Hurricanes, Chargers Have Chance For Redemption In States

For Kapolei and Pearl City boys soccer fans, one sentiment has run strong as they prepared for this week’s Division I state soccer championships: They deserved a better fate at the recent OIA Red tournament, as they finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

As the state games get under way today (Feb. 12), Kapolei and Pearl City should be contenders. (Pairings for the tournament, which runs through Saturday at Waipio Peninsula Soccer Complex, were to be released after press time.) A preview of the Hurricanes and Chargers is below.

Kapolei High

Record: 10-3 overall (9-1 for the OIA Red West season)

Key wins: Over Campbell 3-1 Dec. 27, over Pearl City 1-0 Jan. 3, over Radford 1-0 Jan. 20, over Moanalua 1-0 Jan. 29

Hurricanes at a glance: The state tourney couldn’t come fast enough for a team eager to get back to action after seeing its eight-game win streak end at the OIA playoffs, where the Hurricanes lost hard-fought games to defending DI state champ Kalani as well as Red West rival Mililani.

Following a four-game stretch late in the season when they tallied a whop-ping 28 goals in wins over Waianae, Waipahu, Aiea and Leilehua, the Hurricanes suddenly found goals hard to come by, scoring only four in their last four games. Even so, their three losses were by a single goal to Kalani and Mililani (twice).

As always, the state tournament offers a fresh slate, and Kapolei can look to the 2013 Kalani team for inspiration. That Falcon team was upset by Campbell in the OIA tournament before making a run to capture the state championship. Kapolei currently boasts three players – Marcelo Dadino (10), Shandon Hopeau (9) and Keo Ponce (8) – among the OIA’s top 10 scoring leaders, while Lyric DeLeon and Quinn Thierbach are defensive standouts.

Pearl City High

Record: 11-3 overall (8-2 for the OIA Red West season)

Key wins: Over Campbell 1-0 Jan. 10, over Radford 4-1 Jan. 17, over Castle 2-1 Jan. 28, over Kahuku 4-0 Jan. 30

Chargers at a glance: With wins in eight of its last nine season games, perhaps no team enters this week’s state tournament with more momentum than Pearl City.

Defense has carried the team to date, as they own a 10-1 record in 2013-14 when giving up one goal or less (including six shutouts). Offensively, they’re playing their best soccer of the season, as they tallied 10 goals in wins over Castle, Kahuku and Moanalua at the OIA tournament.

Amazingly, Pearl City’s only loss since Jan. 3 was to eventual OIA champion Kaiser in a quarterfinal matchup. The Chargers’ 45 season goals is second only to Kapolei and Kaiser among OIA Division I teams.

Offensive output is a result of team balance, led by play-makers Paul Enriquez, Carter Casuga, Jay Sato and Daniel Woo.