Malu Afong doesn’t forget easily.
Just seven years ago, she and Will Kimura were co-head coaches at Kailua, which won the OIA Division II girls soccer title. Kimura passed away that year, and the success of the Surfriders — they won the D-II title in ’09, as well — meant a move to D-I.
Now, back in D-II, the Surfriders are prominent once again. A 2-1 overtime win over Radford tonight gave the Surfriders their first crown since that 2010 season.
“It means a lot. The last time we won, Will Kimura passed away, so this is special,” Afong said.
Radford came into the match with a modest 4-6-1 record, but freshman Rylee Duff tied it at 1 with a marvelous 25-yard, lefty kick at the 53-minute mark.
“She’s a threat. They’re really strong on the outside,” Afong said.
Kailua (7-5) entered overtime with a go-for-broke spirit.
“We talked prior to overtime about taking our opportunities,” Afong said.
With that, less than 3 minutes into the extra period, Keely Smith let fly a soaring shot from near midfield that landed short of the goal. After a stellar night of 11 saves, Radford keeper Leah Price may have been surprised by the shot selection. The ball landed under her grasp and bounded into goal, and just like that, sudden-death play was over. Kailua will be the OIA’s top seed entering the Queen’s Medical Center/HHSAA Girls Soccer Division II State Championships.
“It’s a matter of who wants it the most,” said Smith, a junior. “We’ve been working hard to peak at this time.”