Hawaiian Electric Game of the Week
Trojans beat Chargers to stay unbeaten in West


  



Fri, Dec 14, 2018 @ Mililani


Final 1st 2nd OT 2OT PK Tot
Pearl City (10-6-1) 0 0 - - - 0
Mililani (14-3-0) 1 2 - - - 3
M. Fukunaga, MIL (51'), K. Kuloloia, MIL (30'), A. Lawes, MIL (59')

MILILANI — Ayden Lawes assisted on two goals then scored one of his own and Mililani topped Pearl City, 3-0, Friday night in Oahu Interscholastic Association Western Division boys soccer at John Kauinana Stadium.

The Trojans improved to 4-0 — all shutouts — to stay tied with Kapolei (4-0) for the West lead. The Chargers fell to 4-1.

At 6 feet, 2 inches tall, Lawes was literally head and shoulders above the rest in a congested goal area when he headed two throw-ins to set up goals by Kekoa Kuloloia (29th minute) and Manhattan Fukunaga (51st). Lawes capped his night with a goal of his own from about 10 yards in the 59th minute.

"That's what I've been used for," Lawes said. "I've been working hard on the flicks, the headers. We do it in training a lot."

Both throw-ins were from inside 15 yards. First, Noah Ungos' two-handed lob reached the goal area where Lawes went up and flicked the ball to an open Kuloloia, who headed the ball in from a yard out that gave the Trojans a 1-0 lead at the half.

The Trojans increased their lead 11 minutes into the second half on Jacob Nakasone's throw-in to Lawes, who headed the ball toward Fukunaga for yet another short-range goal that made it 2-0.

Seven minutes later, Lawes broke free and scored from 15 yards to make it 3-0.

For good measure, Lawes played defense later in the second half.

"He can play a lot of different things," Mililani coach Steve McGehee said of Lawes. "He's obviously a handful no matter where you put him on the field."

But it was Mililani's defense that shined. The Chargers could not get any clean shots against the Trojans' fullback line. Goalkeepers Nicholas Gaston and Kaulanaikaleoaukahiokala Navares were hardly challenged.

"It was a good performance by us in the sense that on defense, it was an ugly game, offensively in that we didn't possess the game well," McGehee said. "But that's also a credit to Pearl City. They worked hard off the ball. They made it not easy for us to get good looks and to go forward and do anything creative. It's one of those games we gotta build off of."

Noah Ungos (6), Manhattan Fukunaga (2) and Jacob Prothero (10) help lead a senior-laden Trojans team. Spencer Honda | SL    Purchase image

What helps the Trojans is their experience.

"We're just starting to learn how to play," McGehee said. "We really haven't worked on our long throw-ins but this is a senior-laden team in the sense of guys that have been in the program a year or two or three now. Luckily, the learning curve isn't as steep as it needs to be."

The regular season is anticlimactic for the perennial contenders in the West. Mililani, Kapolei and Pearl City all played or will play each other within a one month period, all early to the middle of the season, leaving little drama at the end. Campbell (3-0-1) also looks to join in the battle.

"The toughest problem, I think, the top teams in the West play each other early in the season, versus having a few games under their belt to dial in their game," McGehee said. "We're getting better game by game; (the Chargers) are too. It will be fun come the end of the season."

The Chargers resume play Tuesday against Nanakuli but have big games coming up with Kapolei (Dec. 28) and Campbell (Jan. 4). The Trojans have yet another big game when they visit Kapolei on Tuesday.



Reach Stacy Kaneshiro at [email protected].


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