Kapolei has been poised to break through for a boys soccer state championship for more than a decade. One of these days, it could happen, but it won’t be this year.
The Hurricanes (12-1-1), who hadn’t lost all season, were bounced from the Division I quarterfinals of The Queen’s Medical Center/HHSAA Boys Soccer State Championships on Thursday night in a 1-0 loss to Mililani at the Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium.
Since 2009, Kapolei has made it as far as the quarterfinals of the tournament every year. Five times, the Hurricanes advanced all the way to the semifinals — in 2009, ’11, ’12, ’17 and ’19 — but could not get to the big one. They also made it to the final once, losing to Punahou 2-0 in ’16.
In five of those 12 seasons, Kapolei was ousted from the tournament by the eventual champion.
On Thursday, they were without offensive catalyst Kawika Kelii, who was serving the first of a two-game suspension for fighting.
But, according to co-head coach Ryan Lau, Kapolei had an off game.
“Kelii is a big part of our team,” Lau said. “It’s no excuse. We prepared to play without him. I’m disappointed. We didn’t do what we worked on all week in practice. The game was played mostly in the middle of the field. We didn’t pull the trigger when we did have chances, and Mililani (12-2-1) was very good on 50-50 and second balls.”
Hurricanes defender Dedric Tolentino thought the team’s performance was subpar, too.
“Honestly, we could have done better,” he said. “We could have gotten in the box more. We needed to penetrate their defense rather than trying to play long. We didn’t play to our potential, really.”
It was a defensively played game, but offensive sorties by the Hurricanes Tommy Mascaro-Keahi, Joe Wren, Cypress Navarro-Acio, Elijah Hines and Jayden Adkison did not dent the Trojans defense.
An infraction in the penalty area in the 27th minute led to the winning goal — Liam McGehee‘s penalty kick. That mistake was the only blemish in an otherwise solid defensive performance.
After the final whistle, Mascaro-Keahi let out his frustration by grabbing the ball and kicking it about 30 feet in the air in the direction of the Mililani bench.
Kapolei’s exits at boys soccer state tournament
>> 2020: 1-0 quarterfinal loss to Mililani
>> 2019: 3-2 semifinal loss to ‘Iolani
>> 2018: 2-0 quarterfinal loss to fourth-seeded and eventual co-champion Baldwin
>> 2017: 1-0 semifinal loss to eventual champion Punahou
>> 2016: 2-0 final loss to second-seeded and champion Punahou
>> 2015: 1-0 quarterfinal loss to top-seeded ‘Iolani
>> 2014: 2-1 quarterfinal loss to second-seeded Baldwin
>> 2013: 1-0 quarterfinal loss to third-seeded Kealakehe
>> 2012: 2-1 semifinal loss to Kalani
>> 2011: 3-0 semifinal loss to eventual champion Punahou
>> 2010: 2-0 quarterfinal loss to fourth-seeded Kealakehe
>> 2009: 3-1 semifinal loss to eventual champion and top-seeded ‘Iolani