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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Sunday, June 27, 2004

Bulls make Hawai'i soccer history

 •  Leahi first Isle team to win National Veterans Cup title

Advertiser Staff

The Honolulu Soccer Club Bulls '85 boys team became Hawai'i's first U.S. Youth Soccer Association Far West Regionals champion when it defeated the Irvine Strikers, 2-1, in penalty kicks yesterday at Spokane, Wash.


The Bulls, competing in the under-19 age division, advance to the USYSA national championships at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex, July 20 to 25.

USYSA, widely considered the most competitive youth soccer league in the nation, has produced U.S. National team and college players.

Boys and girls from California, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico and Hawai'i, in divisions from under-12 to under-19, participated in the Far West Regionals.

Forward Duke Hashimoto, who will be a junior at Southern Methodist, made his shot as the final penalty kick shooter to give the Bulls the edge, 4-3, in the penalty kicks phase.

"There's no other player that I would want more in that place at that time," Bulls coach Phil Neddo said. "I turned to (assistant coach) Michael Guidry and told him we were going to nationals when Duke was putting his ball down (to take the kick)."

Hashimoto said: "My shot came up and I knew if I put it in we would win, so I didn't really have any thoughts in mind, just about putting it in."

Satoshi Mitsuda, Justin Kim and Matt Fisher also made their penalty kicks, and goalkeeper David Semenza made one save.

Fisher scored in the second half for the Bulls, on an assist from Brandon Tario on a set play, tying the score at 1. Irvine scored its goal in the first half.

"We started off pretty shaky," Neddo said. "As the game went on, they got more and more into it. To be fair, I'm disappointed we didn't take it in regulation."

Irvine eliminated the Bulls in the quarterfinals on penalty kicks last year.

"We expected to be in this game, we expected to play this team," Neddo said. "In a lot of ways, it was a dog fight."

The under-13 girls team Ho'okalakupua, the only other Hawai'i team playing in the finals, made it for the second straight year, but lost to San Diego Surf White, 1-0.

"I think we're getting there, the state itself is getting better players, better teams, and getting closer to winning championships," Hashimoto said.

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.