Penalty kicks boost Pac-Five past Kapaa


POSTED: Sunday, February 08, 2009

Geena Fong had the week of her life, so it was only fitting that she'd have a night to remember, as well.

Fong had four saves in goal, then delivered the winning score in penalty kicks as Pac-Five edged Kapaa 1-0 to capture the JN Automotive Group/HHSAA Girls Soccer Division II championship.

The Wolfpack won their second state title in three years thanks to gritty defense against a big, physical Warriors squad.

“;We played Kauai and just got away, so we knew Kapaa would be a handful,”; Wolfpack coach Eddie Wong said.

Pac-Five (7-6-2), the No. 3 seed and Interscholastic League of Honolulu champion, reached the final after defeating Hawaii Prep 2-1 and second-seeded Kauai 1-0.

Kapaa (7-4-1) was unseeded after finishing second in the KIF, but defeated Mid-Pacific 2-0, Kamehameha-Hawaii 3-2 and top seed Kailua 2-0.

A pensive crowd of about 2,000 at chilly Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium saw Pac-Five and Kapaa go through regulation play and two overtimes without a goal.

Pac-Five opened penalty kicks with a score by Cristine Tamamoto off the hands of Kapaa goalkeeper Kyah Schneider. Kapaa's Larissa Crain followed with a clean shot to net.

Pac-Five's Kendal Kagawa scored on her kick to the left side, and the Pack gained an advantage when Kapaa's Kalia Mayer's kick sailed over the goal.

However, Schneider snuffed the ensuing kick by Pac-Five's Allison Calabrese, and Warriors defender Takara Kunioka's ball got away from Fong, the keeper, just far enough to get over the line for a tying score.

Pac-Five's Chelsey Yoneda booted her kick into the left side of the goal before Fong deflected an attempt by Kapaa's Seri Niimi-Burch, giving the Pack a 3-2 edge in penalty kicks.

Fong then lined up and drilled the ball to her right, and it landed untouched in the net to clinch the win for Pac-Five.

“;We tried to play possession ball, but Kapaa plays an excellent long-ball game,”; Wong said. “;Our girls were fantastic. They played for our seniors.”;

Fong, like her teammates, paid no attention to penalty kicks all season. Only three days before the state tournament, Wong had his team focus on PKs.

“;I knew that we were gonna win. I didn't know I would kick,”; said Fong, who had never before won a varsity match with a kick. She did win a HYSA match a year ago, however, with a penalty kick.

Last night, she had no clue she was in line to deliver in the clutch.

“;I didn't know until we huddled after the second overtime,”; she said of her coach's decision.

Kapaa's hot finish after a tough regular season—two losses and a tie with Kauai—was a testament to its pride.

“;This season has been successful, even if we didn't bring home the gold,”; first-year coach Colby Ayonon said. “;I'm very proud of them. Every practice, they came out ready to battle.”;

Having one more match than Pac-Five, which had a first-round bye, was a factor.

“;This was our fourth match (in four days), so our legs were a little heavier than we wanted them to be,”; Ayonon said.

Crain, a punishing defender who played with sore ribs in Kapaa's last three matches, was part of a unit that nearly posted its third shutout in four matches.

“;There were times we went into games with our heads down,”; she said of Kapaa's midseason struggles. “;We improved a lot and started playing as a team.”;

Schneider, an imposing 6-foot senior, had six saves for the Warriors.



Third place: Kauai 3, Kailua 0

Fifth place: Kamehameha-Hawaii 3, Honokaa 1

Seventh place: Mid-Pacific 4, Seabury Hall 1