Na Alii’s duo co-players of year
They will travel different paths after graduation next month, but they will never forget a memorable senior soccer season for King Kekaulike High School.
Mia Rose Daly has signed to play at Long Island University-Brooklyn, while Erynn Duquette will wait a year to start college at a yet unknown destination.
After leading Na Alii to their first Maui Interscholastic League title since 2007, the pair will leave the Pukalani campus as The Maui News Co-MIL Players of the Year.
“Erynn’s a great player and to be co-Player of the Year, I feel very honored to be by her side,” said Daly, who played sweeper for Na Alii. “I feel very humbled.”
Duquette, who is about 7 inches shorter than the 5-foot-7 Daly, scored 16 goals from her forward position this season.
The Upcountry duo emerged from a crowded list of player of the year candidates to claim the award.
‘‘It feels very good, actually,” Duquette said. “King Kekaulike worked very hard for the MIL (title) this year being a part of that team was very special as part of my last year at King Kekaulike High School.”
Duquette and Daly are joined on the first team by teammates Lyti Akinaka and Zoe Asue; Kamehameha Maui’s Ilihia Keawekane and Kamalei Roback, Baldwin’s Angelle Ferge, Akasha Kauhola, Malie Kuia and Aiyana Kotter; and Maui High’s Tihanee Freitas and Chai Cortez.
The Players of the Year have shared offensive and defensive responsibilities since their days began as freshmen.
“It feels very good because I had someone in the back this season that I could trust,” Duquette said. “And I trusted her with my life, pretty much, to save every ball that came near her while I worked up top.”
It was an early-season move for
Without Mia defending for us and without Erynn scoring for us, playing against Baldwin, Maui High and Kamehameha (Maui), we wouldn’t have gotten to that (championship).
— Gundi Dancil, King Kekaulike coach
Daly from center midfielder to the back that keyed the run to the MIL championship.
“When I was put back there, I knew it was for the better of the team,” Daly said. “And I just needed to do whatever I needed to do for the team to win.”
Daly plans to major in sports management. “I’m excited for the opportunity,” Daly said. “I think going to a city with so many opportunities there and taking advantage of them and furthering my life, I can’t wait.”
Both will miss wearing teal and black.
“I’m going to miss playing here so much and being a Na Alii,” Daly said. “Just playing for the pride of the school, I will miss definitely.”
Duquette said, “In the beginning of the season we kind of lacked the confidence we had at the end of the season, but we worked our way, we worked hard, we did everything we could to push for that MIL title. I’m going to miss it a lot.”
King Kekaulike coach Gundi Dancil is the choice of his peers as MIL Coach of the Year.
“In the beginning when we went over for the preseason over at (Hawaii Preparatory Academy tournament), we tried having Mia up front with Erynn and Lyti, but we lost to Hilo 4-0 and we lost to Maui High. The further we talked about it, we needed Mia to go back.
“Erynn and Lyti pick it up up front and you saw Erynn blossom out during the season. She just opened up, and she was our high scorer.”
The new combination worked.
“Without Mia defending for us and without Erynn scoring for us, playing against Baldwin, Maui High and Kamehameha (Maui), we wouldn’t have gotten to that (championship),” Dancil said.
Erynn Duquette (left) and Mia Rose Daly helped lead the King Kekaulike High School girls soccer team to its first Maui Interscholastic League championship since 2007.