Moanalua girls race into state Division I quarters
• Photo gallery: Moanalua vs. King Kekaulike soccer
By Kalani Takase
Advertiser Staff Writer
WAIPAHU — Moanalua scored early and often in a 5-1 win over King Kekaulike yesterday at the JN Automotive Group/Hawai'i High School Athletic Association Girls Division I Soccer State Championships at Waipi'o Peninsula Soccer Complex.
Nā Menehune, the O'ahu Interscholastic Association third-place team, got two goals each from Tiana Fujimoto and Storm Kenui to improve to 13-3 and advance to today's 5 p.m. quarterfinal against top-seeded Punahou. Nā Ali'i, the Maui Interscholastic League runner-up, fell to 11-2-2.
"The girls played a great game to start off the state tournament," Moanalua coach Nikki Dela Pena said. "We did a lot of preparation for this game and we did what we needed to do."
It didn't take long for Fujimoto, a junior forward, to get her team on the board.
In the fifth minute, she put away a close-range shot from the right side of the box to make it 1-0.
"The momentum definitely shifted early with that goal," Dela Pena said. "The girls got that early lead and they kept going for it after that."
Nā Menehune extended their lead in the 19th minute on a goal by freshman halfback Nikki Higa. The play was started by Fujimoto near the top of the 18-yard box. She sent a pass to the left wing for Nalea Trujillo, whose cross found Higa at the far post.
Kenui got in on the action in the 30th minute. The freshman halfback scored her first goal after a feed from senior Krystle Winkyaw to send her team into the half with a 3-0 lead.
"Krystle passed the ball to an open spot and I took it and beat the goalie," Kenui said.
Minutes into the second half, Kenui nearly found the goal again, this time on a free kick, but it just sailed over the crossbar. She made up for it in the 52nd minute with her second goal.
"I think that we're pretty steady in our play," Kenui said. "We try to stay pretty even-keel and focus on each game."
Moanalua padded its lead in the 58th minute on Fujimoto's second goal. She received a long pass from Kenui and broke loose toward the goal before beating the goalie to the front left corner of the goal.
"We played well as a team, we were working together," said Fujimoto, the OIA East's leading scorer. "It feels good. We've worked hard to get here."
Dela Pena praised the play of Fujimoto and Kenui.
"Tiana is just a playmaker in general. She can play the ball down to herself and she's also a great passer," Dela Pena said. "With Storm, every time she gets the ball, she'll look to (Tiana) and she'll never stop running. They got to finish that last goal, it was kind of a combination play, so it kind of showed what they can do."
Janna Duquette scored for King Kekaulike in the 76th minute.
OTHER FIRST-ROUND GAMES
KAPOLEI 2, 'IOLANI 1
The Hurricanes (9-4-3) went ahead early on a Deylnn White goal in the 20th minute, but the Raiders (9-2-2) tied it in the 48th minute on a goal by Kama Pascua. The teams went scoreless through two overtimes before Kapolei won it in penalty kicks, 3-2. Kapolei, the OIA's fourth seed, will play No. 3 Baldwin in a 1 p.m. quarterfinal today.
KALANI 3, CASTLE 0
The Falcons (13-2-1) got goals from Sonya Aguirre and Andrea Aguirre in the first half and added a late score by Courtney Oshiro to shut out the Knights (4-12-1). Kalani, the OIA runner-up, will play No. 4 seed Hilo in a 3 p.m. quarterfinal today.
PEARL CITY 1, WAIĀKEA 0
Jillian Seminara scored the game's only goal in the 71st minute to lift the Chargers (10-3-4) past the Warriors (8-5-2). Pearl City, the OIA's fifth seed, will play No. 2 Mililani in the 7 p.m. quarterfinal tonight.