Stephens Media Hawaii
Hilo already was ahead by two goals Thursday when its game against Makua Lani went to halftime. But for Vikings assistant coach George Ichimaru, it was still anyone’s match.
So Ichimaru was pleased Hilo showed the ability to make adjustments during its 4-1 victory, something he’s not so sure the boys soccer team could have accomplished earlier in the season
“Once we adapted and got the third goal, we put the game away,” Ichimaru said.
Kinohi Betts, Nikolai Shumov, Nick Carter and Kalei Perry each scored goals to power the Vikings past the Lions in the Big Island Interscholastic Federation match at Hilo Bayfront.
The Vikings (7-1-1) are unbeaten in their past seven matches since losing to Kealakehe and hold the inside track on the second seed and a home match in the Division I semifinals.
“Since the loss the team has grown very much,” Ichimaru said. “Much more organized and much better at understanding and reading the game. They finally have their rhythm.
“When we reach halftime, we make the adjustments right away.”
Fresh off a four-goal game a day earlier in a win against Parker, Kolby Martin scored again for the Lions (4-3-1).
Ichimaru and first-year coach Cameron Castillo — former teammates at the University of Hawaii at Hilo — are implementing a possession system, and Ichimaru saw it on display in the second half against Makua Lani.
“In the first half they outsmarted us,” Ichimaru said. “In the second half we started making short passes and created more goal opportunities.”
Hilo has a big test Saturday when it hosts Honokaa in what will be its third match in four day.
Hilo 9, Makua Lani 0: Mehana Sabado-Halpern and Jasmine Smeraglia each bagged two goals for the second straight day as the host Vikings moved into a first-place tie with Waiakea atop Division I.
Taylor Matas’ second goal of the match ended matters in the 65th minute, and Hilo (6-1-1) got a goal apiece from Delcee Ramos, Savannah Toussaint-Adviento and Grace Watanabe. Sabado-Halpern and Shylia Bautista each recorded two assists, and Jordyn Breitbarth and Danielle Brown combined in the shutout against the Lions (2-6).
Should Hilo and Waiakea each win their remaining three regular-season matches, the Warriors hold the tiebreaker by virtue of their 4-1 win against the Vikings on Dec. 11.