Mililani girls remain unbeaten
• Photo gallery: Mililani vs. Pearl City girls soccer
By Leila Wai
Advertiser Staff Writer
After a slow start to the first half, Mililani girls soccer coach Ray Akiona began experimenting with his line-up, moving players out of their usual positions to try to develop some "continuity."
It worked, as the new lineup produced a pair of first-half goals in the Trojans' 2-0 win over Pearl City last night at Mililani in an O'ahu Interscholastic Association Red West game.
"We didn't have the passing combinations we needed," said Akiona after his team improved to 5-0-0. "We just weren't really in sync. It took us a good 20, 30 minutes before we started doing anything with some kind of continuity."
Defender Chelsea Miyake, who ended up with an assist, moved up to the midfield and forward Mari Miyashiro, the team leader, along with freshman T.J. Reyno, who each have seven goals, moved to right midfielder. Midfielder Sasha Moscatello replaced Miyashiro up top. The moves were all made about midway through the first half.
"We've kind of moved around the lineup in the past few games; fortunately we have the players that we can move in and out and still have a lot more options available," Akiona said. "To me, it's still early in the season and having to adjust your lineup is good because it gives us more options as we go along."
Reyno scored off a 30-yard pass from Miyake up the middle of the field that a Pearl City defender initially looked in control of, but Reyno kept the pressure on and stole the ball, touching it to the left to take the goalkeeper out of the play, and scoring into an empty goal in the 29th minute.
"We have a really strong defense, so it doesn't really matter if I don't stay back there," Miyake said. "We had to get used to how they play, because we're used to possessing and we had to get used to them kicking the ball. During the middle we got used to it and started combining passes."
A few minutes before the end of the first half, senior midfielder DeeDee Moriwaki scored on a header off a corner kick by sophomore midfielder Jennifer Kim to make it 2-0 Trojans.
To start the second half, Miyashiro returned to forward with Moscatello, while Miyake remained in the midfield. Moscatello and Miyake returned to their usual positions in the latter part of the second half, with Miyashiro dropping back to a central midfielder position.
Pearl City (2-1-2) is also still working with its lineup, dealing with injuries and ineligibility due to grades.
"We don't have a lineup yet," Chargers co-head coach Dr. Frank Baumholtz III said. "Our whole goal at this point is to be a good team by the end of January. Right now, we're struggling at times. People are playing three different positions and they are doing OK at each one but not doing superb at any one."
OIA RED WEST BOYS
MILILANI 2, PEARL CITY 1
The Trojans (2-0-0) boys defeated the Chargers (0-1-1) in the second game of the season for both teams.
Mililani sophomore forward Cameron Metz scored in the 17th minute, shooting a second after one of his teammates missed the ball and it bounced to Metz, who was near the left corner of the 18-yard box.
Junior forward John Cunningham made it 2-0 just before the end of the first half after Pearl City couldn't completely clear a corner kick and senior Ryan Fronda touched the ball to the right to Cunningham, who finished with a low shot into the goal.
Pearl City junior forward Nicolas Kapua scored three minutes into the second half from the top of the 18-yard box after the Trojans goalkeeper came out to challenge for the ball.
Note: The Mililani soccer programs are collecting non-perishable food items for the Hawaii Food Bank at all home games from now to the end of January.