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Game of the Week
Kalani Takase | ScoringLiveDecember 29, 2018, 9:50pm
Sat, Dec 29, 2018 @ Kalani
KAHALA — Kelci Sumida scored goals in both halves to help No. 7 Moanalua stay undefeated with a 2-1 win over host Kalani in Oahu Interscholastic Association Eastern Division girls soccer Saturday afternoon.
Na Menehune notched their sixth consecutive win to improve to 6-0-1 and move into sole possession of first place in the OIA Division I East standings with 19 points.
The Falcons dropped their second straight game to fall to 5-2 (15 points). They slipped from tied for third place to start the day into solo fourth with the loss — their second one-goal defeat in a span of 11 days.
Moanalua holds a one-point edge over second-place Kaiser (6-1, 18 points) and a three-point lead on Roosevelt (5-2-1, 16 points) with two games to play (The Cougars beat the Rough Riders Saturday, 2-0). The top two teams after the nine-game regular season will enjoy a first-round bye in the 12-team OIA tournament.
"Definitely it puts us in a place where we wanted to be," Na Menehune coach Nikki Dela Pena said. "We want to make sure we're on top, we want to make sure that we can secure that bye. I think that bye is very beneficial and this puts us in a position — I mean, we still have two games left — but finish those off and hopefully we can secure that bye."
Sumida scored her team-leading 15th and 16th goals of the season in the 10th and 62nd minutes, respectively. Both of the senior forward's goals were scored off assists on headers.
Moanalua's first goal came on a set piece and their second corner kick in a couple of minutes. Alyssa Enoki's first corner — from the left side of the goal — found her teammate, Elaine Muyano, in the penalty box area, but Na Menehune were unable to put away two opportunities. However, they did manage another corner — this one from the opposite side of the field — which Enoki placed in nearly the exact same spot and Sumida elevated before finishing it with her head into the left side of the goal.
"We work on corners a lot at practice, so I kind of know where Alyssa is gonna kick, so I try to stand in that spot," said Sumida, who is signed with the University of Hawaii. "It was just a great ball from Alyssa and I was lucky to be in that spot."
Dela Pena also credited Enoki, a junior midfielder, for her precise service.
"Alyssa has been our person to kick our set-pieces. She's consistent at practice and of course at games she takes all of our kicks and it's primarily because of her consistency. The girls have learned to read where her spots are so that's just something that routinely we go through practice, no change; she's a threat for us in that piece," Dela Pena said.
A few minutes after the Moanalua goal, Kalani appeared to equalize after a long Sheree Tam throw-in found Shayna Wong, but Wong's shot was deflected away at the last second by a defender just before it crossed the plane of the goal.
Several of the Falcons called for a goal, but to no avail.
"I had no angle, but one of the girls actually said that it wasn't a goal, it didn't go in, it didn't fully cross the line, but of course I was hoping that it went in," Kalani coach Brandon Chun said.
The Falcons had another scoring chance about halfway through the second half. The ball got through a couple of Moanalua defenders and found the feet of an open Jordan Okuhara, who had a 1-on-1 look against goalkeeper Alexis Davis, but her shot sailed wide left.
Just three minutes after the Kalani missed opportunity, Moanalua and Sumida made good on another on the other end of the pitch.
Megan Dalit gathered a pass in the middle of the field before sending a ball out to Amanda Kobayashi on the left flank. Kobayashi then sent a left-footed cross toward the goal for Sumida, who headed past goalkeeper Madeline Villalba and into the right side of the netting.
"Amanda's been a runner the whole season, too; her conditioning has definitely improved. She's able to serve balls with both her right (foot) and her left, but at that moment, I mean, unfortunately for Kalani, one of their players slipped, so she was able to recognize that she could slow down to get that better ball off and didn't have to rush with any kind of pressure on, so it kind of set her up for a little bit more success," Dela Pena said.
Sumida, who has scored in six straight games, passed the credit to Kobayashi.
"She had time to cross and I was just in the right spot at the right time," Sumida said. "It was beautiful ball and all I had to do was head it in."
Chun spoke highly of Sumida's ability to finish in the final third.
"We knew coming into the game that she is as good as it gets, so we tried to game plan to be aware of where she was, but again, as good of a player she is that sometimes, I mean, you leave her open for a second and she puts it away and secures those chances," Chun said.
Kalani scored its lone goal in the closing minutes when Okuhara put away a chance off a Ryan Kaneko corner kick.
Villalba made seven saves in goal for the Falcons, while Davis needed to make just one stop for Na Menehune.
Both teams have two games remaining in the regular season. Moanalua will visit Castle next Saturday before closing with Roosevelt on Jan. 9. Kalani will travel to Kailua next Saturday before wrapping up with Castle on Jan. 9.
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