Mililani boys wins OIA soccer title
By Kyle Sakamoto
Advertiser Staff Writer
Now that the Mililani boys soccer team has captured the O'ahu Interscholastic Association championship, coach Jeff Yamamoto can finally think about defending the state title.
"I haven't thought about it until just now," Yamamoto said last night following a 2-1 victory over Kaiser in the OIA title game at Pearl City. "We definitely have some things to work on."
Mililani (12-0-1) got goals by Brent Murakami in the 37th minute and Todd Suenaga three minutes into the second half.
Murakami's goal came from five yards out off a deflected shot by Nathan Amous.
"He was right there at the right spot and he put it away," Yamamoto said. "It was a good set by Nathan Amous, who did a good job distributing the ball in real tight situations."
Mililani made it 2-0 on Suenaga's goal off a throw-in by Justin Kim.
"Todd, he's been getting his head on the ball a lot, and this time it went to his feet, and he finished it," Yamamoto said.
After struggling in the first half, Kaiser (12-1) made a game of it in the second.
Brandon Self nearly got the Cougars on the scoreboard in the 60th minute on a blast from 40 yards that went off the cross bar.
Five minutes later, Kaiser scored on a goal by Landon Beers off a header by Michael Rivas-Micoud.
"He was in place in front of the goal," Kaiser coach Herb Schreiner said of Beers. "The header by Michael Rivas-Micoud was a nice feed, and he buried it."
In the 70th minute, Mililani goal keeper Thomas Brown ran to his right and picked up a ball that was at the edge of the penalty box as Kaiser's Chad Jamieson came charging toward the ball.
"I was right there," Jamieson said. "One foot was outside of the box and he grabbed the ball and he stepped back in. I looked at the ref and he said no, it was clean."
If a goal keeper touches the ball when it is out of the penalty box, his team is assessed a foul, and the opposing team receives a free kick.
Said Schreiner: "They're a good team; we knew that coming in. I'm proud of our team on how we came back. They wanted the game, but didn't get it. They scored on our mistakes."
Mililani, Kaiser, Moanalua (10-4), Castle (8-3-2) and Campbell (8-3-1) will represent the OIA at the state tournament, which will be held Wednesday through Saturday on Maui.
"I think we'll do fine," said Schreiner. "The rules state we can't be seeded with Mililani in the same bracket, so if we meet Mililani it'll be in the finals of the states, and we'd like that opportunity."
Seabury in states: Seabury Hall defeated host Iolani, 2-1, in a special playoff yesterday to clinch a berth in the boys state soccer tournament.
Seabury was the runner-up in the Maui Interscholastic League; Iolani finished second in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu.