In the Interscholastic League of Honolulu (ILH) “2nd Place Playoff Game,” Kamehameha defeated ‘Iolani 7-5 to advance the the State Championships next week. Personally, i think the format’s terrible, but it happens in softball and baseball all the time, so i suppose it’s got to happen in one game or another.
In this game, however, it pitted two of the top four ranked teams in Hawai’i against each other, with only the winner to advance. During warmups, it appeared ‘Iolani had it together, but then, Kam scored first to create a little doubt… ‘Iolani then scored two quick goals from either deep wing, as Kam D collapsed on the center and point shooters… but Kam answered right back to take the lead before the quarter ended 3-2 in their favor.
From that point on, it was all Kam D, led by great play from Goalkeeper Allie Mae Rosehill, who I had with 8 saves and an “intimidation” on a Raider penalty shot. Albeit her team forced many errant shots, Rosehill was stellar all the way to a commanding 5-2 lead at the end of three quarters. Her early saves, especially those that appeared to be easy goals for the Raiders, caused her opponents to over-think their shot selection.
fortunately for ‘Iolani, Kam lost a key defender, Kiana Yamashiro, with three majors late in the third, so they had a chance to recover and scored early in the fourth. Kam answered. In the end, although the Raiders had cut the gap to 6-5, the Warriors balanced out and closed out the scoring with an insurance goal.
Scoring summary: Kam, Brittney Garrigan (3), Chelsea Apo (2), Kawena Bikle (2); “Iolani, Taryn Aranador (2), Sarah Carlisle (2), Kiana Harpstrite.
Saves summary: Kam, Allie Mae Rosehill (8); ‘Iolani, Keely Choi (4).
Kelly’s perspective: I loved the game for intensity and determination by both teams’ players and all coaches. Good friend, Aaron Chaney (‘Iolani) mentioned to me after the game, “It’s tough for our ladies, who had such a good season, especially against Kamehameha, to have one game where they just don’t perform well — and the other team has a huge chance to advance — and they do.” Yes, Kamehameha took advantage of their opportunity.
Recommendation: After being back in the Islands a few days, both the OIA and the ILH need to “get real” and start playing inter-association/league games in order to improve. With the loss of Pac-Five in ILH girls polo play this year, the three remaining teams cannot afford to “just do” a double (or triple as in this year) round-robin to gain playing experience. It’s not enough to improve. And the OIA teams need to play official games against ILH teams (not just scrimmages) to get better, using those as a gauge for their improvement during the season and from year-to-year. Initially, these games can be pre-season formats, perhaps in tournaments — or just home-and-away alternating ventures — with 5-minute quarters in lieu of a full 7-minutes. The ILH teams, early on, need to be allowed to build their records so that all three teams are in States (i.e., a change to the selection format). This year I am intently watching the Hawai’i Girls Water Polo State Championships to ensure Hawai’i girls are being ranked on the KAI~CAL-HI commensurate with the California girls — but I’m also prepared to comment on why the OIA should get six automatic teams… perhaps it should be five… or perhaps the OIA teams are willing to take the competitive risks necessary to win it all…