HHSAA Boys Soccer
Hurricanes eliminate Cougars to move on


Mon, Feb 12, 2018 @ Kaiser

Final 1st 2nd OT 2OT PK Tot
Kapolei (12-5-0) 2 1 - - - 3
Kaiser (11-2-1) 0 1 - - - 1
T. Mascaro-Keahi, KAP (80'), S. Yoshida, KAP (7'), S. Wren, KAP (32')

HAWAII KAI — Sean Yoshida scored one goal and assisted on another to lead unranked Kapolei to a 3-1 win over No. 3 Kaiser in a first-round game of The Queen's Medical Center/HHSAA Division I State Championships at Kaiser Stadium Monday evening.

The Hurricanes, who finished sixth in the Oahu Interscholastic Association, improved to 11-3 and advance to Thursday's quarterfinal round at Waipio Peninsula Soccer Complex. They will face fourth-seeded Baldwin, the Maui Interscholastic League champion, at 1 p.m. in the main stadium.

The Cougars, who reached the state finals a season ago and posted a runner-up finish in the OIA tournament two weeks ago, end their season at 11-2-1.

"After we kind of underachieved in the OIA (tournament), we just wanted to refocus and go back to playing our brand and we've been really focusing with the boys on taking care of the controllables and not worrying about the uncontrollables," Kapolei co-coach Ryan Lau said. "I thought we had a great ‘family, brotherhood, togetherness' vibe coming in and we knew to come into Kaiser's field and play a really good Kaiser team that we had to be in it together and we had to get after it from the get-go. I think that was important. We had to have a solid first half, which we did."

It didn't take the visiting ‘Canes long to take the lead. Yoshida, a senior forward, opened the scoring with his team-leading 17th goal in just the seventh minute, off an assist from Aaron Ines.

"The ball was switched from the midfield and then (Ines) took on the guy one-v-one and crossed the ball and I called off my teammate and I one-touch, volleyed it in," Yoshida said.

Lau said changing the point of attack in the final third has been a point of emphasis late in the season season.

"We would get the run of play and then when we'd get in the final 35, we'd have a hard time penetrating the box, so we went back to that and worked on that a lot," Lau said. "They got it back out to Aaron, he looked for that backdoor switch and because the defense is exposed because they over shifted to play the ball, so when it comes back out, that's usually the dangerous ball to play."

Sam Wren's (21) header in the 32nd minute gave the Hurricanes a 2-0 lead. Greg Yamamoto | SL    Purchase image

Kapolei took a two-goal lead in the 32nd minute. Kieran Raquedan initiated the goal with his throw-in that found the head of Yoshida near the front post. Yoshida flicked the ball over to Sam Wren, who put it away with his header into the right side of the net. It was Wren's fifth goal on the year and first since Jan. 19.

"That's a set piece that we practice everyday," Yoshida said. "I start at the post and then I come out and I check for the ball, and (Raquedan) has a long throw, so I just flick it back post and Sam Wren is always usually there, and he's the tallest player on our team, so we rely on him and trust him to get there."

Noah Mokulehua's 12th goal on the season represented Kaiser's lone score, which came in the 52nd minute, off an assist from Bay Nickerson.

"We started playing our game and we started playing our way," Cougars coach Layne Abalos said. "Unfortunately, the ball didn't bounce our way a couple of times, but for the most part, we definitely outplayed them in the second half. But, it was a little too late. You gotta come out in both halves, right?"

The Hurricanes added a late goal in the closing seconds with Thomas Mascaro-Keahi's eighth goal.

Lau said the key on defense was not allowing Kaiser's top two goal scorers — Makana Srivongsana (17 goal this season) and Noah Mokulehua (12) — to get the ball.

"Kaiser has good guys that can serve in Motoki (Sato) and Joe (Takada), so we just wanted to make sure that we deny entry, or just make it harder on Makana and Noah," Lau said. "We work on that, especially the restarts, too, because they're a quality team on restarts."

Kaiser had allowed just two goals all season entering the contest. It's only two losses came in back-to-back games in the OIA championship (lost to Kalani, 1-0) and Monday's first round of the state tournament.

Kapolei amassed 11 shots on goal to Kaiser's six.

"Give Kapolei all the credit. They played well," Abalos said. "I said it from the beginning (that) they're the best team. They were a dangerous draw. In my opinion, don't be surprised if they go all the way."

Jason Catron made five saves in goal for the Hurricanes, while Brandon Yasue posted nine saves for the Cougars.

It was the first meeting between the teams since Kapolei's 1-0 win over Kaiser in the semifinals of last season's OIA tournament.

Reach Kalani Takase at [email protected].




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