Trojans take OIA title again
• Photo gallery: OIA soccer: Mililani vs. Kalani
By Leila Wai
Advertiser Staff Writer
The confidence the Mililani girls soccer team exuded gave it an advantage even before it stepped on the field.
The Trojans used it to build a 2-0 first-half lead and power past Kalani, 3-1, for the O'ahu Interscholastic Association Red Conference championship last night at Kapolei High School.
"They come in with momentum already behind them," said Kalani coach Michelle Richardson-De Almeida, of the success the Trojans have year after year. "They were a bit more composed and comfortable in this setting. To speak to their team, they were very skilled and very intense."
It was the 12th overall title, and second straight, for the Trojans (15-0-0). It was Kalani's (12-2-1) first time in the championship game since 2006.
Mililani, Kalani, Kapolei, Moanalua, Pearl City and Castle received the OIA's six state-tournament berths.
"It was good for this group here because we have a core group of seniors that's going to be going out, and they are the group that's been with us for the last three years that's done really well with the team, so it was a nice send-off for them," Mililan i coach Ray Akiona said of his 10 seniors.
Senior captain Sasha Moscatello said she had confidence in her team: "I knew we could do it the whole time, but it was great to have it actually happen."
The Trojans scored their first goal on a great individual effort by freshman forward T.J. Reyno. Reyno scored in the 24th minute after her throwing her body in front of an attempted Falcons clear inside the 18-yard box, blocking the ball and chasing it down to the endline, where she shot the ball off the fingertips of the Kalani goalkeeper and into the goal.
Trojans senior defender Chelsea Miyake scored on a header off a corner kick by sophomore midfielder Jennifer Kim in the 34th minute.
Three minutes into the second half, Mililani sophomore midfielder Lauren Uehara scored after a Trojans offensive attack forced a Kalani clear to the foot of Uehara, who was waiting at the right side of the 18-yard box, and she scored with one touch.
The three goals were the most the Trojans scored in the OIA Tournament.
"It really boosts our confidence," Moscatello said. "We have endless shots on goal, but to put them away is what counts, and having them go in will really help us in the long run."
Sophomore forward Victoria Prince scored for Kalani in the 55th minute after the Trojans attempted to clear but it instead went to Prince, who was at the top of the 18-yard box.
"I think we had an unfortunate circumstance happen with the first goal and we had a hard time coming back from it,"Richardson-De Almeida said. "I think that set the girls off a bit. But (Mililani) is very skilled, they were relentless all night, and they are very composed and seasoned. Walking into a game like this, nerves can get the better of you and if it does in the first few minutes of the game, it's tough to come back sometimes."