Kamehameha players raise the winner's trophy after a 1-0 defeat of 'Iolani in the Division I title game. Greg Yamamoto | SL
The third time proved to be the charm for Kamehameha, while it was heartbreak yet again for 'Iolani.
Kawaiualani Makue scored the lone goal in a 1-0 win to lift the Warriors (13-1-1) past the Raiders (12-1-3) in the title game of the Outrigger Hotels & Resorts Division I Girls Soccer State Championships before 2,052 fans at Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium Saturday.
The freshman reserve forward scored in the 32nd minute to give Kamehameha it's seventh state crown overall and first since 2008. 'Iolani, which suffered its first loss of the season, fell in the state final for the second consecutive year. The Raiders lost to Punahou in last year's championship game.
"I am a little bit in shock right now, I'm just so excited and so happy for these girls," Warriors' coach Missy Moore said. "They're so deserving, they've worked together so hard, as a true team and they're just very special."
Kamehameha exacted revenge on 'Iolani, which beat the Warriors, 2-1, in their first meeting back on Dec. 13. The teams also played to a 1-1 tie on Jan. 11. They were the only two blemishes on Kamehameha's otherwise perfect record.
"It was a huge motivation for our group," said Moore. "The first go-around, we had a little bit of jitters. They second go-around, we were down early, but came back and tied it up and we really pushed forward, but we just ran out of time."
Makue said her team's past struggles against the Raiders, their foe from the Interscholastic League of Honolulu, fueled their drive to win Saturday.
"We wanted to beat them super bad, because we had a hard time playing them in games earlier this season, but we just had to pick ourselves up," said Makue, whose only other goal this season came in Friday's semifinal-round win over Kamehameha.
Moore said bringing the freshman off the bench has served the Warriors well this season.
"Kawai brings a lot of energy to the team," Moore said. "She's like a firecracker out there, she works so hard and as a forward, she helps defensively, which is huge. You can't ask for more than that from a forward to play offensively and defend. It was huge for us, she was big-time for us."
The speedy Warriors controlled most of the possession, despite being outshot by 'Iolani, 12 to 10. The Raiders' also held a 4-2 advantage on corner kicks. 'Iolani standout midfielder/forward Kama Pascua was tightly-guarded by Kamehameha defenders Summer Burnett and Shyann Moriguchi throughout the game.
"We knew that and we told her that she had to distribute and we needed to do a little better job of executing that," Raiders' coach Kristin Masunaga said. "There's no secrets, we know what each other does the third time around and I just think that we didn't come out ready to play in the first half."
'Iolani suffered a major blow to its lineup on the same play that Makue scored, when junior defender Ashley Park-Hunt suffered a right knee injury. She was tended to by athletic trainers and after about five minutes on the field, she was carted off the field. She was in an air cast and on crutches after the game.
It was 'Iolani that had the game's first scoring threat. In the 13th minute, Alyssa Kim drove a corner kick from the right side to the near post, but the ball was snagged in mid-air by Warriors' goalie Sarah Davis.
In the 21st minute, Kamehameha's Carly Neal had a free kick from just outside the 18-yard box that resulted from an 'Iolani foul. However, it hit the bottom of the cross bar and bounced clear of the 6-yard box.
About 11 minutes later, Burnett attempted a crossing pass, which teammate Shaney Sakamoto tried to put away, but the ball was deflected on a diving attempt by Raiders' goalie Lexi Felix before Makue booted the rebound into the goal with her right foot.
"Shaney kicked it to the keeper and it was bouncing around in the box, so then I just hit it in," said Makue, who was named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament. "It was just reaction, I didn't have time to think, I just saw it bouncing in front of the goal."
About 10 minutes into the second half, 'Iolani's Nyki Mitsuyasu had two shots on goal from inside the 18-yard box, but both tries were denied by Kamehameha defenders. A minute later, Amanda McCaskill's 20-yard free yard was just high and sailed over the crossbar.
"We definitely had our opportunities, but we just couldn't finish them," said Masunaga, who credited the Warriors' defense. "Whenever we had the ball inside the 18-yard box, they packed it in and made it very difficult for us offensively."
While no cards were issued in the game, the teams combined for 24 fouls ('Iolani 13, Kamehameha 11) and the play turned even more physical in the second half. A second Raiders' defender - sweeper Taylor Kapilii - had to be helped off the field in the 53rd minute with an apparent leg injury, but she later returned and finished the game.
"We were really looking forward to really hard and physical game tonight and we got what we came for," Moore said.
'Iolani had several scoring chances in the game's final minute, but failed to convert each time.
"It's like deja vu from last year," Masunaga said. "There's nothing we can do, but re-organize our lineup and get ready for next year."
Davis made four goalie saves for Kamehameha, while Felix recorded two stops for 'Iolani.
The Raiders, the ILH runner-up, played four games in as many days, while the Warriors enjoyed a first-round bye as the league champion. 'Iolani, which was seeking its fourth state title and first since 1999, beat 'Aiea, Baldwin and Moanalua en route to the title game, while Kamehameha topped Kamehameha-Maui and Mililani in earlier rounds.
It was the 10th consecutive year that an ILH school has won the Division I state championship.2012 Division I All-Tournament Team (selected by HHSAA staff)
F - Tia Kinilau, Kamehameha
F - Kawaiualani Makue, Kamehameha
M - Twyla Hamasaki, 'Iolani
M - Kauwela Neal, Kamehameha
M - Kama Pascua, 'Iolani
M - Twyla Hamasaki, 'Iolani
M - Shyani Terukina, Mililani
D - Kylie Mitsuda, Moanalua
D - Kristen Fujinaga, Mililani
D - Amanda McCaskill, 'Iolani
GK - Sarah Davis, KamehamehaMost Outstanding Player:
Kawaiualani Makue, Kamehameha