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Prep Football Preview Special
Prep Football Preview
Game of the Week
Leighland Tagawa | SLFebruary 9, 2020, 7:38am
Sat, Feb 8, 2020 @ Waipio
WAIPAHU — Hawaii Preparatory Academy broke through late in the second half to defeat No. 9 Kauai, 4-1, at Waipio Soccer Stadium Saturday night to win its seventh straight Queen's Medical Center Division II Girls Soccer state championship.
For HPA, It all came down to timing. With the two teams in a 1-1 dead lock for 70 minutes, the game would be stopped when star midfielder Malia Brost, co-mvp of last year's Division II tournament, went down with an ankle injury.
With time running out and her team needing a spark, sophomore Emily Thompson provided that just minutes after replacing Brost by giving Ka Makani the go ahead goal in the 70th minute.
"It was really nerve-wrecking," said Thompson. "Maila is a really good player on our team and and I knew I had to step it up.and really put in my all. But my team was there for me. They all cheered as I was going in and I just finished on a ball from my best friend (Angela Cipriano) on the team so it was really special to me."
The match started out with HPA dominating possession and field position, but the Kauai defense held strong.
"Well I thought we did some good stuff in the first half," said HPA head coach Steven Perry. "Their defense, their back middles were solid. Number 3 (Bukoski) especially. They eliminated one of our big strikers (Isabella Police) and it was hard. We had to attack more from the outside than attack from the middle. We just had to keep believing."
The early dominanceby HPA eventually led them to scoring the opening goal 21 minutes in to the game. Cipriano's shot was saved by Kauai goalkeeper Jaeda Planas and out for a corner kick. From the left corner, Jenna Perry and Cipriano played a quick one-two pass and Perry curled a shot over Planas to make it 1-0.
HPA would continue to dominate the first half, taking seven shot and forcing Planas to make a few saves. But the momentum swung into the favors of the Red Raiders late in the first half.
In the 36th minute, Eryka Napoleon's pass was a bit too far for forward Jessica Hreljac. HPA goalkeeper Maia Mills came out to clear the ball but whiffed the kick and Hreljac kept with it and scored on the open net to make it 1-1 before halftime.
"At half, we were down on ourselves because of one mistake," Perry said. "We gave them a goal and we felt like we were not playing well. We had to keep believing and get over the mistake."
Kauai entered the second half and controlled possession for a bit.
"We wanted to connect passes and get one as we did," said first year Kauai coach Chance Bukoski. "The game plan was to actually be more defensive minded. Obviously, HPA is quite a team. Offensively they have big girls who can play. We were trying to hold the line and see if we could get another just from counter attacking honestly."
The Red Raiders held strong until Thompson's 70th minute goal. Down 2-1, Kauai changed tactics to try and find another equalizer.
"We had to make a change to put more offensive pressure on them," coach Bukoski said. "Especially after they scored the second goal late in the second half. I rather risk everything at the end because we were already losing anyways."
Brost, who was quite in the first half, played more aggressively and took more long range shots before going down injured. After a few minutes, Brost came back in and helped Perry orchestrate the offense from central midfield.
"We came into tonight knowing that it was going to be a battle and that me and Malia really had to connect with each other," said Perry. "As the game went on, we just got stronger and stronger with our connection and that's what led us to success."
The Queen’s Medical Center/HHSAA Girls Soccer Championships All-Tournament Team(As selected by the media and HHSAA)
Division IIIsabella Police, Hawaii Preparatory AcademyKahele Walsh, Hawaii Preparatory AcademyAngela Cipriano, Hawaii Preparatory AcademyEryka Napaleon, KauaiJessica Hreljac, KauaiKaleonahe Bukoski, KauaiRainah Draper, Mid-Pacific InstituteNaomi Noguchi, KapaaChenoa Frederick, KS-HawaiiGoalkeeper: Jaeda Planas, KauaiCo-Most Outstanding Players: Malia Brost and Jenna Perry, Hawaii Preparatory Academy
HPA's midfielders help create the next goal would come just a minute after Thompson's goal. Kahala Erskine finished a close range cross off in the 71st minute. The cross was played in by Police.
In the 76th minute, Brost played a one-two pass with Cipriano off the right corner and curled her shot over Planas to make it 4-1, sealing the deal for Ka Makani.
"Last year I took a lot of shots, lots of opportunities and it worked out," Brost said. "So I was thinking ‘If this year they give me enough space, might as well rip it.' You miss every opportunity you don't take."
Although she allowed in four goals, Planas, only a freshmen, came up big tonight making a total of 7 saves tonight. Her best save came in the 49th minute when she made a one on one save against Planas inside the 18 yard box.
Although Kauai didn't win the title tonight, coach Bukoski believes that his team has a lot of positives to build off of.
"We want to make it back here and raise a different trophy up. A different trophy, a bigger trophy," Bukowski said jokingly. "But honestly, the girls have so much work to do and have so much potential. Our ultimate goal as a coaching staff is to get them to go play somewhere else, get a college degree, that type of thing.There's a lot of hidden talent on Kauai. A majority of them come from situations where they can be financially supported, especially making those camps or traveling with club teams. These kids, they can ball."
Coach Perry, in his 27th year as head coach, said that this year's team was a bit different from previous championship teams he's coached.
"We had a lot of good weapons this year. We are a lot more dynamic than in past years, where maybe just one or two scorers in the past. This year we had five or six be a threat."
HPA will lose key seniors like Cipriano, Perry, and Kahele Walsh this year. But with Brost, Thompson, and other contributors coming back next year, expect HPA to be on the hunt for their 8th HHSAA Division II trophy.
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