For a team that’s had trouble finishing, Hilo got off to the great start.
Senior Rose Nakamura scored a goal with two assists and three other Vikings found the back of the net Thursday at Hilo Bayfront in a 4-0 shutout of rival Waiakea in the teams’ Big Island Interscholastic Federation girls soccer opener.
“I’m extremely happy with the result and glad to have (Waiakea) out of the way,” coach Paul Bello said.
His Vikings are trying to rebound after a rare down season. Hilo was upended as the three-time BIIF champion and missed out on states last year, largely because of an inability to take advantage of scoring opportunities.
The Vikings reversed that trend in the opener.
Junior Lolly Higa, and seniors Kiana Heaukulani and Taylor Pacheco added goals, and senior goalkeeper Edwina DeGrood made six saves.
“I’m going to need five to six scorers (to develop) this season,” Bello said, “to have four score is a good sign.
“I liked seeing Taylor Pacheco score because it was her birthday. That was a good birthday gift.”
Higa set the tone for the rest of the match, scoring from 6 yards out off a Nakamura direct kick in the 14th minute.
“Once we scored the first goal, their defense kind of went in the tank,” Bello said. “Waiakea is young.”
Heaukulani, who missed all of last season with an ACL injury, put Hilo ahead 2-0 in the 21st minute with a shot from 20 yards out that cleared the keeper.
After Nakamura assisted on Pacheco’s score from 5 yards out in the 55th minute, she notched her 38th career goal in the 76th minute, converting from 8 yards away off assists from freshman Tori Teanio and junior Serena Nasworthy.
Teanio drew the start on the backline along with another freshman, Michaela Clarke, and the duo received rave reviews from their coach. Especially Clarke, who was filling in for a Hilo team that was missing two starters and three reserves.
“For (Michaela) to step in and play like that in her first game against Waiakea, she did a heck of a job,” Bello said.