Co-Player Of The Year Leads Mililani To Soccer Championship

Mililani’s Renato Torquato saved his biggest goal for one of his biggest games, converting the shot heard ’round the local soccer community when his tally in the 44th minute lifted the Trojans to a 1-0 win over Iolani Feb. 17 in the semifinals of the Division I state soccer championships.

The Trojans went on to win the state title the following day with a victory over Kalani, their first since 2004. Long before the post-season, Torquato already had established himself as a leader during the Trojans’ run through the OIA West slate.

Torquato recently was named Co-Player of the Year in the West along with Kalei Gallarde of Kapolei. (All-Conference teams are chosen in a vote of league coaches at season’s end.)

Kapolei head coach Bryce Kaneshiro is among those who came away impressed with Torquato. “He’s a dangerous player who can score from anywhere, as he proved against us in the OIA tournament,” he said. “He gets his teammates involved, too, which makes him even better.”

Mililani went 15-0-1 under head coach Jeff Yamamoto, winning the OIA title in addition to the state title. Its lone tie came in the regular season to Kaneshiro’s team.

Torquato, who finished with nine goals for the year, was joined on the First Team by Mililani teammates Tyler Matas (attacker), Ryan Tokunaga (midfielder), Jake Sagami (midfielder) and Tyler Wilson (goalkeeper). Matas was the third leading scorer in the state, finishing with 15 goals.

The Trojans had seven players Torquato (9), Ameen Mujtabaa (7), Cameron Metz (5), Jake Sagami (4), Preston Derige (3) and Tokunaga (3) score three goals or more in 2012, including team leader Matas.

Wilson was a force between the pipes, meanwhile, yielding only four goals on the season in net.

Mililani also had Douglas Curren (midfielder) and Andrew Momohara (defender) chosen for the Second Team, while Metz, Matthew Fronda and Elan Yogi received Honorable Mention.

Curren and Momohara were longtime mainstays in the back. “We’re glad they’re both leaving (graduating),” Kaneshiro joked. “Momohara has been a real thorn in our side. He’s small and quick and fast, and he can score. He and Curren always stood out. Their team defense is what makes them (Trojans) good.”

Alvarrao Saldana made the First Team from Leilehua, which finished 5-5-1 on the season. An attacker, he tallied five goals.

Leilehua midfielder Keli’i Makue also made the Second Team.

Receiving Honorable Mention from Waialua were Mykal Guigui and Noah Acosta.