PUHI — Kauai already has two teams set for states. A third may be joining them.
Island School (4-8-0 KIF) will be playing a play-in game at 1 p.m. Saturday on the Big Island. The winner gets a berth in The Queen’s Medical Center Girls Soccer Championships — Division II state tournament.
“We were just informed a little more than a couple of weeks ago,” said Voyagers varsity girls soccer head coach Colby Ayonon during Thursday’s practice. “We got our little boost in our program to really train and get prepared for that game. So, we’re rolling off a few injuries. But I think we can pull this one off.”
The Voyagers will take on the winner of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation third place match between Makua Lani Christian Academy and Honokaa High, which was played Thursday afternoon. Results were not available by press time.
“This is the closest to an opportunity we have to get to states. So, one game away,” he said. “These kids, especially the seniors, they’re most excited. Even the underclassmen. I told them this opportunity rarely comes around, being such a young program, too. So, we got to take advantage of it and take this game seriously.”
If Island School wins on Saturday, the team will be joining this year’s Kauai Interscholastic Federation champion Kapaa (11-1-0 KIF) and runner-up Kauai High (9-3-0 KIF) at the Division II tournament, which begins Wednesday at the Waipio Peninsula Soccer Complex on Oahu.
Seedings and schedules have yet to be released by the Hawaii High School Athletic Association.
“This is our only chance we’ve ever had of going to states, as far as a playoff game to get to there. We’ve never been to states,” said Voyagers senior midfielder Nora Foss.
When she heard the news of a possible state berth, Foss believed it was too good to be true.
“I wasn’t there at practice when they first talked. But when I first heard it, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh. Are you for real?’” she said. “I swear (they) were lying. There’s no way. We’re in third. How can we have a chance to go to states?”
Senior forward Ali Temme has been with the program since its inception four years ago.
“I’m overjoyed and overcome with emotions,” Temme said. “Freshman year was our first year of having a soccer team. We were two points away from going to states. After that year, it kind of went downhill. So for us to have this opportunity on my senior year, it’s just so exciting.
“It just goes to show that even though you don’t win every game, if you put in the time and the work, good karma comes back to you and good things happen.”
Starting fast will be crucial for the Voyagers on Saturday, Temme added.
“To get in a first, quick goal, that will help us,” she said. “You don’t want to be tied and the something’s slipping in the last couple of minutes. So, we’re definitely working on getting our shots off quickly, so that we hopefully can get an early goal.”