Wednesday, November 25, 2015         


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Pascua's late goal gives 'Iolani a tie

By Jerry Campany


‘Iolani striker Kama Pascua is good for at least a goal a game, no matter how long it takes.

Pascua scored in the final seconds to forge a 1-1 tie with ILH rival Kamehameha on Saturday at Kamehameha in a rematch of last year's state championship final.

Pascua, who had been stifled by Kamehameha's defense until that point, received a long pass from Jill Shimabuku inside the box and found herself marked by Kamahemaha's Sarah Lau and nobody else. After being double- and triple-teamed throughout, it was a chance Pascua was not going to let pass by.

"I saw the opening so I ran down and was like ‘OK, this is it. This is do or die' and I took the chance and I shot it," Pascua said.

Pascua dribbled left and right as if the ball were tied to her shoelace. She left Lau, who had cleared an attempt by Alyssa Kim seconds earlier, on the ground as she beat Kamehameha keeper Sisilia Meli high.

The Raiders, who lost to Kamehameha in the state title match last year, erupted in celebration while the Warriors stood around perplexed. It is the first goal Kamehameha has given up this year.

The referee signaled the end of the match the second Kamehameha kicked off after the goal.

"It was spectacular, our girls never give up," ‘Iolani coach Kristin Masunaga said. "You watch World Cup games and teams really do score in the last seconds and we literally scored in the last seconds."

The teams meet again Jan. 19 at ‘Iolani, where they hope to settle the rivalry on the field. Because this one was far from settled.

"I'm curious as to the amount of time that (the referee) went over," Kamehameha coach Melissa Moore said. "By my watch it was 44 minutes, 36 seconds so I am a little confused why the whistle hadn't blown four minutes prior to that. But you know what, that's soccer. That's the way it goes and you are supposed to play until the whistle blows and we have to do a better job of that."

There were two stoppages in the second half, one for Kamehameha's goal and one for a yellow card on Kamehameha that was resolved immediately, but discussed for about a minute. With nobody but the referee really knowing how much time ‘Iolani had to score, Masunaga sprinted to act as her team's ball girl to save every possible second. Her Raiders needed it.

Kamehameha took the lead in the 60th minute when Lau earned a corner kick and the Warriors converted. Emma Young served a ball knee-high in front of the net that Riki Iwanaga directed into the goal with her right instep.

Kamehameha (4-0-1) plays Punahou on Saturday, while ‘Iolani (5-0-1) waits until next Tuesday to take on St. Francis.

The Warriors were playing without midfielder Shaney Sakamoto, who suffered a season-ending injury in the preseason.

The Raiders started the game with defender Rachel Bowler, but lost her to a possible broken ankle in the final minute of the first half.

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