Trojan Victory Brings OIA Girls Soccer Plaque Back to Mililani

In+regular+season+play%2C+the+team+had+a+record+of+nine+wins+and+one+loss.

Reese Yamamoto

In regular season play, the team had a record of nine wins and one loss.

Hope Ishizaka, Reporter

     KAPOLEI- Stadium lights burned bright at Kapolei High School’s Alvin Nagasako Athletic Complex Stadium on Jan. 25. Moanalua and Mililani took to the field to battle out for the Oahu Interscholastic Association (OIA) Division 1 Girls Soccer Championships. After a full 80 minute game, the Trojans brought the OIA D1 title back home to Mililani with a 2-0 win.

     “We were all mentally prepared for this game. We had little to no idea about Moanalua’s style of play, but it didn’t matter,” said Junior and center midfielder Alayna “Ali” Fuamatu-Ma’afala, who was OC16’s Impact Player of the night. “Every girl showed up to play Saturday night, and no matter what team stepped on that pitch against us, we were ready for whatever that brought to the table.” 

     From the start of the game, Mililani held possession of the ball for most of the first half, however, both teams had remained scoreless. The first attempt, right at the 2nd minute of the match, Junior and forward Shaunee Egloria drove down the line and took a shot sending it over the goal. One minute later, Senior and center midfielder Meagan Samantha Tamashiro tested Moanalua’s goalkeeper with a shot on goal. In the 5th minute, Senior and forward Mehanaokalani Ortiz took a direct free kick which resulted in going over Moanalua’s goal. In the 14th minute, Moanalua sent a long ball over Mililani’s back line. Junior and center back Jacey Jicha ran down Moanalua’s forward and kicked the ball out stopping their momentum from a potential scoring opportunity. 

     “The only thing that I was thinking about was not letting them score,” said Jicha. “I would do anything and everything in my power to ensure that the ball never touched the back of our net. The goal was to make sure that they never even had a chance.”

     Fuamatu-Ma’afala got around a Moanalua defender and took a shot that went out during the 27th minute. Junior and forward Kayla Murakami took a shot on the keeper in the 39th minute to conclude the first half. 

     The Trojans came back from halftime with high intensity, winning a direct free kick, but Senior and midfielder Cecilia Jenkins sent it right over the goal. During the 3rd and 5th minute, Fuamatu-Ma’afala and Sophomore and forward Aubrey Dunaway tested Moanalua’s keeper with their shots on goal. 

     In the 6th minute, Mililani had their biggest scoring opportunity. Egloria dribbled down the right sideline and passed the ball off to Tamashiro who fired a shot that hit the crossbar causing spectators to cheer loudly for the close goal. Moanalua quickly countered causing Sophomore and center back Kamryn Shigemoto to chase down a forward and forcing her to have a weak shot on goal that Senior and goal keeper Sydni Nakamura easily picked up.  

     Mililani’s efforts were finally rewarded during the 49th minute of the game, nine minutes into the second half, Egloria got past two defenders and crossed the ball to Ortiz who brought Mililani into a 1-0 lead. 

     “The sideline ref put her flag up to call the foul and everyone stopped except me and Shaunee because she had an advantage and so we kept playing,” said Ortiz. “She dribbled alone the baseline and simply crossed it to me on top of the six yard box. At first, I thought the keeper saved the ball but it went right past her foot and I swung and the ball went to the back of the net.” 

     A few minutes later in the 53rd minute, Jenkins took a corner kick for the Trojans. Jicha headed the ball down in front of Moanalua’s goal causing commotion. Fuamatu-Ma’afala then finished the ball into the back of the net resulting in Mililani’s second and final goal. 

     “I was really excited. The amount of team effort that went into making that goal was amazing,” said Fuamatu-Ma’afala. “Mentally, however, I had to remain focused on keeping the lead and keeping pressure on their defense.”  

     At the 80th minute, the Trojans ran onto the field in celebration of bringing the OIA Championship plaque back home since 2018.

     “It feels amazing. Last year was a slip up but this year our entire team was hungry for a championship and we were determined to get it back,” said Jicha. 

     The Trojans look towards the week ahead of them as they prepare for states. With a first-round bye for the Hawaii High School Athletic Association State Tournament, Mililani’s next game will be on Feb. 6 against Pearl City High School at the Waipio Peninsula Soccer Complex.