Focused Buffanblu win, 5-0
• Photo gallery: State soccer: Punahou vs. Kalani
By Leila Wai
Advertiser Staff Writer
Despite the distractions of a weekend filled with food and fun back at their campus, the Punahou girls soccer team focused on scoring and stopping goals.
The Buffanblu defeated Kalani, 5-0, in the HHSAA /JN Automotive Group Girls Division I Soccer State semifinals last night at the Waipi'o Peninsula Soccer Stadium.
"Before, coach told us we need to stay focused and stay off our feet," senior midfielder Karli Look said of trying to stay away from the school's annual Punahou Carnival. "How would you feel if a team we were playing was all spun around 20 times (on a ride) and ate a lot of junk food? They wouldn't play their best and it would be to our advantage.
"So we listened to what he said and stayed off our feet and ate healthy and tried not to eat malasadas. We have to wait until tomorrow night."
Top-seeded Punahou (12-1-1) will try to defend its state title when it plays Mililani (17-0-0) at 7 p.m. today for the Division I championship, following the Division II championship between Pac-Five and Kailua at 5 p.m.
Look scored early for the Buffanblu after junior midfielder Kendra Trifonovitch found her wide open in the 18-yard box, and Look took a touch and shot under the Falcons goalkeeper in the fourth minute.
"I was calling for it and she passed it, and I saw the opportunity so I decided to take it," Look said. "We practice a lot with 1-2s, and passing, so it's stuff we've been working on in practice."
Punahou's offense kept the pressure on, often keeping all 11 Falcons in their half of the field, making mounting a consistent offensive attack difficult.
"They are very skilled and play a pace of game that we had a little bit of a hard time keeping up with," Kalani coach Michelle Richardson-De Almeida said. "And when you're chasing, it's difficult to get yourself into your game."
Punahou junior forward Lahaina Zoller added another goal in the 11th minute, assisted by junior forward Allyson Holtz. Holtz drove to the left endline and shot, and the ball was initially stopped by the goalkeeper but popped up, bouncing to Zoller, who put it in with one touch.
Look set up the third goal for the Buffanblu on a corner kick from the left side in the 54th minute that found the head of sophomore midfielder Lauren Stollar, who was streaking down the far, back post.
Punahou freshman forward Jensen Toner scored four minutes later when she collected a throw in, turned near the right endline, and curled her shot into the goal with her left foot. Buffanblu freshman Dempsey Banks scored from near the penalty mark on a shot into the right corner on a cross from sophomore midfielder Erin Nishijima in the 64th minute to close out the scoring.
With the lead, Punahou coach Matt Martinson was able to rest many of his starters.
"Good momentum builder, our first half wasn't as clean as we wanted it to be, but we were able to make the adjustments at halftime and as soon as they did, things started to click," Martinson said. "It was nice to rest bodies; there's a lot going on right now, and I think the more rest we get, the better."
Pearl City 2, Kapolei 1 (PKs, 3-2)
Moanalua 5, Hilo 2
PC: Alyssa Nagai. KAPO: Kelsey Wright.
MOAN: Tiana Fujimoto 3, Sarah Nagamine, Nalea Trujilo. HILO: Brettni Kerr, Rose Nakamura.