Three Wind­ward Boys Soc­cer Teams Set For State Tour­neys

MidWeek Islander (Windward Oahu) - - Windward Oahu Sports - By JACK DANILEWICZ

For Kala­heo and Kahuku, no week­end has been more an­tic­i­pated than this one, as both teams will begin play in the Di­vi­sion I state boys soc­cer tour­na­ment.

Pair­ings for the tour­ney were to be re­vealed af­ter press time. First- round games will be Fri­day at Kapolei High and Kame­hameha-Maui, with the semi­fi­nals and ti­tle games Feb. 27-28.

A look at their prospects is be­low. (Kailua will play in the DII state tour­na­ment Feb. 26- 28 at Wai­pio Penin­sula Soc­cer Com­plex. A cap­sule pre­view for the Surfrid­ers also fol­lows.) Kala­heo Mus­tangs Record: 8-3-2 (7-1-2 in regular sea­son)

How they got here: OIA Red tour­na­ment re­cap — Beat Cas­tle (1-0) in the quar­ter­fi­nals, lost to Mililani (1-0 in two over­times) in the semi­fi­nals, lost to Kapolei (5-1) in the third­place game.

Scout­ing the Mus­tangs — Kala­heo was just a cou­ple of plays away from the ti­tle game, but dropped its semi­fi­nal to even­tual cham­pion Mililani on a de­flected tally by the Tro­jans in the wan­ing mo­ments of the sec­ond over­time. If de­fense wins cham­pi­onship, then the Mus­tangs have a chance, given their stel­lar play on that side of the ball. The team has won four games via shutout to date, and only two op­po­nents (Moanalua and Kapolei) were able to score more than two goals against the Mus­tangs. Kahuku Red Raiders Record: 10-4 (7-3 in regular sea­son)

How they got here: OIA Red tour­na­ment re­cap — Beat Leile­hua (4-0) in the first round, lost to Kapolei (3-2) in quar­ter­fi­nals, beat Kaiser (4-2) in con­so­la­tion semis, beat Moanalua (52) in the fifth-place game.

Scout­ing the Red Raiders — The team con­tin­ued its up­ward mo­bil­ity at the OIA tour­na­ment with an im­pres­sive 3-1 win that saw them se­cure the league’s fifth berth for this week’s state tour­na­ment. Iron­i­cally, Kahuku may have played best in the one game it lost, hav­ing led No. 2 West seed Kapolei up un­til the mid­way point of the sec­ond half be­fore los­ing 3-2. De­fense has been a strength so far, as the Red Raiders have posted six shutouts. Of­fen­sively, Gabriel Pin­heiro-Alves is lead­ing scorer with 13 goals. Kahuku is 9-0 this sea­son when scor­ing at least two goals. Kailua Surfrid­ers Record: 8-4 over­all (6-4 in regular sea­son)

How they got here: OIA White tour­na­ment re­cap — Beat Wa­ialua 1-0 in semi­fi­nals, beat Waipahu 6-0 in the ti­tle game.

Scout­ing the Surfrid­ers — Kailua was seen as the fa­vorite to win the 2015 OIA White ever since it learned dur­ing the off-sea­son that it would play in DII. Steve Dig­nam’s team lived up to those ex­pec­ta­tions and then some, rout­ing Waipahu 6-0 in the ti­tle game. Can Kailua take the next step this week and bring home a DII state ti­tle? The team more than held its own in the sea­son, de­feat­ing a pair of DI teams ( Moanalua and Kahuku) and sweep­ing its DII coun­ter­parts. Se­nior for­ward Naia Gra­ham will en­ter this week as the state’s lead­ing scorer with 25 goals in nine games.

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