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Game of the Week
Kalani Takase | ScoringLiveJanuary 26, 2018, 12:34am
Thu, Jan 25, 2018 @ Kapolei
KAPOLEI — Shaley Mercado scored a goal in each half to lead No. 8 Kaiser past No. 5 Moanalua, 4-1, in the semifinals of the Oahu Interscholastic Association Division I girls soccer tournament at Kapolei's Alvin Nagasako Athletic Complex Thursday night.
The Cougars (11-2) extended their winning streak to eight games, including three games in four days, to reach Saturday's tournament final against No. 9 Mililani.
It was the first loss for Na Menehune (10-1-1), the top seed out of the Eastern Division.
Mercado scored in the 23rd minute off an assist from Kaile Halvorsen, who opened the scoring with her state-leading 29th goal of the season 14 minutes into the match.
Maya Mau scored in the 66th minute to make it a 3-0 lead for Kaiser, before Alyssa Enoki found the back of the net in the 71st minute to get Moanalua on the board.
Kaiser coach Noelani Bio said she was pleased to see little drop off in intensity in the second half.
"A two-goal lead is always scary and we told them at half that we wanted to keep it ‘zero-zero' and to not go into (the second half) thinking ‘two-zero,' " Bio said. "We've been in situations where we had the lead and the other team has come back, so we didn't want to be in that situation again. All the girls are smart on making adjustments and we always don't want to just sit and play defense. We want to keep attacking, keep trying to score, so that was the game plan going into it and our girls fought hard until the end."
Mercado closed out the scoring in the 75th minute with her 18th goal on the year.
Moanalua defeated Kaiser by a score of 3-1 when the teams met on Dec. 20 in a regular-season matchup.
"All the players saw it as a redemption game, so they really wanted it bad," said Bio, whose team was coming off of one-goal victories on back-to-back days earlier in the week.
Kaiser held off Kapolei, 4-3, in Monday's first round and edged West second seed Aiea, 1-0, in Tuesday's quarterfinals.
"I think the first time we met (Moanalua) we were flat, we weren't prepared; It was so early in the season," Bio said. "We're a totally different team now and I think the confidence from the last two games that we won just pushed us through this one."
The East third-seeded Cougars are seeking just their second OIA title and first since 1997.
The top-seeded Lunas advance and will try for a third consecutive Division II state title.
Kapaa prevented Kaimuki's comeback in the final minute to reach the title game.
Crusaders dominate Red Raiders to return to the title game for the third-straight year.
No. 3 Mililani records five interceptions to down No. 5 Campbell in state the semifinals.
The Bulldogs look to continue its winning ways on the road against Kapaa.
Trojans are not letting their early-season victory cloud their focus against Campbell.