HILO – The Kaua’i Soccer Association’s Blue Dolphins topped the Hilo Tornadoes 2-0 in the Annual Big Island Tournament championship game to cap off the team’s finest season to date.
The Dolphins, consisting of 14 girls ages 10-12, beat a Hilo team which had captured the age group championship at the AYSO National Tournament a week before on Oahu. That tournament featured 150 teams from all over the United States.
Coming into the title game in Hilo, each team was poised to face each other. It took the Dolphins four wins to reach the championships, and that momentum showed early.
Kaua’i came out strong and controlled the pace. Their first goal came from Laurelle Rosare, who fired a hard, low shot that Hilo’s keeper couldn’t handle late in the first quarter.
The scoring for Kaua’i didn’t come easy. Kaua’i kept the pressure on the Hilo defense but its keeper made three nice saves. It wasn’t until the waning moments of the third quarter when center-forward Kristen Shim hustled towards a deflected shot and buried the ball in the back of the net.
That goal sealed the Dolphin victory.
Shim led the Blue Dolphins offense, scoring a goal in each game throughout the tournament. She finished with 12 goals and several assists in five games.
The Blue Dolphin defense continuously did their part during the tourney, allowing just one goal in the tournament; the lone goal scored on a free kick. The defense was led by Chaslee Delanoza, Victoria Espino, Mona Schimmelfennig, Stacy Terry, Zoe Finn, Jaezelle Balilea and Caitlin Towner.
The Blue Dolphins were formed five years ago by coaches Gary Towner and Ron Terry with sponsorship from Blue Dolphin Charters. Other notable accomplishments during the Girls Under 12 2002 season were a perfect 22-0-0 record, including tournaments, regular season play and the KSA playoffs. They won both the KSA Under 14-under and Under 12-under divisions. They scored over 120 goals, giving up just four in all of the games they played – three of those goals were scored on penalties.
The Dolphins avoided receiving one yellow or red card. And in a single game, every member of the team scored at least one goal.
The Blue Dolphins say they are looking forward to expanding upon their success by competing in one of the premier tourneys on the mainland for the summer of 2003.