Posted: February 18, 2012 - 2:48pm
Trojans shutout Kalani, 3-0, for D1 championship
Mililani players celebrate a 3-0 victory over Kalani and the Trojans' fifth state title. Greg Yamamoto | SL
Douglas Curren scored twice - both in the first 10 minutes - to lead the Trojans to a 1-0 win over Kalani Saturday in the final of the Outrigger Hotels and Resorts/Hawaii High School Athletic Association Division I Boys Soccer State Championships at Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium.
Mililani, the tournament's top seed and champion of the Oahu Interscholastic Association, completed an undefeated season with a 15-0-1 record. It was the fifth state crown in school history for Mililani, but first title since a four-peat from 2000 to 2004.
For Curren, a 6-foot-1 senior, it was his first two goals of the season.
"Better late than never, I guess," said Curren, a forward/midfielder. "I actually did a double-take on the first goal ... I didn't even think it went in."
It was the first time back to the title game for the Trojans since 2009, when it lost to 'Iolani.
"Feels great, what else can I say? We have a very special group of players this year, so we're fortunate to have them and I felt that our coaching staff did a great job all year of getting them ready for everything," said Mililani head coach Jeff Yamamoto, who is in his 18th season at the helm of the program.
"It's been so long (since the last title) that there's no deja vu feeling, it feels like the first time," he said.
The championship drought was not lost on his players. In the post-match celebration, the players and coaches held up the number five during team photos.
"We had big shoes to fill," said Curren. "They had a four-peat back then and it feels good to add another."
Mililani dominated much of the match, especially the first half. The Trojans tallied 12 shots to Kalani's three, by halftime.
"I thought we did a good job, we wanted to possess and control the ball and try and keep the ball away from (Yoshinori Tamokai), (Kazuto Moribe), (Leo Klink) and (Kevin Carroll), so there were some key players we had to take note of," Yamamoto said.
Klink, who scored game-winning goals each of the past two nights in upset wins over Punahou and Kapolei, went unmarked by the Trojans' defense, but was hampered by lingering injuries.
"We were confident that our block defense was going to be able to shift and flex to be able to cover him. When you mark man-to-man on somebody that means, you lose a player and that really makes things difficult on releasing and taking responsibility, it gets too complicated, so we stayed with our regular structure," said Yamamoto, who mentioned his team gained perspective on the Falcons in an earlier meeting just 10 days earlier. "We just knew more of their key players and how significant they were. Unfortunately for them, Leo was injured so he wasn't a hundred percent. If he was a hundred percent, it would have been a different game."
While the Trojans enjoyed a first-round bye Wednesday, Kalani was playing in its fourth game in as many days.
"It wasn't nerves, but I think we needed adrenaline to get through the four games in four nights and seven games in 10 days, so I think after that first goal went in, we were a little deflated and couldn't get it back until halftime," Falcons' head coach Michael Ching said.
The Trojans were peppering the Falcons' goal early on and got on the board in the fifth minute on Curren's first goal. It was set-up by a throw-in from Tyler Matas.
"The first one, Tyler had a long throw to me and I tried to flick it on to someone else, but I guess it went in the goal," said Curren, whose header went off a Kalani defender and into the netting.
Just four minutes later, Curren struck again on another header, this time off a corner kick from Renato Torquato.
"The second one was a cross from Renato and it went just over the defender and I was just wide open in front of the goal and I headed it down," said Curren.
Curren said both goals were a matter of being in the right place at the right time.
"It's really a team effort," he said. "I've got a lot of guys that make me look good and it's pretty much all them."
Mililani added an insurance goal in the 37th minute when Ryan Tokunaga found the back of the net off a crossing pass from Matthew Fronda to make the score, 3-0.
Kalani head coach Michael Ching was pleased with his team's second-half effort, but gave credit to the Trojans, who beat the Falcons, 2-1, on Feb. 9 in an OIA Tournament semifinal game. Kalani's only two losses this season have come against Mililani.
"We got down, 3-0, they kind of blitzed us early on, but we fought back in the second half, we never gave up, but give credit to Mililani, they played a fantastic game, they beat us twice and they're as deserving a team as you can find," Ching said. "They're so fun to watch and I'm glad that we brought it back to the OIA ... hopefully it's here to stay."
Although the Falcons never scored, Yamamoto was impressed by their resolve.
"I have to give everything to the Kalani team," he said. "We had some good goals scored early on that probably set them back a bit, but in the second half they came out strong and it was very even and it went back and forth and that's the kind of game I thought it was going to be for the whole game, so we feel lucky that we got the goals early.
Mililani's Tyler Wilson made three saves, while Kalani's Shawn Donnelly made two stops.
Kalani, which was making its first return to the state final since 2009, completed its season with a 15-2 record.
Yamamoto said he believes the team tradition of bleaching their hair dates back to "around 2000 or 2001" and that it represents Mililani's school colors of brown and gold.
Division I All-Tournament Team (selected by HHSAA staff)
F - Leo Klink, Kalani
F - Keo Ponce, Kapolei
M - Kevin Carroll, Kalani
M - Tyler Matas, Mililani
M - Jake Sagami, Mililani
M - Yoshi Tamokai, Kalani
D - Kasey Chun, ‘Iolani
D - Douglas Curren, Mililani
D - Andrew Momohara, Mililani
D - Kazuto Moribe, Kalani
GK - Tyler Wilson, Mililani
Most Outstanding Player: Douglas Curren, Mililani
February 18, 2012
Mililani's Douglas Curren scored on the header to give the Trojans a 2-0 lead. Greg Yamamoto | SL
Mililani players celebrate a goal scored against Kalani. Greg Yamamoto | SL