Photo Credit: Chris Kimura
Since 2000, the Mililani girls JV soccer team has dominated the Oahu Interscholastic Association (OIA) JV girls soccer title, creating a legacy that spans two decades. This year, Mililani once again proved their skill and dedication, defeating Pearl City High School with a score of 0-4 to become OIA champions for the twentieth consecutive year.
“Everyone was a little anxious to uphold the title and I definitely know that I was scared. Being the last line of defense for the team means that I can’t mess up or else a goal could be scored against us. I already had some rough moments throughout the season and I knew that I couldn’t mess up here,” said co-captain and goalkeeper Sophomore Katie Kimura.
On Jan. 18, the team fought and won against Pearl City High School in a match for the OIA championship title. Though the opposing team was short a few players, they were still strong and Mililani was forced to change strategies throughout the match.
“The feeling of being at the top pumps up your adrenaline and for me at least all I could feel was pride. Pride in my teammates, coaches, parents, and everyone else who supported us throughout the season because we came through with the win,” said Kimura.
The 20 year OIA legacy was a constant pressure throughout the girls’ season. Kimura said coaches made the winning streak known from the beginning and fellow goalkeeper Sophomore Mandy Kim-Fu agreed that there was pressure to win, but not to change their style of playing — coaches already believed the team was capable of victory without any adjustment.
“I was really nervous and had a hard time controlling myself. But then the nerves went away and I played like my normal self,” said Kim-Fu. “It’s definitely one of the coolest feelings in the world to be apart of the JV program that has been winning since the start of OIA JV Soccer,” added Kimura. “I’m definitely proud to be able to play for Mililani and keep the teams of the past’s legacy going strong.”
During the game, Pearl City’s defence was careful to keep the ball on the opposite side of the field, making it difficult for Mililani to score. However, Mililani was quick to switch formations from a new arrangement to their usual method of playing in order to reverse the movement and secure goals.
“The highlight of the game was when the last whistle blew because we all ran to each other, super happy we won,” said co-captain and center midfielder Sophomore Jennifer Nakayama. Kimura added, “We had one last pep talk and cheer before our supporters rushed onto the field holding leis and arms open wide for congratulatory hugs. A lot of pictures were taken on the field that night and I think all of us were a little tired from all the smiling we had to do.”
With the help of the players’ individual skills as well as their ability to work together as a team, Mililani finished the season with a clean 7-0 record.
“They (the coaches) were the key to all of our success so I think it’s fair to say that they’ll continue to do the same with the JV teams to come,” said Kimura. “I’m proud of our team for winning OIA’s for the twentieth year and wish the best of luck for next year’s team as well. Go Lady Trojans!”
The girls will reunite for the last time at their team banquet, in April, and tryouts for next season will be held in the fall.