Hurricanes Roll Into Busy OISS Weekend Before OIA Opener
When the Kapolei coaching staff created the Oahu Interleague Soccer Showcase in 2010, the goal was to have a preseason tournament akin to a mini state tournament.
Four years later, the tournament has definitely lived up to its promise with four state champions having already taken part in the OISS, including last year’s Division I champion, Iolani.
“We knew we weren’t likely to play each other (OIA versus ILH teams) in the regular season, so we wanted to have a high-level preseason tournament,” said Kapolei coach Ryan Lau, who shares head coaching duties with Neal Sakaue and Mark Ishii. “It’s been a good tournament — we’ve traditionally had strong teams from both sides.”
With the fifth edition of the showcase this weekend, an all-star lineup is expected, including host Kapolei and fellow OIA teams Kalani and Mililani and ILH’s Punahou, Kamehameha and defending Division II state champion Mid-Pacific.
Newcomer Mid-Pacific went 7-4-4 in 2013-14, finishing with a 4-4-4 mark in the ILH.
Punahou finished 11-5-3 overall (6-3-3), while Kamehameha (6-4-5, 5-2-5) also had a solid season despite missing the state tournament.
Mililani went 15-4 last season (10-0 versus OIA West teams), while Kalani finished 13-7 (8-2 in the OIA East) a year after winning the 2012-13 DI state tournament.
Kapolei finished 2013-14 with a 12-6-1 mark, including a 9-1 record in the OIA West.
As in past years, OIA teams will not play each other in the OISS. Each game instead will pit an OIA team opposite an ILH team.
The Hurricanes’ public unveiling will be at 6 p.m. Friday, when they host Kamehameha.
A matchup between Kalani and Mid-Pacific follows at 8.
On Saturday, some teams will play two games. Kapolei will meet Punahou at 9 a.m. and also play Mid-Pacific at 7 p.m.
Thursday’s Punahou-Mililani game will kick off the tournament. (The game was scheduled for Thursday in case both Punahou and Mililani play in the state football championship game Friday night.)
In future seasons, the OISS likely will move the tournament back a week or two on the calendar, according to Lau.
The Hurricanes were only to finalize their roster early this week before taking part in the tournament.
“It’s been good for all of us to see what we have (in week one),” he said, “but we would eventually like to move it.”
Although Kapolei lost OIA West Player of the Year Keo Ponce to graduation, it returns several key players, highlighted by defender Lyric DeLeon, forward Shandon Hopeau and forward/midfielder CJ Harvey.
DeLeon and Hopeau are juniors, while Harvey is a senior.
“We feel like we have a top-flight player at each position with them,” Lau said. “More is expected from them this year. They’ve been productive, and now we expect them to be leaders.”
Hopeau and Harvey combined to score 15 goals for Kapolei last season.
Lau also has high hopes for sophomore midfielder Garrison Lee and junior goalkeeper Makana Breault.
“Garrison will be very vital to us, and if Makana can become more consistent, he can be a top-flight goalkeeper.”
Also back are sophomore midfielder/defender Beau Meyer and senior defender Quinn Thierbach.
Lau also expects freshman Sean Yoshida to have an immediate impact.
“We’re very excited about his versatility,” he said. “He can help us at multiple positions.”
Kapolei opens its OIA season Dec. 10 against Radford at home.