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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, August 9, 2005

Honolulu Bulls U-17 girls win US Club National title

By Leila Wai
Advertiser Staff Writer


Holding off a frantic surge from its opponent, the Honolulu Soccer Club Bulls girls Under-17 team captured a national title yesterday.

The Bulls defeated the Boston Renegades, 1-0, in the Girls Premier Under-17 division at the US Club Soccer National Cup IV Finals in Stony Brook, N.Y.

"The game was so awesome, but we were panicking in the last 10 minutes," said co-captain Kelsi Chan, a midfielder/forward. "Everyone played really well."

Katrina Chong scored off an assist from Alana Wall in the 29th minute. Wall's assist came on a free kick from 40 to 45 yards out from the right side.

"It was a great ball, it came in and split two defenders, bounced on the ground once, and (Chong) was running on to it," coach Phil Neddo said. "(Chong) just slotted it. The keeper didn't have a chance."

Neddo said the Bulls dominated the first half, with "two to three other significant (scoring) opportunities," while preventing Boston from having any.

"In the second half, we came out, first 5 to 10 minutes, we came out good," Neddo said. "I thought we dominated. Twenty to 25 minutes in, we were still controlling. Suddenly it changed, they pushed people forward. One time they had four forwards (and) we started panicking a little bit.

"There were opportunities for Boston, and they were unfortunate not to score."

The Bulls went 2-0-1 in pool play, beating PTCYSA (Ga.), 7-0, and Northern Steel (Pa.), 2-1, and tying Rancho Santa Fe (Cal-South), 0-0. The two pool winners advanced to the championship game.

On the final day of pool play, the Bulls needed a win against Northern Steel to advance to the final. They were down 1-0 with about six minutes left, when Lucy Caires scored off an assist from Chan to tie it. Caycie Gusman scored in injury time to clinch the win, on assists by Chan and Marisa Schoen, who also scored three goals against PTCYSA.

The U-17 Bulls advanced to the national championship by winning their division at the Region F Tournament in Las Vegas, June 11 to 14.

Last summer, the Real Hawai'i Futbol Club Copa '92 girls became Hawai'i's first national champion in this organization.

It is the second national title for the Bulls in two years. Last summer, the Bulls '85 boys won Hawai'i's first in the highly competitive U.S. Youth Soccer Association.

"Coach told us they set the bar," Chan said. "It feels really good, we're so excited. We want to come back home."

The other Hawai'i team in the US Club Soccer National IV Cup tournament was an Under-13 girls team from HSC Bulls, which played in Jacksonville, Fla., from July 21 to 24.

In the premier division, the Bulls went 1-0-2 in pool play, defeating the Vista Shockwaves (Va.), 2-1, and tying OP North (Ohio), 2-2, and Chicago Magic (Ill.), 0-0. They did not advance to the championship game out of pool play.

Team Members (with school attending in the 2005-06 school year): Lucy Caires (Iolani), Kelsi Chan (Kamehameha), Katrina Chong (Hilo), CiAnna Chun-Ming (University High), Caycie Gusman (Kamehameha), Allison Haines (Roosevelt), Jaymie Honold (Kapolei alum), Ashley Kanda (Castle), Lauren Kanda (Castle), Sophie Merrifield (Punahou), Marisa Schoen (Punahou), Carly Wachi (Punahou), Alana Wall (Iolani), Lindsey Watanabe (Castle), Jordan Weeks (University of Northern Colorado, Kamehameha), Jenna Wong (Maryknoll), Kiani Wong (University of New Mexico, Iolani), Marie Yempuku (Kamehameha).