Leilehua, Mililani In This Week’s State Soccer Playoffs
Both the Mililani and Leilehua boys soccer teams were only a couple of plays away from a better fate in their respective OIA post-season tournaments. But this week’s Division I and Division II state soccer tour-neys offer both another crack at it.
(Pairings for the tournaments, which run through Saturday at Waipio Peninsula Soccer Complex, were to be released after press time.) Previews for both Leilehua and Mililani are below.
Record: 5-7 overall (4-6 in the OIA West season)
Key wins: Over Waipahu 1-0 Dec. 20, over Aiea 3-2 Jan. 3, over Waianae 2-1 Dec. 17, over Waipahu 3-0 (in OIA DII semifinals) Jan. 29
Mules at a glance: Leilehua enters this week’s DII tournament as battle-tested as any team, having had six of their games to date decided by one goal or less. In fact, except for a 4-0 setback to DI powerhouse Kapolei at mid-season, the Mules were in every game this winter.
A 3-2 loss to Roosevelt in the title game prevented Leilehua from bringing home the OIA DII title, but the Mules appear poised for a state run this week, if they can maintain their level of play.
Increasing offensive output could go a long way toward determining the Mules’ post-season fate, as goals have been hard to come by at times this year. Leilehua has scored three goals or more just three times, with all three resulting in Mule victories. Leilehua’s offensive leaders include Demar Stewart, Nicholas Russey, John Enos, Nathan May and Connor Murakami.
Record: 12-1 overall (10-0 in the OIA West, first place)
Key wins: Over Pearl City 3-2 Dec. 17, over Kapolei 1-0 Dec. 20; over Campbell 2-0 Jan. 3, over Kapolei 1-0 (OIA Red, third-place game) Jan. 31
Trojans at a glance: That Mililani came up a couple plays short in its OIA Red semifinal to Kaiser should give it some added focus to this week’s game as they set their sights on capturing the DI state title. As state tournaments are often defined by low-scoring close games, Mililani is as built for this week as any program, given that it ranks among Hawaii’s top defensive teams.
Mililani has nine shutouts to its credit to date, and it gave up only a single goal in three other games. Kaiser, in fact, is the only team to put up two goals against Mililani in regulation time. Offensively, the Trojans have tallied 37 goals in 13 games, with Marc Matas, Chris Galang, Anthony Menor, Landon Tenney, Jarad Choquette and Micah Ishikawa all scoring at least three times.