KOLOA — Two hat tricks from the Southside girls advanced the squad to face Lihu‘e today at 9 a.m. in the American Youth Soccer Organization playoffs at the North Vidinha fields.
The Southside girls punched four unanswered goals, three coming in the second half, Wednesday to post a 6-2 win over Westside in the Girls Under 14 Girls division of the AYSO, Region 940 playoffs.
Brianna Griep netted a hat trick in the first half to pull Southside to a 3-2 lead at the half.
Kaitlynne Bukoski posted her hat trick in the second half for the 6-2 final, the blueshirt forward capping a nice throw-in to open the second half.
Westside lost little time asserting itself, moving the ball into the Southside territory only to have the Southside girls turn the ball.
That early initiative paid off at the sixth minute when Shiloh Pelares found the net, weaving in traffic from the rightside.
Griep answered that goal in the 12th minute, breaking through the Westside defense up the middle for a shot from about 20 feet out for the 1-1 stalemate.
Julia Hirano was not satisfied, breaking in from the rightside for the Westside go-ahead at the 14th minute.
Griep scored her second goal at the 27th minute, breaking up the defensive slugfest with a corner kick which deflected off the heavy traffic at the goalmouth to knot the game, 2-2, for the second time.
Gaining control in midfield traffic, Griep capped the effort on another shot up the middle in the 28th minute for the 3-2 Southside bulge at the half.
Southside continued its control of the field, capping a second half throw-in with the first of three Bukoski goals.
But the Westside pinkshirts answered with a solid drive coming from its two midfielders and crossing to the forward who outstepped the Southside defender only to have the ball scrape over the top bar of the goal.
Strong play from the Westside subsided after a yellow card flashed on a high kick and Bukoski netted her second goal, a nail-biting bouncer which clanged off the top bar onto the ground and rolling past the goalkeeper late in the game.
She followed that goal with another score a minute later with just ticks remaining.
The winner of today’s match advances to the Region Championships, Oct. 26 at Hanapepe Stadium, the loser faces Westside for the second spot of the championship game, Oct. 19 at a field to be determined, Saturday.
Both teams in the Oct. 26 championship game advance to the Will Veeck Inter-regional playoffs and finals which will play Nov. 1 through 5 at the North Vidinha fields.
AYSO Region 940 teams will face off against their AYSO Region 941 counterparts at the Will Veeck playoffs.
Playoffs for the AYSO Region 941 Under 12 Girls start Oct. 13 with games at Hanapepe Stadium and at Waikomo Park.
Playoffs for the AYSO Region 941 Boys Under 12 start today at Kalawai Park and Hanapepe Stadium.
• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.