked like that was all the Trojans would need. After working several touch passes with Amous through the Punahou defense, Shimatsu regained possession of a loose ball after a Buffanblu stop and unleashed a 17-yard blast into the upper right corner.

Mililani's Brent Murakami and Punahou's Shane Kutaka battled for the ball last night in the boys state soccer final.

Late in the game, Punahou (14-1-2) looked beaten, but rose from the dead in the 78th minute when Kevin Lenahan headed the ball in on a throw-in from Andrew Strand for a 1-1 tie.

"We were pretty devastated when they scored on us," Trojans coach Jeff Yamamoto said. "But we have a really great coaching staff, and they've developed the players to a stage where they're pretty confident. They regrouped and refocused and played the game they know how to play."

Until the first goal, neither team had a clear advantage, with both teams succeeding defensively and at midfield. The Buffanblu used all of the field, with their midfielders feeding their forwards to the outside and inside. The Trojans preferred to go the direct route up the middle. But despite many offensive thrusts by both teams, both keepers, Darren Smith of Mililani and David Semenza of Punahou, were in complete control of their areas.

"That was hard for us (the Buffanblu's goal) because we're not used to it," the smooth 6-foot-4 Smith said. "But we got it back. As one of our captains, Brent Murakami, told us over and over, 'Leave it on the field, there is no tomorrow.' "

Smith made several saves in critical situations, and as usual, he made the tough saves look easy.

In the first half, Smith patiently waited before jumping straight up to grab Tamatoa Hackney's 40-yard zinger. He also positioned himself in the perfect spot next to the goal post to easily handle Satoshi Mitsuda's low drive from the left wing, and then, minutes later, he beat Mitsuda to a rolling ball and made a sliding stop as Mitsuda charged over him.

Semenza also made a handful of spectacular diving stops, including a stab of a Shimatsu breakaway in the second minute of the game.

"It was hard to communicate because it (the crowd) was so loud," Semenza said. "On their last goal, we weren't able to mark them. I went for it, but he made a good shot. I don't know how much more I could have done."

Buffanblu coach Bob Clague said critical errors on both Mililani goals led to his team's downfall.

"We were a little antsy and desperate, especially toward the end," Clague said. "On their first goal, we made a bad pass, and on their second goal we lost the ball (in close)."

Punahou fullback Makena Carr watched Mililani's celebration and wondered what could have been.

"It's tough to watch them put the medals on, but they earned it," Carr said.

Kamehameha 2, Pearl City 0: Randall Haraguchi's header in the 32nd minute found the net and proved to be all the Warriors (12-5-1) needed in the third-place match against the Chargers (11-4-1).

David Gualdarama added another Kamehameha goal in the 70th minute.

Hawaii Prep 1, Hilo 0: Goal-scoring machine Trel Mangarin notched the fifth-place game's lone score in the 13th minute for Ka Makani (17-3) in the victory over the Big Island rival Vikings (16-3).

Moanalua 5, Honokaa 1: Nick Lovan scored twice and Nick Dang, Colin Morikawa and Landon Watanabe added one goal each for the Menehunes (12-4-1). Max Bowman slid home the Dragons' (11-7) lone goal.

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