OIA Boys Soccer
Hurricanes blow through for 4th OIA crown


  



Sat, Jan 26, 2019 @ Kaiser


Final 1st 2nd OT 2OT PK Tot
Kapolei (14-2-0) 1 2 - - - 3
Mililani (14-3-0) 0 0 - - - 0
C. Navarro-Acio, KAP, T. Mascaro-Keahi, KAP, K. Nakasone, KAP

HAWAII KAI — On a blustery East Oahu night, hurricanes blew through Kaiser stadium.

The No. 8 Kapolei Hurricanes stormed through with a resounding 3-0 win against No. 2 Mililani Saturday to capture the Oahu Interscholastic Association Division I boys' soccer championship.

It was Kapolei's first title since 2017, when it beat Mililani, 1-0, and fourth overall. It was the fifth consecutive OIA title game that resulted in a shutout, but the first time the winner scored more than one goal in those five years.

"It feels amazing," Kapolei junior defender Cypress Navarro-Acio said. "I'm super excited for what we have left. We're ready for states right now."

Kapolei (12-1), which avenged a 1-0 regular-season loss to the Trojans (12-1), will draw a first-round bye for The Queen's Medical Center/HHSAA Division I Boys Soccer State Championships tournament. The Trojans will represent the OIA in the regional first round on Feb. 4, along with Kalani, Kaiser, Campbell and Pearl City.

Kyle Nakasone's goal from 20 yards in the 21st minute gave the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead at the half. Navarro-Acio's chip shot from about five yards in the 55th minute was set up by a corner kick from Kawika Kelii that made it 2-0. Tommy Mascaro-Keahi scored from close range after taking a cross from Eric Aquino in the 79th minute.

The teams battled strong gusts coming out of the valley. Teams kicking into the wind saw their kicks held up. Teams defending the makai goal had to be on high alert. An example of how strong the winds players were contending with came early in the second half when Trojans' goalie Nicholas Gaston's goal kick sailed some 80 yards through the air, bouncing 10 yards in front of the Hurricanes' goal and over the cross bar.

"That was a crazy kick," Hurricanes goalkeeper Nainoa Wilson.

And Wilson felt the effects kicking against the wind. Some of his free kicks got held up high in the air, not traveling past 40 yards.

"The most impressive thing was what both had to play in," said the Hurricanes' Ryan Lau, who shares coaching duties with Mark Ishii and Neal Sakaue.

The Hurricanes took advantage of having the wind in their favor in the first half, capitalizing on Nakasone's goal. His line drive sailed over the outstretched mitts of keeper Gaston, hitting the cross bar and dropping into the goal. Meanwhile, the Trojans had only three shots on goal in the first half, two of them saved by Wilson, a senior who is playing soccer for the first time.

After Gaston's near-scare free kick, the Trojans had several scoring chances. In the 44th minute, Manhattan Fukunaga broke free toward the goal from the left wing. But when he reached 10 yards from the goal, he pulled up lame with some sort of leg injury as the ball rolled harmlessly out of bounds. Five minutes later, Liam McGehee nailed a strong free kick from 44 yards that was punched out by Wilson.

Cypress Navarro-Acio (center) netted the Hurricanes' second goal in the 55th minute on a chip shot five yards out. Leighland Tagawa | SL    Purchase image

Six minutes later, the Hurricanes scored on Navarro-Acio's goal off of the corner kick.

Kapolei capped off the night on Mascaro-Keahi's goal in the 79th minute.

Gaston left the game in the 60th minute with an apparent head injury. In action near the goal, Kapolei's Nakasone appeared to be jumping to try to avoid contact with Gaston. But Nakasone's shoe caught Gaston's head, resulting in a red card (and ejection) against Nakasone. Lau said he was told by the officials even though the contact was not intentional, head-related contact still nets a red card.

The three goals were the most in an OIA title game since Kaiser beat Kalani, 3-1, in 2014. Only nine times since 1979, or when the playoff format started, three or more goals have been scored by one team in OIA championships.

But to Navarro-Acio, the shutout was more impressive against a prolific Trojans' team.

"Shutting them out," he said. "They're known for their set pieces. We tried our best to prevent it and that's what we did."



Reach Stacy Kaneshiro at [email protected].


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