Hawaiian Electric Game of the Week
Warriors edge Sabers for ninth state crown


  



Sat, Feb 2, 2019 @ Waipio


Final 1st 2nd OT 2OT PK Tot
Campbell (12-5-1) 0 0 - - - 0
Kamehameha (14-2-0) 1 0 - - - 1
L. Feato, KSK, C. Park, KSK (0)

WAIPAHU — Leah Feato's first-half goal and Caela Kaio's leaping save proved to be the difference as No. 1 and top-seeded Kamehameha edged No. 8 and unseeded Campbell, 1-0, Saturday night to capture its first The Queen's Medical Center Division I girls soccer state championship since 2014.

The Warriors (14-2) extended their win streak to six before a modest crowd of about 500 at Waipio Peninsula Soccer Complex. The title is their ninth overall, second most in the 38 years of the tournament; Punahou leads with 11 crowns.

"I'm so excited, proud of my team," Feato said. "This is the first time we've won in a really long time, so we're super excited to bring (the title) back to the hill (Kapalama Heights)."

For the Sabers (12-5-1), which was the Oahu Interscholastic Association's fifth-place team, there would be no Cinderella finish, as their five-game win streak — all shutouts — was stopped by an impenetrable Warriors' defense, which recorded their third shutout of the tournament.

Feato's goal was initiated after a throw-in from about 10 yards out from the right sideline. Carley Park took the throw-in and launched a high cross to the back post where Feato headed the ball and booted the bounce from about 5 yards in the 34th minute to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead. It was a fitting finish for Feato, who missed most of the season with a knee injury. Though she returned by the beginning of the new year, she was brought along slowly, coming off the bench.

"It was really exciting and I couldn't have done it without my team," Feato said. "They supported me throughout my injury (rehab) and when I came back, we all supported each other. We had a common goal and we just got that today."

In the second half, the 5-foot-10 Kaio leaped up and her outstretched arms deflected Cheyenne Mattos' free kick from about 45 yards over the cross bar to preserve the shutout.

"I misjudged the power of it," admitted Kaio. "But on those, it's pretty much it's in or it's out. I was a little overwhelmed because we had a 1-0 lead and if it went in, we'd be back starting all over again. It was relieving. Oh, my. Thank God."

All season, the Warriors used a different goalie in each half. Chaylea Tome, who is 5-4, started the first half. The five-inch differential was probably the difference in the game. Also, by alternating goalies all season, Kaio said that kept her legs fresh, thus helping her leap high to make the deflection.

Caela Kaio prevented a potential equalizing goal from Campbell after leaping to deflect a free kick from 45 yards out. CJ Caraang | SL

Campbell had four other second-half free kicks, but all were wide.

"Set pieces, set piece, set pieces," Campbell coach James Curran said. "That's what people say that it wins games. We had our shots. We didn't execute, but it happens."

Although the Warriors entered the tournament as the top seed, their road to the title had obstacles. They suffered a crucial loss to Punahou near the end of the regular season and finished one championship point from first-place Iolani. The Warriors won the second-round with an overtime win against Iolani and then beat the Raiders again in penalty kicks to win the Interscholastic League of Honolulu title. But that struggle prepared the Warriors for the state tournament.

"ILH is a tough league, so it kind of prepped us for the state tournament," Feato said. "We came in mentally strong and mentally tough because we knew that would eventually win our games."

Kamehameha's defense was consistent all tournament, blanking each of its opponents. Park, who also does the long free kicks, played a stellar tournament on defense. She was named the Most Outstanding Player in the Division I tournament. Nicole Wong and Caly Ah Soon, also defenders, made the All-Tournament team, which is voted by the media.

"She had a very good tournament," Moore said of the sophomore Park. "She's a strong player for us so we're very excited for her. And we get her back."

The Warriors won their previous game rather handily, beating Mililani, 3-0, in the quarterfinals, and defeating fourth-seeded Kekaulike, 6-0, in the semifinals. But the Sabers held their own with the Warriors. It was the Campbell's highest finish in the state tournament; it took third in 2015.

"Best season ever," Curran said. "Best group of girls ever. The character, the parents, our new AD (Rory Pico), my staff … it was everything I could ask for. And that's how we did it: together."

-----

The Queen's Medical Center/HHSAA Division I All-Tournament Team
as selected by the media and HHSAA

Maya Hagiwara, Kamehameha
Hokulei Ishikawa, Campbell
Leah Feato, Kamehameha
Naia Balancio, Konawaena
Jourdyn Curran, Campbell
Kalia Kalua, Kamehameha
Caly Ah Soon, Kamehameha
Katherine Pothier, Campbell
Alisha Maake, Campbell
Nicole Wong, Kamehameha
D'awncey Jones-Black, Kamehameha
Zoe Alexandra Asue, Kekaulike
Vallerie Brown (GK), Campbell

Most Outstanding Player: Carley Park, Kamehameha



Reach Stacy Kaneshiro at [email protected].


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