Mililani edges Moanalua to reach OIA boys final
By Kyle Sakamoto
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Kyle Sakamoto
On one sideline Saturday will stand an O'ahu Interscholastic Association boys soccer powerhouse.
The players on the opposite sideline will be from a 6-year-old school hoping to become one.
Mililani, the four-time defending OIA champion, beat Moanalua, 1-0, behind first-time goal scorer Jordan Phanphongsa in the league semifinals yesterday at Kapolei.
Kapolei, which will be making its first appearance in the OIA title game, got a quick goal from Curtis Kiyabu and another late in the first half from Justin Malvar to beat Leilehua, 2-0, in the second semifinal.
Mililani (9-1-1) and Kapolei (11-0-0) will play for the title at 6 p.m. Saturday at Kaiser. The winner will receive the OIA's top seed and first-round bye in the Meadow Gold State Championships, Feb. 15 to 18 at Waipi'o Peninsula Soccer Complex.
All four semifinalists had already qualified for the state tournament.
Last night, Mililani freshman Phanphongsa sneaked behind the Moanalua defenders, received a perfect pass from senior Josh Edelo from the right side about 25 yards down field and touched it into the goal in the 35th minute.
"I got a through ball and Josh made a nice cross from the flank," Phanphongsa said. "The ball got kind of lost in the sun, but I just stuck my foot out and the ball went in."
The play worked because players from both teams were heading away from the goal.
"We were lucky to get behind them," Mililani head coach Jeff Yamamoto said. "They tried to put an offside trap on us and we got behind them."
Phanphongsa, who has been a part-time starter, entered in the 11th minute.
"That was my first goal," he said. "It means a lot to me. I'm really happy."
Moanalua coach Spencer Machado said: "Mililani is always a good team. I just thought we weren't focused enough to stay with them, and we kind of got tired at the end."
In the other semifinal, Kapolei junior Kiyabu executed a give-and-go with senior Daniel Garcia in the first minute.
"I played it to Daniel and Daniel played it back to me," Kiyabu said. "I tapped it in with my left foot."
In the 44th minute, Malvar scored on an assist from senior Drew Geis.
"The ball just came off of Drew, it bounced up and I just hit it right in," Malvar said. "I was just so happy. The ball was coming down and I just tapped it with my left foot."
Leilehua played without leading scorer Syd Tom (concussion) and goalie CJ Phelps (broken arm), who were injured against Kalaheo last Saturday.
Moanalua (9-2-1) and Leilehua (8-3-1) will play in the OIA third-place game tomorrow at 5:15 p.m. at Kailua. Kalaheo and Kaiser will follow at 7 p.m. in the fifth-place game, with the winner receiving the OIA's final state berth.
Kalaheo 2, Kalani 1: Stuart Aiu scored two goals, including the game-winner five minutes into overtime, to lift the Mustangs (8-1-3). Ike Ashiba scored for Kalani (6-4-2).
Kaiser 2, Pearl City 1 (3-1 pk): John Moats, Kyle Niiro and Michael Kawajiri made penalty kicks for the Cougars (10-2-2). Casey Pelletier scored in regulation for Kaiser, and Mark Matsumoto scored for the Chargers (8-4-1).
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Sophia Merrifield scored two goals and Punahou beat Kamehameha, 5-2, yesterday at Kapi'olani Park to forge a tie for first in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu and force a playoff to determine the title and league's lone berth in the state tournament.
The playoff will be held Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Saint Louis' field.
Carly Wachi, Marisa Schoen and Lizzy Carlson each added a goal for Punahou, which finished the regular season tied with Kamehameha at 10-2.
In another match yesterday, Jesi Sasaki scored two goals, and Nicola Fergusson and Jamie Souza each added one as Iolani defeated Mid-Pacific, 4-1.
Reach Kyle Sakamoto at firstname.lastname@example.org.