No goals, but perhaps a golden result for Honokaa’s boys soccer team.
With a defensive strategy paying off immediately against Kamehameha, the Dragons fought to a scoreless draw on their home field Tuesday, earning what could prove to be the decisive point in the race for the final BIIF Division II playoff spot.
“It felt like a win for us, and probably a loss to them,” coach Maurice Miranda said. “They are so dangerous.”
He said the Warriors (8-5-1), for the most part, carried the play, but not the day.
The Dragons used four seniors on defense and sophomore Malachi Pesta stepped in at goalkeeper.
“We’re finally where we need to be,” Miranda said. “We’ve got people in the right places. This is exactly what we needed heading into the Kohala games.”
Honokaa (4-8-1, 13 points) moved four points ahead of fifth place Kohala (3-8) and Konawaena (3-9) in D-II and can clinch the final playoff spot with sweep of the Cowboys in their home-and-away matches on Thursday and Saturday.
Even a split might do the trick, putting pressure on their pursuers to pull off an upset. The Wildcats have Ka’u and Keaau this week, but they finish next week with a home match against Kealakehe. Kohala wraps up the regular season next week at Makua Lani.
Christian Hironaga collected the shutout for Kamehameha, which no longer has a chance to clinch the outright regular season title Wednesday night with a victory against the Lions.
The Warriors moved two points behind first-place Makua Lani (9-4) heading into the teams’ match at Paiea Stadium, but even with a loss Makua Lani could earn still claim the top seed next week.
Hawaii Prep 9, Keaau 0: Ka Makani once again didn’t have the services of Jake Schneider – the BIIF’s leading scorer was rested for the second consecutive match– but Sihkea Jim, usually a center back, filled in just fine in the goal-scoring department.
The senior, scored six times, four in the first 1 minutes at the Cougars’ field, as HPA (11-1) rebounded from its first loss.
Jim has signed to play at Colorado School of Mines, but Tuesday afforded hime a chance to show off his offensive prowess.
“He has been one of the biggest parts of HPA boys soccer success over his four years,” coach James Berry said.
David Welch Keliihoomalu added two goals and an assist, Noah Balaam scored a goal, and Conor Hunt and Riley Hiatt each assisted on a pair of goals.
Kamehameha 1, Honokaa 0: Nanea Wong Yuen scored in the 78th minute as the Warriors (8-4) escaped North Hawaii with a win.
Kaylia Galindo garnered the shutout of the Dragons (3-9-1).
Hawaii Prep 9, Keaau 0: Bella Police buried her eighth and ninth goals of the season, Malia Brost also scored twice, Angela Cipriano tallied her team-high 10th and Emi Higgins scored her eighth as Ka Makani cruised on the road.
Alianna West, Kahele Walsh and Jenna Perry also scored and Sarah Kiernan shut out the Cougars (1-11).