Posted: February 3, 2012 - 9:49pm
Warriors reach title game with 4-0 shutout of Trojans
Kamehameha's Carly Neal battles Mililani's Alisha Miyashiro for control of the ball. Greg Yamamoto | SL
The shutout lifts the Warriors (12-1-1) into Saturday's championship final of the Outrigger Hotels & Resorts/Hawaii High School Athletic Association Division I Girls Soccer State Championships, where they will meet Interscholastic League of Honolulu rival 'Iolani in the 7 p.m. game that will be televised live statewide on OC16. The Raiders beat Moanalua, 1-0, in the other semifinal.
Four different players scored goals for top-seeded and ILH champion Kamehameha, which will try for its first state crown since 2008, when it won the last of three consecutive titles.
"We're so excited. It's been a few years since we've been here and anytime you can make it to the state final, it's very exciting," Moore said. The Warriors last appeared in the championship match in 2009, when it lost to Punahou. The Buffanblu have won the last three titles.
Kamehameha used aggressive play to pick apart the Trojans (12-3-1), who were outmatched by the taller and faster Warriors.
"We knew they were going to come prepared, we knew they were going to be fast and we knew they were going to be right on target, so they played the way we expected they would," Mililani coach Ray Akiona said. "They just roll and roll and you either stay with them or you get left behind."
Kawaiualani Makue, a reserve freshman forward, opened the scoring in the 15th minute when her right-footed shot from about 30 yards out hit the left post, but ricocheted off the back of the Mililani goalie and into the goal.
Moore said it was important for her team to get ahead early after falling behind 2-0 to Kamehameha-Maui in a quarterfinal game. The Warriors ultimately rallied with five second-half goals to survive the upset scare Thursday.
"We've been giving up some slow starts throughout the year and our main thing (tonight) was to avoid that and start off as fast and as intense as we can, keep the game at our pace and I think we did a good job of that," Moore said.
Sophomore midfielder/defender Hannah Kaina made the score 2-0 in the 32nd minute after a 25-yard free kick found its way through the Mililani defense and rolled in for a goal.
The score remained 2-0 at halftime, and until the 50th minute, when Abcde Zoller's breakaway goal extended the Warriors' lead. The junior forward received the ball just beyond midfield and raced past two Mililani defenders before putting a right-footed shot past the goalie.
Kamehameha played stingy defense on Mililani's standout forwards TJ Reyno and Brittney Gideon. Defenders Summer Burnett, Casey Thompson, Ashley Asuncion and Vanessa Cabilan all helped slow down the speedy, scoring threats.
"It was definitely a concern, especially with a player like TJ, who is so good on the ball and off the ball," said Moore, Reyno's coach at Leahi Soccer Club. "That was definitely a concern and it was definitely discussed before the game and our players are quite familiar with her, so we knew what to expect. I think we did a good job on her. She got loose a couple times, but they made the adjustments, they played hard and we made sure we were first to the ball as much as possible."
Carly Neal added an insurance goal in the 53rd minute on a one-timer from just in front of the left side of the goal off an assist from Cabilan, who crossed it from the right side of the 18-yard box.
"We had an opportunity here and there, but if you look at the numbers and just having to play defense all the time, sooner or later, it's going to go against you," Akiona said.
The Trojans were without starting goalie Lauren Ishii, who suffered a concussion in a first-round win over Kapolei Wednesday. Cortney Wilson started in her place and was replaced by Tasalina Leoso late in the first half, but returned in the second and finished the game.
Mililani, which finished fourth in the Oahu Interscholastic Association, will play league champion Moanalua in the 3 p.m. third-place game Saturday. Na Menehune beat the Trojans, 1-0, in the semifinal round of the OIA Red Tournament nine days ago.
The championship game marks the third meeting between Kamehameha and 'Iolani this season. The Raiders won the first meeting, 2-1, back on Dec. 13 and the teams played to a 1-1 tie on Jan. 11.
February 3, 2012
Kamehameha's Ashley Asuncion advances the ball against Mililani. Greg Yamamoto | SL
Kamehameha players celebrate a goal scored against Mililani. Greg Yamamoto | SL