MIL soc­cer

Na Alii’s duo co-play­ers of year

The Maui News - - FRONT PAGE - By ROBERT COLLIAS Staff Writer

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.

The Maui News / ROBERT COLLIAS photo

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.

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