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Prep Football Preview
Game of the Week
Kalani Takase | ScoringLiveDecember 11, 2018, 9:18pm
Tue, Dec 11, 2018 @ Iolani
ALA WAI — Jacob Moore's goal off an assist from Dominic Gusman in the 76th minute lifted visiting Punahou to a 1-0 win over Iolani Tuesday afternoon.
The Buffanblu (1-0) opened defense of their Interscholastic League of Honolulu Division I championship with a shut out of the Raiders (0-1) on a blustery day at Kozuki Stadium.
Moore, a reserve midfielder, came off the bench to net the game-winner. In the closing minutes, Gusman passed a ball to the left side of the 18-yard box, in the area of Liam Nichols-Shipley. The pass eventually found Moore, who fired a left-footed shot from about 15 yards out into the lower right corner of the goal, just past a diving Isaak Tanaka in goal for Iolani.
"I just remember Dom serving it in and it just deflecting off of either (Iolani center-back) Lincoln (Oishi) or (Punahou forward) Liam (Nichols-Shipley) and I was just there to clean it up, placed it bottom right corner," Moore said.
It was the first career varsity goal for Moore, who was called up from the junior varsity squad for the state tournament last season.
The Buffanblu controlled much of the second-half possession and had a number of scoring chances, but unable to capitalize on them until Moore's goal.
Punahou center midfielder Max Moonier embraces Jacob Moore (12) after the go-ahead score.
"The good part was we hadn't been producing good quality chances and that was a chance where we got the ball in, we got it and when it came to Jacob he didn't freak out," Punahou coach David Trifonovitch said. "He composed himself, he was able to keep it low and he found the corner, so it was probably the best composed finish of the day because all of our others were high, wide and to the right of the keeper, so it was very well done. It was good to see finally a set-up come to fruition because there were a lot of set-ups today."
Moore's goal came just minutes after Nichols-Shipley missed on a pair of opportunities. In the 72nd minute, his shot missed wide left of the goal and two minutes later, he gathered a long pass before missing high on a shot over the goal.
"We were getting nervous toward the end because we just couldn't put one in and it was frustrating, so it was good just to put one in finally," said Moore, who has been working his way back from a lower back strain he suffered during club season four months ago.
The injury limited Moore's minutes in the preseason.
"I missed a little bit of the preseason, but I kind of pushed through. I played with the team, but I didn't always start, but that's what I'm pushing for, to start," Moore said. "Being able to play with my teammates and get back onto the field was great. It felt good to get a win on (Iolani's) turf, but I give all credit to my team. It wasn't just me, I was just there to clean it up."
Punahou's Liam Nichols-Shipley is defended by Iolani's Lincoln Oishi and Jacob Lee as the Buffanblu's Jacob Moore (12) waits for the rebound before netting the game-winning score.
The Raiders had a chance to tie it in the game's final minute after a Punahou foul gave them a free kick from about 30 yards out, but Jarin Simon's attempt was saved by goalkeeper Nicholas Shor, one of his three saves on Tuesday.
"He was outstanding. He's one of the best keepers we've had and fortunately we've had a lot of really good ones," Trifonovitch said of Shor, a first-year starter but third-year varsity player.
"He's had to sit behind a couple of seniors before him who did well, but he's a guy that has paid his dues and it's time for him to step up and he's gonna be big, and he's one of our captains this year," Trifonovitch added.
Iolani had its best scoring opportunity late in the first half. Tyler Udarbe sent a cross to Jonah Kawamura, who was about 10 yards out from the Punahou goal. Kawamura booted a right-footed shot that was headed to the bottom right corner of the frame, but Shor made a diving save.
"Iolani is such a great program, so to be able to come over here and scratch and scrape and get a win is huge," Trifonovitch said. "We're not necessarily happy we had to play Iolani off the bat, but hopefully it sets us up for a little bit more success later in the season when we have to play them at home. They're always going to be a good team and they're gonna always come back, so we're happy to get the win today."
Punahou keeper Nicholas Shor earned a shutout win for the Buffanblu in his first-ever start.
All five of Punahou's shots on goal came in the second half; it posted 18 shots in all. All three of Iolani's shots were on goal.
Trifonovitch noted the steady wind that blew from the Diamond Head end of the field to the Ewa end was a key factor.
"Neither one of us played an ‘Iolani' game or a ‘Punahou' game — it's usually a much more composed game — but with the wind and the nerves of the first game it got to be a little more kickball and running around and so I think the wind became a factor where they couldn't kick it out as far as we could kick it out, so it kind of stayed in their half a little bit more," said Trifonovitch, whose team had the wind at its back for the final 40 minutes.
"I don't know if we chose the wind in the first half. If not, we got lucky," he said.
Tanaka registered four saves in goal for the Raiders.
Oishi, the reigning ILH Defensive MVP, left the game for a portion of the first half due to an apparently right leg injury. He returned to the game after being tended to and taped up by athletic trainers.
Both teams next play Saturday at 10 a.m. Punahou will host Damien, while Iolani will visit Mid-Pacific.
The Raiders will visit the Buffanblu at Alexander Field on Jan. 19.
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