This time Honokaa finished on its scoring opportunities and thus completed its year-long mission.
Just about 12 months and two weeks removed from losing in the Division II state final, the Dragons captured the school’s first boys soccer state title with a 4-1 victory over Kapaa yesterday at Waipio Peninsula Soccer Complex.
Honokaa scored twice within a span of about 2 minutes in the first half to take control and put away two more in the final 4 minutes of the match to seal the victory in the D-II final of the JN Automotive/HHSAA Boys Soccer Championships.
Honokaa senior Joshua Robinson scored the Dragons’ first and fourth goals. Junior Dylan Shiraki’s goal in the 76th minute gave Honokaa some breathing room and effectively ended Kapaa’s hopes of a comeback.
"We worked hard last year and we got here but we didn’t finish," Shiraki said, referencing a 4-0 loss to Mid-Pacific. "It was just a different feel, this year we came in with a different mentality."
Honokaa entered the Division II bracket as the top seed out of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation and got past Radford and St. Anthony to earn another shot at the title.
F: Matt Domingcil, Kapaa
F: Chris Maeda, St. Anthony
F: Josh Robinson, Honokaa
MF: Landy Eng, Hawaii Prep
MF: Malachi Kobayashi, Hawaii Prep
MF: Calvin Rux, Kapaa
MF: Dylan Shiraki, Honokaa
D: Robert Connors, Honokaa
D: Tony Connors, Honokaa
D: Bryce Mizoguchi, St. Anthony
GK: Maika’i Coelho, Honokaa
"Ever since they lost that game last year that’s all they thought about," Honokaa coach Maurice Miranda said. "A lot of people came back. … This was their goal the whole season."
"We knew we had unfinished business," said Robinson, who scored four goals in the tournament.
Playing against a taller Kapaa team, the Dragons kept the ball low to the ground and Shiraki had a hand, and a foot, in the Dragons’ first three goals. His throw-ins in front of the Kapaa goal set up scores by Robinson and Justin Warren in the 29th and 32nd minutes to put Kapaa into chase mode.
"He’s got a really good arm," Miranda said of Shiraki, a pitcher on the Dragons’ baseball team. "It’s a level, hard throw. It’s a fastball, not a floater. For an attacking team, it’s easier to redirect a ball that’s coming at you with some velocity. A floater kind of plays into the defense’s hands."
Said Robinson: "He gives us 15 to 20 chances, and we’re lucky enough to put away at least one or two and that seems to be just enough to win the game."
Trailing 2-0 at halftime, Kapaa drew to within a goal about 5 minutes into the second half on Calvin Rux’s spectacular diving header into the goal.
"I wasn’t too worried," Kapaa coach Kevin Cram said. "I knew we could come back. We had a squad capable of winning the match. They played well except for a few breakdowns early on."
Cram said the Warriors, who were seeking their second D-II state title in three years, came into the match short-handed due to the dismissal of two seniors due to a violation of team rules.
Still, the Warriors kept that goal in sight until the final moments, when Shiraki scored, and Robinson followed with his second goal a minute later.
"(Kapaa) came out and played more direct in the second half," Miranda said. "I thought we weathered that storm pretty well, and that third goal was huge."
And when the whistle finally punctuated the win …
"It was just amazing," said Shiraki, the D-II tournament’s most outstanding player.
ST. ANTHONY 2, HAWAII PREP 1
The Trojans (7-7-1) got off to an early start in the second half scoring two goals in their win over Ka Makani (7-7-2).
St. Anthony earned third place in the tournament.
Christopher Maeda (49th) and Kyle Orth (57th) scored for St. Anthony.
Kawika Wise (80th) had Hawaii Prep’s only goal.
MID-PACIFIC 1, KONAWAENA 0
Colin Bullard scored in the second minute of the game to lead the Owls (4-8-1) past the Wildcats (8-4-3) for fifth place in the Division II tournament.