One down. Three big ones to go.
On Monday, the ‘Iolani girls soccer team won its state tournament opener 3-0 over Moanalua. And if midfielder/forward Kylee Kim-Bustillos gets her way, there will be three more wins on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, culminating in the Raiders’ first title since 2013.
That road is a difficult one, with plenty of top-flight teams left to contend with. But, a good thing to remember about these Raiders (10-0-3) is they haven’t lost a game yet this season.
Against Moanalua, ‘Iolani coach Kristin Masunaga was fairly pleased with what was an efficient performance, but when told her team looked really good, her response was, “Really?”
Far too many scoring chances on crosses went without a shot on goal. Masunaga knows that offensive opportunities dwindle the further you get into the tournament.
As for Kim-Bustillos, she has been a rock at the center of ‘Iolani’s foundation for three years. She made second-team Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State as a sophomore and first team a year ago with a solid chance of repeating in that spot.
In 2014, the Raiders lost in the quarterfinals 1-0 to Kapolei. In 2015, Mililani locked up the championship with a 1-0 overtime win over ‘Iolani in the final. Last year, eventual champion Pearl City knocked off the Raiders 1-0 in the semifinals.
Kim-Bustillos, the bubbly senior, was full of gusto after Monday’s win and talked about what she hopes happens the rest of the week:
“We lost (at states) every year, so I’m hoping this year it happens so I can win in my senior year. I want to win it so, so bad. Every year, we get super duper close. We’re off to a great start (in the tourney).”