Makua Lani gets historic victory
by Stanley Lee
Advertiser Staff Writer
WAIPAHU — They ran toward each other when the final whistle blew, hugging their closest teammate and screaming in the 18-yard box.
As the group of purple jerseys grew, Makua Lani continued to celebrate its first win in its first-ever state tournament appearance.
Tiffany Nakamura, a 4-foot-11 freshman, scored the winning goal with five minutes remaining to help the Lions beat Seabury Hall, 2-1, yesterday in the first round of the JN Automotive Group/Hawai'i High School Athletic Association Girls Division II Soccer State Championships at the Waipi'o Peninsula Soccer Complex.
"It makes me so happy, I think our team did so good," said sophomore Grace Choe, who assisted on Nakamura's game-winner. "We had really good teamwork."
The Lions (6-9-0), who have about 100 high school students at their Kailua, Kona campus, plays top-seeded Kailua (12-0-0) in today's quarterfinals at 3 p.m.
In the 75th minute, Choe chased down a ball to the right of the goal that was headed out and sent it back into the box, where Nakamura scored from about 10 yards. Choe said she passed the ball since she felt the pressure from Seabury Hall (4-11-0) and because "I'm personally not a good shooter."
Nakamura said Choe was being modest with that remark.
"I thought she was going to take it in because she always scores," said Nakamura, who also scored in the 31st minute. "I didn't expect that (pass)."
One minute after Nakamura's second goal, the Spartans had three consecutive throw-ins from about 20 yards out, the last resulting in a shot by Kelsey Greenway that went wide.
"Our defense did really good," said Makua Lani junior defender Malia Kaiwi. "We had some hard times but we got through it with positive talking."
Keana Cramer scored for Seabury Hall in the 35th minute.
HONOKA'A 7, RADFORD 1
Monica Carlos and Kimberly Kishimoto each scored twice to lead the Dragons (11-5-0). Athena Oldfather, Tialana Greenwell and Kealy Witt each added a goal for Honoka'a, which plays No. 2 Kapa'a (8-0-0) in a quarterfinal today at 3 p.m.
Katelyn Sanders scored for the Rams (6-5-3).
KAMEHAMEHA-HAWAI'I 1, NĀNĀKULI 0
Olivia Azevedo scored in the 33rd minute for the Warriors (11-3-0), who play defending champion and No. 3 Pac-Five (4-6-2) in today's quarterfinals at 3 p.m.
The Golden Hawks (10-3-0) play Radford in a consolation match today at 1.
KAUA'I 9, KAIMUKĪ 0
Alyssa Vegas had a hat trick to lead the Red Raiders (5-4-0). Maegan Wong, Jessica Crane, Isabelle Curtis, Malia Kagawa, Lisa Tangalin and Audrey Lang each scored a goal for Kaua'i, which plays No. 4 Hawai'i Prep (13-0-1) in the quarterfinals today at 3 p.m.
Kaimukī (1-8-5) plays Seabury Hall in a consolation match at 1 p.m.