Mililani Soccer Girls Bring Home National Championship

High temperatures, thunderstorms and lighting in Knoxville, Tenn., could not stop the Mililani U14 girls soccer team — 15 players in all — from taking the national championship in their age division at the AYSO National Games July 1-8.

The Mililani champs show off their Hawaii pride during the U14 AYSO Na- tional Games in Knoxville, Tenn. Photo by Roger Masca.

In addition to that title, the team also won the Michalski Sportsmanship Cup, which will be on dis- play with the team’s name (Lanakila, which means victory) at the National AYSO headquarters in Torrance, Calif.

With July being in the middle of summer, the girls had to face extreme hot temperatures.

“We had arrived a couple days before the tournament started to get used to the extreme heat,” explained head coach Dunstan Canne. “We had a hydration team, who kept the girls hydrated the whole time.”

The girls often played in 102-degree heat, but had to stop playing once the temperature rose to 105 degrees. Despite these extreme conditions, thanks to the girls’ conditioning coach Roger Masca, the girls were prepared.

They not only won their age group championship, but the players (and parents) also won the sportsmanship award.

No one had ever won both awards in the history of the AYSO National Games.