Mid-Pacific caps 'spectacular' season
• Photo gallery: State Division II boys soccer championship
By Leila Wai
Advertiser Staff Writer
The Mid-Pacific boys soccer team used words like "spectacular," "wonderful" and "flawless" to describe a season capped off with a state title last night.
The Owls defeated Honoka'a, 4-0, for the Hawai'i High School Athletic Association/JN Automotive Group Boys Division II State Championship at the Waipi'o Peninsula Soccer Stadium.
Mid-Pacific, which won the overall Interscholastic League of Honolulu title for the first time this season, reclaimed the state championship it won in the inaugural 2008 Division II Tournament, with a majority of this year's senior class.
"It's wonderful; it's awesome," said Mid-Pacific coach Jayson Abe, whose team finished 12-2-1. "Those were our goals going into the season, and it's just awesome to think we set these two goals: to win the ILH and to win the state championship. To put it in words is one thing but to accomplish them is a whole other thing. I'm so proud of them. They did a great job."
Both teams play in leagues whose Division I and II teams play each other during the season. Teams from both leagues — Kealakehe for the Big Island Interscholastic Federation and 'Iolani, Kamehameha and Punahou of the ILH —played in the Division I semifinals.
"It was flawless, the best in Mid-Pacific's history," said senior defender Rex Meier, who assisted on two goals last night. "Probably one of the best Mid-Pac is ever going to have. It's a dream team."
Owls senior midfielder Keegan Choy scored in the 34th minute on an assist from senior midfielder Kennedy Spencer, who beat a couple of defenders to the right endline and crossed a ball to the far, left post for Choy. Choy headed the ball down and it dropped under the Honoka'a goalkeeper and into the goal.
"Kennedy did a great job juking all those players in the corner and he just crossed it and I just put my head on it," Choy said. "I didn't know I scored until I turned around and it was the happiest feeling."
Choy scored again one minute before the end of the first half when he continued to track down Meier's free kick from the Owls' half of the field. It appeared a Dragons defender was going to stop the ball but he misjudged it, and Choy kept the pressure on and shot the ball into the net.
"Just determination," Choy said. "I thought he was going to get it but I kept on going and I just chipped it over his leg."
Choy called it a "great feeling," especially after losing to Hawai'i Prep last year in the state semifinals. "It's great to come back and win it this year. It was spectacular. It was our best season ever. That was our goal in the beginning of the year and we accomplished it."
Meier set up the third goal 46 seconds after the whistle blew for the second half on another free kick from 30 yards out on the left sideline. He sent his ball to the far, right post and senior midfielder Brendan Wesley-Smith put it away.
Senior midfielder Taylor Chong scored in the 46th minute when he drove a low shot from the top of the 18-yard box into the right corner of the goal.
"We were overmatched, you could see it," said Honoka'a coach Maurice Miranda, whose team finished 12-3-3. "They have the best record in the ILH, not by accident. They out-possessed us. Their skill level (was high), I think they are pretty heavily laden with seniors, and we have a young group. We had six sophomores on the field. I think it was a good experience for them."
Kapa'a 2, Seabury Hall 0. Second-seeded Kapa'a, last year's state champion, received first-half goals from Matt Domingcil and Kanoa Nartatez to finish third.
Domingcil scored in the 24th minute and Nartatez in the 32nd minute for the Warriors (10-4-1), the Kaua'i Interscholastic Federation champions.
Seabury Hall, of the Maui Interscholastic League, ended its season at 7-2-6.
Makua Lani 3, Kailua 0. ML — Jordan Heres (26:00), Avery Hardies-Jordan (38:00), Jesse Cuaresma (77:00).
Christian Liberty 5, McKinley 0. CL — Jeremy Grotenhuis (5:00), Richard Moylan (7:00, 28:00, 53:00, 73:00).