Taiana Tolleson isn’t a big name in state soccer circles, but it could happen eventually.
The Konawaena goalkeeper made nine saves, including several spectacular ones, in a 2-1 loss to Mililani in the Division I girls soccer state tournament semifinals Friday night at Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium.
Thanks to Tolleson and the Wildcats defense in front of her, the Big Island champion and fourth-seeded Wildcats were in the game until the very end against the OIA powerhouse Trojans.
One save by the 6-foot Tolleson, in particular, stands out as a biggie. It happened midway through the second half with the score still tied 1-1, when Tia Furuta got around two Konawaena defenders and dribbled from left to right about 10 feet in front of the net. She unleashed a hard shot that Tolleson braced for and knocked about a six inches over the net.
“She’s a fantastic ’keeper,” Wildcats coach Guy Miranda said. “She keeps us in every game. If college coaches aren’t looking at her, they should be.”
Konawaena (11-3) meets Campbell for third place on Saturday.
“This has been a fantastic season,” Miranda said. “I’m super proud of the girls. We’ll regroup and get ready for Campbell.”