Special to the Star-Advertiser
POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Feb 12, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 05:24 a.m. HST, Feb 12, 2011
The 'Iolani girls soccer team adopted a "state tournament" mentality during the second half of the Interscholastic League of Honolulu.
DIVISION I GIRLS STATE SOCCERAt Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park
Samantha Dacanay, Malia Brennan and Hana Tomozawa scored goals as 'Iolani beat second-seeded and previously unbeaten Mililani 3- 1 in the Division I semifinals of the JN Automotive/HHSAA State Championships yesterday at the Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium.
"It helps in the ILH we played very competitive games, Punahou and Kamehameha twice," said 'Iolani coach Kristin Masunaga. "At the end of our first round, we were third and in a must-win situation, so we treated every game like a state tournament game."
'Iolani, the Interscholastic League of Honolulu runner-up, will play ILH champion Punahou for the title tonight at 7. The Raiders' last girls state soccer title came in 1999.
"Our mind-set is just solid," said Brennan, who scored the go-ahead goal in the 44th minute. "Our team is working together and working for each other, and we just really want it. We're willing to do what it takes to win this thing."
'Iolani, which has won 8 straight, knocked off an unbeaten team for the second consecutive day. On Thursday, the Raiders beat Maui Interscholastic League champion and third-seeded Baldwin 2-0.
"These girls have worked 110 percent all the time and we're peaking at the right time," Masunaga said.
It rained heavily before the match, but the sun came out just prior to kickoff.
'Iolani scored first in the 12th minute on Dacanay's goal off an assist from Tomozawa. Dacanay beat a couple of players to Tomozawa's header and drilled in a shot from 6 yards.
"I got a nice ball, and I just flicked it in. It was a good ball by her," said Dacanay, a junior.
In the 24th minute, Mililani tied it at 1-1 on Alisha Miyashiro's goal, which deflected off an 'Iolani defender. Miyashiro played in a short corner from the right side to Mimi Nagakawa, who gave it right back to Miyashiro. She had space and blasted a shot from 15 yards that was deflected into the right side of the goal.
'Iolani took the lead just after halftime on Brennan's goal off an assist from Twyla Hamasaki. Brennan received Hamasaki's pass from the left side, made a quick turn with the ball and shot over the Mililani goalkeeper.
"Twyla just served a great ball right in front of the net, and I just saw a lot of defenders in front of me, and I put it in the goal," said Brennan, a junior.
The Raiders added an insurance score in the 72nd minute on a goal by Tomozawa, a senior. Tomozawa controlled a loose ball and blasted in a shot from 18 yards out.
"They put us out of balance, and we were chasing a lot of times, and we didn't organize as well as we could," said Mililani coach Ray Akiona.
Mililani, the Oahu Interscholastic Association champion, was coming off a shootout win over Pearl City the previous night, but 'Iolani had to play an extra game because it was unseeded.
"I don't think (fatigue) made a difference for either team one way or another," Akiona said.
It was a lot tighter and a lot more dramatic than expected, but Punahou is through to the final.
Credit Kahuku. The Red Raiders took the two-time defending state D-I champion to the wire.
Kendra Trifonovitch scored in the 58th minute off an assist from Ally Holtz as No. 1-seeded Punahou beat Kahuku 1-0 in the late semifinal.
"It wasn't quite how I envisioned it would be," said Punahou coach Matt Martinson. "How many opportunities did we have? I lost count. We had to keep persevering again and hope that eventually we can put one in the back of the net."
On the goal, Holtz controlled the ball to the right of the goal with a couple of Kahuku players chasing and fed Trifonovitch, who shot it in from 5 yards.
"Ally Holtz passed me the ball, and I was right there to finish it," said Trifonovitch, a senior.
The Red Raiders didn't go down quietly. The OIA's No. 6 team came close twice to tying it up in the final minutes only to have Buffanblu defenders clear the ball off the goal line. With seconds left, Punahou defender Kylie Chun kicked away a ball that likely was headed in.
"It was really close. If I wasn't there, it probably would have gone in, but I knew my teammates had everything under control. I just stood there just in case," said Chun, a sophomore.
The loss ended a magical run for Kahuku, which won two games in the tournament.
"We are so proud of the girls. We went down 1-0, and we never gave up," said Kahuku coach Glenn Fujita. "We fought 'til the end. We came so close to getting the equalizer."
The Buffanblu had scoring opportunities, but repeatedly came up empty.
Late in the first half, the Buffanblu had a penalty shot, but Kahuku goalkeeper Puanani Silva made the save.
"That block of the PK at the ending of the first half was huge. It gave the girls a lift," Fujita said.
Junior midfielder Amanda Jorgensen scored two goals as the No. 3-seeded Bears (16-1-1) bounced back from their first loss of the season with a rout of the Chargers.
Ashley Barbosa-Bariones, Pele Buika, Breanna Gaddis and Alyssa Ariyoshi also scored for the MIL champions. Senior fullback Alyssa Nagai scored in the 44th minute for Pearl City (11-5-3).
Baldwin plays Kamehameha-Maui for fifth place at 3 p.m. today on Field 8.
Junior Kalena Kaeo scored in the 19th and 34th minutes as the Warriors (16-2-1) eliminated the Vikings (12-2-2).
Sophomore Renee Lee-Agcaoili scored in the 29th minute and freshman Lily Higashino in the 58th minute for KS-Maui.
Sophomore Rose Nakamura scored in the 35th minute for Hilo.