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(Sat) February 14, 2009

HHSAA Division I BOYS SOCCER: Goo Powers Iolani to Elusive State Soccer Title

By Kyle Galdeira

Iolani rode junior Nick Goo’s two goals and two assists to claim its first state soccer crown since 2000—a feat finally achieved after the squad reached the championship game in five of the last six years.

The top-seeded Raiders ran away from second-seeded and Oahu Interscholastic Association champion Mililani 5-2 in the championship match of the Division I Hawaii High School Athletic Association/JN Automotive Group boys state soccer championships tonight at the Waipio Peninsula Soccer Complex’s main stadium.

Iolani (14-0-1), the Interscholastic League of Honolulu champion, notched the school’s eighth state soccer title, and first under coach Chris Lee.

Jordon Lee provided Iolani with the first lead of the evening thanks to a crafty pass from Keith Lum in the match’s 14th minute. After tight-roping the sideline to keep a loose ball in play, Lum slipped a pass between a pair of defender to a waiting Lee who, after hesitating to disturb goalkeeper Preston Miyashiro’s timing, popped in the shot to put the Raiders up 1-0.

But the lead did not last long as, on a set play stemming from a throw-in deep in Iolani territory in the 18th minute, Mililani’s Cory Nakagawa’s throw found Ryan Yoneda who deposited the ball into the goal.

The momentum swung back in the Raiders’ favor just five minutes later as Iolani took a 2-1 advantage as Lee took a cross from Goo in the 23rd minute, and converted the shot opportunity for his second goal on the night. 

However, Aaron Yokoyama pulled the Trojans into another tie with a goal in the 28th minute that rolled past goalkeeper Chris Otani’s outstretched fingers and into the bottom left corner of the net.

The squads went into halftime deadlocked at 2 despite Mililani being out-shot 12-3 in the first period. But the Trojans (14-2-2) made their opportunities count, and prevented the high-octane offense of Iolani from running away with the match.

Goo put the Raiders up six minutes into the second half as the forward collected what amounted to be the fourth rebound on a pinball-like Iolani offensive sequence, and finally deposited the loose ball for the go-ahead goal.

In the 65th minute, Goo struck again to put the Raiders up 4-2. With two defenders draped on him, the junior popped the ball into the air, whirled, and while airborne, launched a shot past Miyashiro to extend Iolani’s lead.

Patrick Shimoko put the match away in the 70th minute when Goo found the sophomore who launched a hot shot past Miyashiro to shut the door on the Trojans.

Goo garnered Most Outstanding Player honors for the tournament, while teammates Lee, Lum and Reid Sakamoto earned spots on the all-tournament team.

All-tournament honors also went to Miyashiro, Nakagawa, Landon Salvador and Jake Sagami of Mililani.