ʻAiea soccer girls slide past Maui Warriors


Photo by Riann Fujihara

ʻAiea celebrates after scoring the winning point. Nā Aliʻi won, 2-1, against Kamehameha Maui on Monday, Jan. 30, at Kanaʻiaupuni Stadium.

PUKALANI – The ʻAiea soccer girls won, 2-1, against Kamehameha Maui in the Queen’s Medical Center Girls Soccer State Championship game on Monday, Jan. 30, at Kanaʻiaupuni stadium.

“Kamehameha actually played awesome soccer, but we were going for the win. We want to advance so we were really interested in playing good soccer,” ʻAiea head coach Ben Villaflor said.

In Monday’s game, both teams played aggressively, fighting to keep the ball on their side of the field. The players from each team continued to look for and create opportunities to score a goal, despite the windy and cold conditions.

Freshman Kana Mateaki scored the first point for the Warriors on a header off senior Leialoha Medeiros’ throw within the first 12 minutes of the game.

“I thought we played well, I thought we played with all our hearts. I guess what we had just didn’t pull through. I mean we were the better team, and we played as a team and we put our 100% into it, it’s just, it wasn’t our year this year,” Kamehameha Maui’s, Ilihia Keawekane said. 

Shortly after Mateaki scored, ʻAiea’s Brianna Yamada also scored, tying the game. Kamehameha Maui’s goalkeeper, Makamae Aquino ,saved quite a few goals for the Warriors and junior Kailani Kealoha intercepted an attempted goal in the 28th minute of the first half. 

With the score tied at 1-1 at the end of 80 minutes, the game went into double overtime. The second overtime period was coming to a close when ʻAiea’s Nicole Olanda scored a winning goal.

“I feel pretty amazing because we never made states since my freshman year when we made it to the state finals. So it’s good that me and my other senior [teammates]…we get to finish our high school careers where we started it,” ʻAiea’s Tiana Ono said.

Although the Warriors will not be advancing in the state championships, coach Brandon Kotter is proud of his team and all they have accomplished.

“Throughout the season, they continued to work hard, but more importantly, came together as a team. I thought they built themselves to be one of the top teams in the state,” Kotter said.

ʻAiea will be advancing to play the top seed, Mililani, on Thursday, Feb. 2, on Oʻahu.