HANAPEPE — The Cotton Candy held firm against the Candy Crushers Tuesday at the Hanapepe Stadium.
Playing in the chill of the trade winds blowing off the Kalaheo plateau, the Candy Crushers from Lihue attempted to best the Cotton Candy of Hanapepe during the finals of the American Youth Soccer Organization, Region 940 Girls Under 12 division.
But when the dust settled, the Cotton Candy prevailed over the Candy Crushers 4-0, scoring two goals in each half.
Both teams battled tentatively for ball control, the Cotton Candy gaining the upper hand at midfield through the opening quarter.
The Cotton Candy pushed relentlessly against the Candy Crusher defense led by Tia Fulks, Nicole Matsushige and Courtney Rosa.
Petite Kylie Sugihara struck at the 20th minute when the Candy Crusher goalkeeper came far out of the goal and Sugihara capitalized on the void, sinking the ball from close range.
The Candy Crusher defense stiffened and appeared to have control, but Cotton Candy’s midfielder Leiko Yamauchi pushed Hanapepe to a 2-0 lead at the break on a shot up the middle, getting an assist from Ashley Mecham.
The momentum carried into the second half as the Cotton Candy struck within the first minute of play, Sugihara getting her second net of the match within the 31st minute.
Mecham, playing the wing as the key transition player throughout the game, iced the victory with a second-effort goal over traffic, the ball sailing past the outstretched arms of Candy Crusher goalkeeper Carlie Lindsey, whose performance was limited to just the one goal at the 50th minute.
Both teams will advance to the Will Veeck soccer tournament which starts at 4 p.m. Monday at the North Vidinha fields. They will face opponents from the AYSO, Region 941 which covers the area from Wailua to Haena.
AYSO, Region 940 covers the area from Lihue to Mana.