Miyashiro a complete package
By Leila Wai
Advertiser Staff Writer
Mililani senior forward Mari Miyashiro looks like a completely different person in the offseason.
With her hair dyed back to its natural black, and new bangs, there is no hint of the bleached-blond hair —and the ponytail that would streak all over the field as Miyashiro tore it up — a signature of hers the past couple of seasons as part of a Mililani soccer tradition.
Yet even with a new look, coaches couldn't forget her.
Miyashiro was named The Honolulu Advertiser All-State Player of the Year in a vote by coaches around the state.
"She was very highly respected by defenders, they knew she had the potential to do a lot," Mililani coach Ray Akiona said. "She always drew extra defenders to her, and she was able to find the open players.
"She has that energy and that spirit when she plays."
Miyashiro, who is headed to Utah State to play soccer, was a member of the Mililani varsity since her sophomore year and gave glimpses of her talent as a junior.
But this year she enjoyed a breakout season.
Miyashiro was named the O'ahu Interscholastic Association Red West Player of the Year and led the Trojans to the OIA title and a runner-up finish in the state tournament.
She scored 16 goals this season, and Akiona estimates that she tallied at least that many assists.
"She's the complete package," he said.
In a year where speedy, top-notch forwards — five were named to the Advertiser first team —were plentiful, Miyashiro stood out.
It was when she was not in the game that made her contributions even more noticeable.
After being hobbled by various injuries in the state championship game, Miyashiro exited to receive medical attention. When she re-entered, she re-energized her team.
"Any time she comes in, she's going to give the spark," Akiona said. "Everybody sees the amount of effort she puts in, and they get inspired to play at that level."
Miyashiro's comfort with the ball —and her ability to find an open teammate —always made her a threat. Teams would have to double and sometimes triple team her, and "that's why we were able to get so many girls the opportunities to score," Akiona said.
The other first-team forwards are all juniors: the Punahou duo of Allyson Holtz and Lahaina Zoller, who led the Buffanblu to a state championship, Moana-lua's Tiana Fujimoto and Kamehameha's Caprice Dydasco.
In the midfield, four outstanding and creative players were selected: Kamehameha senior Courtney-Rae Botelho; Punahou senior Karli Look, the most outstanding player of the state tournament; Mililani senior Sasha Moscatello and 'Iolani junior Krystal Pascua, whose Raiders advanced to the state tournament for the first time in a decade.
Two defenders were named to the first team, Punahou freshman Kylie Chun, and Mililani senior Chelsea Miyake, both central defenders who helped to keep their teams organized in the back.
Punahou freshman goalkeeper Anuhea Kahele-Manners, who allowed nine goals in 15 games, completes the first team.
Fujimoto, Dydasco, Look and Miyake are all repeat first-team selections. Holtz, Zoller, Botelho and Moscatello were second-team picks last year.
Several of this year's All-State team are continuing their careers in college along with Miyashiro. Moscatello, who tore her ACL in the semifinals of the state tournament, is committed to the University of the Pacific, Botelho is headed to Nevada-Las Vegas and Look to the University of Hawai'i. Dydasco, who also tore her ACL in the offseason, committed early to UCLA.
Punahou coach Matt Martinson was named the Coach of the Year for the second straight year after leading the Buffanblu to back-to-back state titles.