Zoller lifts Punahou girls to 3-1 victory
• Photo gallery: Punahou vs. Kamehameha girls soccer
By Leila Wai
Advertiser Staff Writer
The Punahou girls soccer team rebounded from a loss earlier in the week to beat Kamehameha, 3-1, in an Interscholastic League of Honolulu girls soccer game yesterday at Punahou School.
Punahou and 'Iolani, which beat the Buffanblu, 2-0, Tuesday, remain tied atop the ILH at 8-1-1. Kamehameha is 7-2-0.
"This game was huge; it was pretty much if we didn't win we didn't really know if we were going to go to states," said junior midfielder/forward Lahaina Zoller, who scored twice. "(After the 'Iolani game) Our coaches addressed it immediately after the game, how we couldn't dwell on it, and we needed to pick each other up."
The loss puts the Warriors in a similar situation.
"Now it makes things even more interesting because we're in a must-win situation," Kamehameha coach Michele Nagamine said. "True to Kamehameha form, we can never make things easy. We always have to do it the hard way. We usually don't know what's happening until the very last game anyways. And that's going to be against 'Iolani."
Punahou freshman midfielder Dempsey Banks scored in the 55th minute on a header off a throw-in by junior forward Allyson Holtz that was kept in the air by a couple of Punahou headers before it reached Banks on the far, left post.
"It feels like a championship game," Punahou coach Matt Martinson said. "We had to play 110 percent, and we told our team it was mathematically impossible but it's conceivable to play beyond what you're capable of. I think today was a good team win."
Kamehameha sophomore forward Carly Neal scored on a long through pass five minutes later to tie it up.
Punahou went up again on a score by Zoller. Zoller sent the ball to the right flank to senior midfielder Sydney Meheula, who drove to the endline before slotting a ball back to Zoller, who was trailing the play. Zoller, open inside the 6-yard box, had her shot briefly stopped by Kamehameha goalkeeper Shanelle Kapaona but it had enough on it and it tucked into the left side of the goal in the 71st minute.
"I saw Syd making her run out wide and she had no man on, so I passed it out,"Zoller said. "She drove hard to the goal and sent a ball that I really couldn't miss, because it was right in front of the goal."
Zoller scored again three minutes before the end of the game on another throw-in by Holtz. Holtz's throw this time went to the front, right post and Zoller used her body to knock the ball in. With the goal, Zoller took over the ILH scoring list with 12 goals, one ahead of her teammate, Holtz.
"It was like, bounce, chest, into the goal," Zoller said. "I was super surprised it went in because I thought it was going to bounce straight back but it actually bounced toward the goal."