Hawaii Prep marches back in state soccer final
Hawaii Prep’s girls soccer team has reached the final frontier — again.
Ka Makani roared to their third straight Hawaii High School Athletic Association Division II championship game Friday, taking apart Pac-Five 5-0 at Oahu’s Waipio Peninsula Soccer Complex.
“Here we are,” coach Steve Perry said. “This has been a real mature group, especially knowing why they’re here and keeping them on task.”
The next task for the Big Island Interscholastic Federation champions is clear: delivering the program its first state title. Second-seeded HPA (12-2-1) faces a familiar foe, top-seeded Mid Pacific, at 5 p.m. today in a final that will be televised on OC12.
“We’ve just got to take care of our game and worry about our game,” Perry said.
The three-time defending HHSAA champion Owls (6-6-2) defeated Kamehameha-Hawaii on a penalty kick in overtime to advance.
Ka Makani had much less trouble in its semifinal. Nanea Tavares scored twice and Marlie Mandaguit tallied a goal and an assist for HPA, which has outscored its four postseason opponents by a combined 26-0.
If Ka Makani faced any resistance in the semifinal, Perry said, it came during the opening 10 minutes as the Wolfpack took to the attack.
Mandaguit had a hand in her team’s first two goals to spur HPA. First, the sophomore turned on the left side and scored from 25 yards out, then she sent a nifty cross that Tavares headed in to increase the lead to 2-0.
“That got us in the flow of things,” Perry said of Mandaguit’s goal. “That turned on the buzzer.
“We stayed focused and kept the pedal on.”
Bri Vallente tacked on a goal as HPA led 3-0 at halftime.
“It was beautiful,” Perry said. “A turn and blast. The goalkeeper never had a chance.”
Emma Taylor also found the back of the net, while Morgan Monahan earned the shutout against the Wolfpack (6-8-1), the Interscholastic League of Honolulu runner-up behind Mid-Pacific.
While the Owls graduated 12 players after beating HPA 2-0 in the 2013 final — Ka Makani fell 1-0 in the 2012 final —Perry said this could be the strongest of his championship contenders.
“More complete in the sense that we’ve got good shape in the back, balance at midfield and our strikers are hard to mark,” he said.
Up top, Perry said forwards Tavares, a senior, and Vallente, junior, are working in sync like never before.
“They’re both linking up with each other,” he said. “Talent and size, that’s a good combination.”
Mid-Pacific 2, Kamehameha 1: Janaye Shepherd’s goal midway through the first overtime kept the Owls’ hopes alive for a fourth consecutive state crown.
Harper Hottendorf netted the equalizer in the 52nd minute for the Warriors (10-5-1), the BIIF-runner-up. Kamehameha will face Pac-Five at 1 p.m. today in the third-place match. The Warriors rebounded from a 4-0 loss to Ka Makani last Saturday in the BIIF final to win their first two games at states, including a double-overtime win Thursday.
Perry said Mid-Pacific’s Kayla Watanabe would be a key player for HPA to mark today. The forward scored in the 47th minute Friday.
Iolani 6, Konawaena 0: Megan Goo had two goals in the first 10 minutes, and the top-seeded Red Raiders reached today’s fifth-place game.
The two-time defending BIIF Division I champion Wildcats finished the season at 10-3-2.
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