KAHULUI - Seeking its first win of the Maui Interscholastic League season, and playing a team that had gone to the last two state tournaments, the Maui High School girls soccer team responded.
Tiana Lucas scored in the 38th minute, and the Sabers defeated Kamehameha Maui 1-0 on Saturday at the Maui High field.
"The goal is still a blur," Lucas said. "But I know I got the ball over my head and took on players, one at a time. Even though I missed my first shot, I followed through on my second and scored."
Maui High’s Jovena Lee-Agcaoili and Kamehameha Maui’s Tiara Lucas battle for a ball during the Sabers’ 1-0 victory over the Warriors on Saturday.
The Maui News/ CHRIS SUGIDONO photo
Maui High lost 3-0 to King Kekaulike on Tuesday in the opening game of the MIL season.
"We weren't finishing (against Na Alii)," said Lucas, a team captain. "We came out in the second half and had all our shots, but couldn't put it in the back of the net."
Sabers coach Tony Medeiros saw a big difference from his team's earlier match.
Lahainaluna 4, Hana 0
Baldwin 6, St. Anthony 0
Maui High 1, Kamehameha Maui 0
Kamehameha Maui at Seabury Hall, 4 p.m.
St. Anthony vs. Maui High at War Memorial Stadium, 5 p.m.
King Kekaulike at Lahainaluna, 5 p.m.
"Today and last game are like night and day," he said. "Before the game, we talked about scoring first and putting pressure on Kamehameha. We need to play with a lot more heart, and a lot more desire."
Medeiros said that the team had worked hard in practice, and brought some of that intensity to the game.
"If we can play at that level all the time, we can beat anyone in the MIL," he said.
Medeiros said that the league is loaded with youth and talent this year, but the Sabers' goal is to win their first MIL title since 1996.
"I've been here since '83, so it's been awhile," Medeiros said. "We're still a long way from that, and we're just focusing on one game at a time."
Kamehameha, which outshot Maui High, had won its previous league game 9-0 over St. Anthony on Thursday at Kanaiaupuni Stadium.
"Our field up at Kamehameha is much bigger, so our girls play bigger," said Warriors coach Steven Mau. "We had a hard time playing in traffic."
Mau, originally from Oahu, spends much of his time coaching club teams. He said that one of the difficulties in coaching high school players is their experience with other coaches and clubs.
"They don't jive," said Mau. "We've got five different styles trying to become one. But there's no excuses, we lost. It's a learning experience for the girls, and myself."
* Chris Sugidono is at email@example.com