Kailua and Pac-Five play for championship


POSTED: Saturday, February 06, 2010

One team is building tradition and the other is thriving on inspiration.

Defending champion Pac-Five advanced to the Division II final of the JN Automotive/HHSAA Girls Soccer State Championships with a 2-0 win over previously unbeaten Kapaa yesterday at the Waipio Peninsula Soccer Complex.

Just a few yards away on an adjacent field, top-seeded Kailua edged Kauai 1-0 in the other semifinal. Pac-Five (6-6-2) and Kailua (14-0) meet for the title today at 5 at Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium.

Pac-Five 2, Kapaa 0

The rematch of last year's final was scoreless after one half. The smaller, quicker Wolfpack got a header from Kendal Kagawa at the 42-minute mark on a perfect throw-in from the left corner by C'era Oliveira.

The two had never connected on a play until the state tourney. Oliveira had been a sweeper this season until switching to fullback—her position last year—this week.

“;I knew she could throw it in,”; Kagawa said, adding that they scored on a similar play in the quarterfinals against Kamehameha-Hawaii.

Nine minutes later, Ashley Haruki played her ball through a herd of defenders, tapping it with her right foot from 35 yards out, then slamming it in with her left over a surprised Warriors defense.

“;I'm left-footed,”; Haruki said. “;There were a lot of defenders there. (The goalkeeper) couldn't really see it.”;

Gaining an advantage in the second half by going at the north goal was key.

“;We've been asking them to take the outside shot. The wind was at our back and we can put the ball up,”; Pac-Five coach Eddie Wong noted. “;Plus the field goes downhill.”;

Kapaa (9-1) played without standout forward Dakota Barnett, who was issued a red card during a quarterfinal win over Honokaa.


Kailua 1, Kauai 0

Freshman Marissa Yoshida's long blast early in the second half gave the Surfriders a trip to the final.

Like the concurrent semifinal between Pac-Five and Kapaa, Kailua knew it had an advantage in the second half with the north-side goal.

“;Coach said to go and have no regrets,”; Yoshida said of Malu Afong's talk during the break. “;We weren't really pushing the ball and she told us we'd be going downhill.”;

Kailua's Tiffany Nakata tapped the ball and Kauai simply missed it, Yoshida said.

“;I thought, I'm just going to kick it,”; she said of the 25-yard rip. “;This is for Coach Wil (Kimura).”;

Kimura, the Surfriders longtime coach, died in December. He was 62.

“;This is a huge accomplishment for them. The girls had to deal with a lot of adversity this season,”; Afong said. “;Kauai is always a good program. They're bigger, stronger, faster, more aggressive, but we still played our game.”;

Kauai coach Matthew Victor was impressed by Kailua forward Ashley Kanoho.

“;She's an awesome player, big and fast,”; he said.