Leilehua, Mililani Kick Off Quest For OIA Soccer Titles
For the Leilehua and Mililani boys soccer teams, the so-called second season is about to begin. With berths in their respective Division I and Division II state tournaments in their sights, they must first take care of business this week as the OIA White and Red tournaments play out. A preview of DII Leilehua and DI Mililani follows.
Record: 4-6 overall Key wins: Over Aiea 3-
2 Jan. 3, over Waipahu 1-0 Dec. 20
What’s next: The Mules, who earned the top seed out of the West in DII, will host either West No. 3 seed Waipahu or East No. 2 Farrington in a semifinal game at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. At stake is a berth in the OIA White title game, which is set for 5 p.m. Friday at Kapolei High School. (The Mules already have earned a berth in the DII state tournament.)
What to watch: The Mules’ post-season resume may be as impressive for what they did in the games they lost as the ones they won. In addition to its four wins, the team was in just about every game against the DI teams on its slate — most notably Mililani, the Red champion, which narrowly defeated Leilehua 1-0.
The Mules also were only a few plays away from a better outcome in losses to DI foes Radford and Campbell. Now that they’ll be playing strictly DII teams, the Mules hope the heavyweight schedule they already played will pay dividends.
Defense has been Leilehua’s best attribute, as it can usually count on to keep a game close, having been involved in five games decided by a goal or less. Offensively, John Enos, Connor Murakami, Demar Stewart and Nathan May are scoring leaders to date.
Record: 10-0 overall Key wins: Over Pearl City 3-1 Dec. 17, over Kapolei 1-0 Dec. 20, over Campbell 2-0 Jan. 3
What’s next: The Trojans earned the top seed (and first-round bye) out of the West for this week’s OIA Red tourney. Mililani will host a quarter-final game versus either East No. 4 seed Kahuku or West No. 5 seed Campbell at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. At stake is a berth in the semifinals Thursday at Kapolei High.
The OIA Red title game will be at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Kapolei. Both semifinal games as well as the championship will be televised live by OC-16.
What to watch: Trojan fans can’t say Mililani wasn’t tested during the regular season, as it always receives the opposition’s best effort. That was true enough this year, as the team played tough games against Campbell, Pearl City, Radford, and most notably, West No. 2 seed Kapolei, which held the Trojans to its lowest output of their OIA slate in a 1-0 game. As in past years, balance has carried the Mililani squad.
The Trojans are stellar defensively and have enough firepower, offensively, to score when needed as they enter the postseason with six players
— Marc Matas (6), Chris Galang (5), Micah Ishikawa (3), Anthony Menor, Jarad Choquette
(3) and Landon Tenney
(3) — having tallied at least three goals each to date.