Maui United U16 boys win state title
By Fred Guzman
After several frustrating near-misses, the Maui United Soccer Club 94 boys finally captured an elusive State Cup title by taking top honors in the under-16 division to earn a berth in the Far West Regional tournament.
Maui United jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Mattias Thompson and Max Bowman and held on for a 2-1 victory over the Honolulu Bulls on Sunday at the Waipio Soccer Complex on Oahu.
The first goal came in the 23rd minute, when Conner Snow delivered a long free kick that rattled around the penalty area before Thompson tucked the ball into the net.
Maui United scored again two minutes into the second half when Bowman hit a first-time shot off a cross from the left wing by Thompson.
On Saturday, United edged long-time nemesis Rush Nike 1-0 on a second-half goal by Thompson.
“Nike Rush was the three-time defending state champion and was expected to challenge for the regional title,” noted MUSC 94 lead coach Chuck Nunes.
“In the last three years, this group has finished second twice, missing out on goal-differential,” Nunes added. “Defense has always been a strong point with this group, and it played big role in both games against teams composed of the very best young players in the ILH and the OIA.
This year’s regional tournament will be held June 21-27 in Albuquerque, N.M.
It will mark the third straight year that a Maui United team qualified for the event as a state champion – the MUSC 94 girls in 2008 and the 96 boys last season. MUSC teams have won 17 state titles since the club’s inception in 1992.
Other members of the victorious MUSC 94 boys were: Aukai Akoi, Anthony Barboza, Kawela Benson, Trevor Edwards, Willy Harris, Daniel Johnson, Kasey Kuge, Kamu Motooka, Taylor Nakamoto, Dean Phillips, Elton Rivera, Kai Williams and Tyler Yates. Other coaches: Fred Guzman, Brent Nunes and Mario Ochoa.
Two other Valley Isle teams suffered heart-breaking losses in their respective finals.
The Maui United 97 boys gave up a pair of late goals in a 3-2 setback against the Bulls in the under-13 championship match and the under-12 Excel boys dropped a 2-0 overtime decision to Abunai.
The defending champion Maui United 96 finished second in the under-14 division.
Also competing in this year’s State Cup were Maui United’s under-16 girls and under-11 boys; the under-14 girls representing Excel and Manuia; the Pookela under-13 girls, and the Pono under-12 girls.
CYR WINS: Sam Cyr of Makawao won his first professional golf title over the weekend, posting a 3-stroke victory over PGA Tour member Dean Wilson to capture the 52nd Mid-Pacific Open on Oahu.
Cyr, a King Kekaulike grad who was a two-time NAIA champion at Point Loma Nazarene fired a 2-under 70 in windy conditions at the Mid-Pacific Country Club on Sunday to finish with 4-under 284 to earn a $14,000 paycheck.
Wilson, a Castle High grad, has won $8 million on the PGA Tour over the past five years.
MIL ROUNDUP: Going into their key three-game series, perennial baseball powers Baldwin and Maui High were tied for first place in the MIL Division-I standings with 8-1 records.
But by the time the series was over, Baldwin clearly stamped itself as the league’s most dominant team, sweeping the Sabers by scores of 6-4 on Thursday, 9-1 on Friday and, in Saturday’s finale, 15-0 in a game stopped after three innings because of the mercy rule.
As a result, the Bears nailed down the MIL regular-season title with an 11-1 mark and clinched an automatic berth in the state tournament that will be played at Maui’s Iron Maehara Stadium starting on May 5.
The MIL D-I baseball tournament begins Wednesday when fourth-seeded King Kekaulike faces No. 5 Lahainaluna in a 6 p.m. game at Iron Maehara Stadium.
St. Anthony closed out its MIL D-II campaign by sweeping a double-header at Lanai by scores of 7-1 and 11-1 to finish the regular season at 8-1. There will be no D-II tournament this year, so the Trojans secured the league’s lone berth in the state D-II tourney to be held on Oahu.
In other prep action, Maui High clinched its first boy’s tennis title in 20 years while King Kekaulike won the girls’ crown.
In boy’s volleyball, Seabury Hall, the state’s fourth-ranked team, continued its dominance in D-II by twice beating Lanai, while Kamehameha handed D-I rival Baldwin its first loss of the MIL season.
UH BASEBALL: Things are not going well for the University of Hawaii baseball team. A 9-4 loss at Sacramento State on Sunday dropped UH’s records to 18-19 overall and 2-6 in the WAC.
UH will remain on the road this week and will play five games in Louisiana, challenging Centenary in a non-conference outing today followed a four-game series at WAC rival LaTech.
To make matters worse for the Bows, hot-hitting outfielder Christian Johnson returned home from California to undergo an MRI on his dislocated shoulder, an injury suffered when he ran into the fence while pursuing a fly ball.