Mililani, Kapolei to play for title
by Stanley Lee
Advertiser Staff Writer
KAPOLEI — After 100 minutes of intense, exhilarating and scoreless soccer, Mililani senior goalkeeper Preston Miyashiro attempted to stay calm as the game entered into penalty kicks against Pearl City.
"I try to stay relaxed, but I never know," Miyashiro said. "When I get there, step up, whatever happens, happens. You can get lucky, unlucky."
Miyashiro made one save and the Trojans (11-1-0) converted all three of their penalty kicks to win, 1-0, in last night's semifinals of the O'ahu Interscholastic Association Red Conference boys soccer championship.
Mililani, the top seed from the West, will face West No. 2 and host Kapolei (8-1-3) in tonight's championship game. The Hurricanes edged 'Aiea, 1-0, in the other semifinal last night.
The Red title game will follow the White championship between Kailua (9-3-0) and McKinley (8-2-1) that starts at 5:15 p.m. Both games will be televised live statewide on OC-16.
"It's awesome, it's the third one we're going for," Miyashiro said. "It's the second one I'm playing for. It's definitely what we want. It's what we look forward to every single year."
After neither team scored in two 40-minute periods and two 10-minute overtime periods, John Cunningham, Sean Watase and Jake Sagami scored for the Trojans in the penalty-kick phase. Tyler Matas' shot went wide for the Chargers (5-4-4), the West's No. 3 seed, Dayton Sato's shot was stopped by Miyashiro and Ryan Tokunaga's shot went off the bottom left post of the goal to end a dramatic game where both teams had opportunities to finish in regulation and overtime.
Miyashiro immediately went up to Tokunaga.
"I just said 'good game, man,' " Miyashiro said. "I know him from club (soccer). Not much else I could tell him. It's a hard loss."
KAPOLEI 1, 'AIEA 0
The Hurricanes continued to roll through their season, holding off Nā Ali'i last night. Kapolei has won eight straight since starting the season 0-1-3.
"What made us better is our team chemistry is good," Kapolei coach Bryce Kaneshiro said. "The players trust each other, they start believing in what we're doing. We're doing a good job conditioning-wise and picking up the pace."
Kapolei handed Mililani its only loss of the season. To beat Mililani again will require another defensive effort.
"We just got to step up to them and make sure they have no crosses against us," said Kapolei goalkeeper Cody Kamei.
Kainoa Ke-a scored in the 33rd minute last night. West No. 4 'Aiea (5-4-4), which had just one player on the bench, had several opportunities late in the game, but couldn't convert.
All four Red semifinal teams have qualified for next week's state tournament. Today's winner of the fifth-place game will earn a berth while the loser of that game will play Kamehameha tomorrow for another state tournament berth.