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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Monday, July 26, 2004

Bulls '85 take championship, 3-2

By Leila Wai
Advertiser Staff Writer

The Honolulu Soccer Club Bulls '85 captured the James P. McGuire Cup yesterday, Hawai'i's first in the highly competitive U.S. Youth Soccer Association.

The Bulls defeated CASL Elite of North Carolina, 3-2, to win the under-19 division trophy at the USYSA National Championships at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex at Orlando, Fla.

USYSA, widely considered the most competitive youth soccer league in the nation, has produced U.S. National team and college players. The Bulls were the first team from Hawai'i to win the USYSA Far West Regionals and advance to the nationals.

"It felt good, it was a national championship game, so you can't put it into words," said forward Duke Hashimoto, who scored the Bulls' third goal. "I'm just really happy we won."

Midfielder Matt Fischer and forward Satoshi Mitsuda also scored and the Bulls' defense held off CASL Elite, the only team to beat the Bulls in pool play.

"We have a thing on our team that whenever we play a team and lose to them, we always want to come back harder," Hashimoto said. "It's kind of a turning point for us. We call it turning over the stone."

Fischer scored in the sixth minute on a header off a corner kick from Brandon Tario, and Mitsuda, who won the Golden Boot award for the top forward in the tournament, scored in the 26th minute on a one-on-one breakaway to give the Bulls an early 2-0 lead.

But CASL answered back in the 59th minute.

"I just wasn't expecting that goal," defender Scott Shiraishi said. "Two-zero is always the worst lead to have."

Hashimoto gave the Bulls some breathing room in the 63rd minute on an assist from midfielder Justin Kim, giving the Bulls a 3-1 lead.

"Two defenders stepped up and (Kim) kind of split them. I ran through and my defender was tracking me, he dove in to get the ball," Hashimoto said. "I touched it to the right side, the goalie came out and slid out at me and I just touched it right over him."

CASL scored again in the 79th minute off a corner kick, seconds after Bulls goalkeeper David Semenza, who won the Golden Glove award for the tournament's top goalkeeper, stopped a penalty kick.

"They got some goals later in the game, but we still stayed strong," midfielder Richie Higa said. "There's no other feeling like it, are you kidding me? It's never going to happen again, we're not going to have another chance, it's a story-book ending."

The Bulls, many of whom play in college, were playing in the oldest division, under-19. They finished with a 2-1 record to advance out of pool play. The pool consisted of regional winners Honolulu (Far West), North Carolina (South), Missouri (Midwest) and Maryland (Region I).

The Bulls also received the Fair Play award.

Bulls team members: Akihide Adachi, Nathan Amous, Max Anton, Stephen Carlson, William Cooper, Matthew Fischer, David Gualdarama, Duke Hashimoto, Richard Higa, Justin Kim, Satoshi Mitsuda, David Semenza, Bret Shimizu, Scott Shiraishi, Brandon Tario, Kenshiro Uki, Ryan Wisdom.

Reach Leila Wai at lwai@honoluluadvertiser.com or 535-2457.