HHSAA Girls Soccer
Konawaena takes down reigning champ Iolani


Thu, Jan 31, 2019 @ Waipio

Final/PK 1st 2nd OT 2OT PK Tot
Iolani (12-4-1) 0 1 0 0 4 1
Konawaena (13-4-1) 0 1 0 0 5 2
N. Wall, KONA, A. Yoshida, IOL

Down go the champs.

Third-seeded and unranked Konawaena edged two-time Division I state champion Iolani in penalty kicks, 5-4, for a 2-1 win in the quarterfinals of the Queen's Medical Center/HHSAA Girls Soccer Championships at Waipio Soccer Stadium Thursday evening.

Annika Siddons made the deciding penalty kick as the Wildcats' sixth shooter and goalkeeper Kyanah Blas recorded 19 saves to propel Konawaena to its first semifinal appearance since 2015. The Wildcats will face Campbell at 5:00 p.m. Friday.

"It feels amazing," said second-year Konawaena coach Kaua Wall. "We worked so hard this season and I'm glad that we got that win. It means a lot to us."

It was the first penalty kick shootout situation that the Wildcats took part in with Wall at the helm. Knowing that there would be no ties in the postseason, Wall made sure her team was prepared for the shootout.

"This last week of practice, because in the regular season, we don't do PKs, just in this last week we did a bunch of PK practices. We made our lineup."

But Konawaena needed more than just the standard five shooters to knock off the reigning champion.

When the penalty kick score was 4-4 after five shots, it was do-or-die for both teams.

Iolani's Hailey Kawamura couldn't connect on her attempt which enabled Siddons to play the hero for Konawaena.

"She's solid and we knew that if we had to have a sixth shooter it would be her," Wall said of Siddons, a senior defender.

Outside of the penalty kick shootout, the match was played by the Raiders' standards for most of regulation and in the two overtime periods. Iolani had 25 shots on goal while Konawaena had just seven, without a single try in the second overtime.

Blas played a big role in keeping Iolani off the board with numerous saves that required her to use her length and athleticism to reach top-shelf shots.

"She's amazing," Wall said of Blas. "Her judgement in the air, on the ground...she's good with ground balls and she definitely saved us a lot."

Konawaena junior goalkeeper Kyanah Blas kept this ball from crossing the plane. Greg Yamamoto | SL    Purchase image

The two teams were scoreless until the 62nd minute until Ali Yoshida put the Raiders on the board.

Konawaena would tie the match up seven minutes later when senior Nanea Wall — who played most of her early minutes as a defender — faked out a defender before finding the back of the net.

"She took it through the middle and instead of passing, she kind of did that hesitation (move) and took it straight through and we were able to get the ball in," said coach Wall. "It was just definitely a momentum changer and it came at the perfect time."

From there the two teams duked it out with Iolani playing more offense and Konawaena playing heavy defense with a roster of only 16 players.

The Wildcats also had a number of players go down with injuries, which included a collision to starting midfielder Caiya Hanks. The Konawaena freshman went down right as the first half ended and was still on the field when the halftime clock expired.

In spite of all that, Konawaena persevered to knock off the Raiders.

"It's all about teamwork and believing in each other and working off our strengths and just never giving up," said coach Wall.

It was the second penalty kick shootout that the Raiders lost in three matches.

Iolani also did not have junior forward Mia Watanabe in the state tournament. Watanabe, who scored four goals in each of the past two state tourneys that the Raiders won the ultimate prize, elected not to play high school soccer this season.

Reach Michael Lasquero at [email protected].




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