Kauai stunned Hawaii Prep with a tying goal and was hanging tough Saturday night at Oahu’s Waipio Peninsula Soccer Complex.
Ka Makani were getting the better of the scoring chances and controlling the match, but with the score tied in the second half, coach Stephen Perry remembers thinking, “This is the kind of match soccer teams lose.”
Yes, but not HPA when it comes to the state Division II girls soccer tournament.
Until further notice, Ka Makani are its master, using a three-goal spurt during the final 11-plus minutes to defeat the Red Raiders 4-1 and capture a seventh consecutive state championship.
“I’m only really thinking about this one, maybe tomorrow or later I’ll start thinking about seven,” Perry said. “This a special group. The leadership and humbleness in this group is amazing.
“It was good that we were able to overcome a little bit of adversity.”
All four goals were beautiful in his mind, but Emily Thompson’s will hold a special place. The sophomore was put into the match when Malia Brost reinjured her ankle, and minutes later she took a cross from Angela Cipriano in front of the goal and put Ka Makani (14-1) ahead 2-1.
“Oh my God, that was amazing,” Brost said on the OC16 broadcast. “I’ve known her ever since she joined this team and even before that. We went to school together and middle school together and we’ve been friends since club soccer. I’m so proud of her. That was amazing.”
Cipriano’s cross was on point, but the pass Perry was gushing about afterward was the ball Bella Police sent to set up Kahala Erskine’s goal two minutes later.
“I’m looking forward to seeing that one on TV,” Perry said. “Bella got by her defender and just gave Kahala a beautiful pass.”
Ka Makani’s other two goals came on long-distance blasts.
Back in the match, Brost touched a corner kick to Cipriano and got the ball back on a short pass, dribbled a bit and delivered a laser into the net for a three-goal lead in the 75th minute
The nervousness of a match that was tied for a good portion of the second half was a distant memory.
“I was a little worried,” Thompson told Tribune News Service. “But when the team is in trouble, we keep pushing. We knew we had it because we have the drive to finish it. It’s so amazing to carry on the legacy.”
Cipriano finished with three assists.
HPA’s Jenna Perry scored the match’s first goal in the 20th minute on a shot that looked similar to one Brost used to produce her goal.
“We’ve been working on that short corner play all year,” Steve Perry said.
Jessica Hreljac answered in the 36th minute for the Red Raiders (13-1), who were stymied in their attempt at their first state soccer title.
“I’m very proud of the girls,” Kauai coach Chance Bukoski told Tribune News Service. “Personally, I think they (Hawaii Prep) should be D-I. It is what it is.”
Asked about the possibility of moving up, Stephen Perry said, “We’re a D-II school with 300 kids. We’re comfortable where we are.”
Jenna Perry and Cipriano are seniors, but juniors Brost and Police will help HPA reload next season.
“Malia and Jenna are two hammers out there, eliminating the other team’s attack,” Stephen Perry told Tribune News Service. “And Malia is such a weapon with her left foot.”
Of the second half: “We said, ‘Look, relax. Play our game,’ ” he said. “We kept going, kept going, kept going and our defense was squeezing hard.”