HPA girls soccer “beyond grateful” to be back

  • Tribune-Herald file photo For the first time since the 2020 HHSAA D-II girls soccer final, Malia Brost and Hawaii Prep played a high school match Saturday.

The pandemic closed the curtain on BIIF sports on March 13 of last year after a Honokaa-Keaau boys volleyball match.

That curtain remains lowered – likely at least until the Department of Education issues return-to-play guidelines for public schools – but Hawaii Prep’s Malia Brost was among those “beyond grateful” to be able to bask in the spotlight of high school competition once again Saturday in Waimea.

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“It was a great feeling,” Brost said in a text to the Tribune-Herald after helping HPA’s girls soccer team rally from a pair of two-goal deficits to beat a West Hawaii club team 4-3.

“I know we all missed being on the field and playing together,” she said. “Days leading up to the game, each one of us couldn’t wait to be on the pitch.”

Only private schools and club teams – which are not allowed to have any official affiliation with a public school – are participating in a four-sport winter season that runs through March 6.

This did not feel like a scrimmage, Brost said, especially not with the way HPA was pushed on its own field, falling behind 2-0 on a pair of goals by Teysha Kuahuia, who played for Kealakehe during the 2020 season.

“The game was fairly intense, everyone on the field was working hard and playing well,” Brost said. “Although it wasn’t a real BIIF match, the intensity was still there.

Brost scored twice, including the equalizer, and Kahala Erskine kicked in the game-winning goal.

“I wasn’t surprised at all that we were pushed hard throughout the game,” Brost said. “The girls we played against were some of the best on the island.

“Our team knew most of the girls, and we were catching (it) most of the game!”

Caiya Hanks, an all-BIIF midfielder for Konawaena in 2020, answered Brost’s first tally with a goal to put her club up 3-1. Bella Police, a high-scoring senior like Brost, also had a goal for Ka Makani, which was denied a chance to vie for an eighth consecutive HHSAA Division II championship when the state tournament was canceled in January.

The club from West Hawaii was coached by John Edwards, who was to have debuted as Kealakehe’s girls coach before BIIF the season was nixed.

“Both teams were excited and definitely appreciated the opportunity,” HPA coach Stephen Perry said. “Lots of quality soccer out there with talent all over the field. We look forward to the challenge again next Thursday.”

In a boys match, Aidan Santos tapped in a pass from Kaisei Mochizuki late in the second half to secure a 1-1 draw for HPA against another club team, ‘Riders FC.

Early in the first half, Xander Loyola scored off an assist by Alex Bell for ‘Riders FC. Loyola and Bell played for Kealakehe during the 2020 season.

“Lots of chances by both teams, and great sportsmanship from all the boys,” HPA coach James Berry said, “who were just happy to be out there.

“I believe it was a very fair result.”

In a girls basketball game Friday, Maja Burdova scored 21 points and freshman Brooke Samura added 20 as HPA defeated Christian Liberty 57-11 in Waimea.

“Just watching the girls come out with so much excitement, it was a fun night,” Ka Makani coach Lacey Hester said.

She said HPA would focus on development during these four games – and fun.

The Canefire – who were led by Kamille Febo-Santiago’s eight points – enjoyed themselves, too, Hester said.

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“They were like, “We don’t even care about the score,”’ she said.

The teams are scheduled to play again Wednesday at HPA, with two more soccer matches on tap Thursday.

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