Heart-breaking setback for Maui United 96 boys

June 28, 2010, 1:49 PM HST · Updated June 28, 1:53 PM
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REDMOND, Wash. – A 5-0 victory in their final match of group play on Monday didn’t prove to be enough for the Maui United 96 boys.

The win still left them deadlocked across the board on all tie-breakers for second place and a berth in the under-14 final of the U.S. Club Soccer Seattle Regional’s Super Group.

That forced Maui United to square off with Northwest Nationals of Washington about 90 minutes later in a penalty kick shootout, with Northwest outscoring MUSC 3-2.

Juaquin Navarro-Bourne and Lily Higashino converted their attempts for Maui United, while goalkeeper Carin Nakamoto saved one of Northwest’s attempts.

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“It was a heart-breaking ending for a strong run by a team that improved with each game,” said coach Fred Guzman. “We didn’t lose a game in the tournament, winning twice and tying once, but we still came up short. And that hurts.”

In the earlier match, Maui United led Crossfire-Hattrup 95 of Washington 1-0 at halftime on a fourth-minute goal by Rhys Lendio off a free kick by Kailoa Akoi.

Knowing that it needed a batch of goals to keep alive its hopes for a berth in the finals, Maui United went into full attack mode in the second half and scored four times after the break.

Three minutes after intermission, Navarro-Bourne blasted a 22-yard shot on a sequence that started with Lendio’s throw-in and a pass by Chandler Alo.

A pair of driven corner kicks by Higashino in the 46th and 52nd minutes caromed off Crossfire defenders and ended up in the back of Crossfire’s net. Jarren Otani’s 25-yard blast with one minute left gave Maui United’s fifth goal.

“It was a heroic efforts by our kids,” Guzman said. “Had we scored just one more goal or had we not given up a goal in our second match, we would have gone through. Instead, we’ll be watching rather than playing in the final.”

The Maui United girls played to a 0-0 tie with Northwest Nationals 93 in their final match.

Both teams will next take part in the Portland Cup, which opens a three-day run on Saturday.

DAY TWO: The Maui United 96 boys need a win plus some help today in order to qualify for the title game of the U.S. Club Soccer Seattle Regional.

Maui United posted a 2-1 victory over the River City Steelers of Spokane, Wash., on Sunday after opening the tournament with a 0-0 deadlock against Emerald City on Saturday.

Maui United opened the scoring on Lily Higashino’s 20-yard shot into the upper right corner of the net 11 minutes into Sunday’s match and increased its lead to 2-0 on an 18-yard shot by Jaren Otani off Higashino’s assist five minutes into the second half.

“Some of our parents overheard some of the opposing team’s fans snickering that we had a girl on our team,” said coach Fred Guzman. “I don’t think they were laughing after the game.”

River City pulled back a goal four minutes later, but a Maui United defense led by goalkeeper Carin Yamamoto, central defender Kailoa Akoi and central midfielders Juaquin Navarro-Bourne and Daniel Quenga closed down the Steelers the rest of the way.

The Maui United 94 girls were not as fortunate, suffering a 1-0 loss to Westside Metros Fury, which is ranked second in Oregon.

Maui United conceded the game’s only goal in the final minute of the first half.

“We had three players in the vicinity of a loose ball, but no one took charge and they put it away for the goal,” said coach Matt Snyder. “We really picked up our game in the second and had several excellent scoring opportunities.”

Amanda Jorgensen’s long-range free kick was barely deflected by the diving goalkeeper and slammed off the upper-righthand concer of the frame. Maya Palaroan’s shot from close range was stopped by the same goalkeeper late in the game.

The 96 boys meet Crossfire-Hattrup in a must-win match this morning, while the 94 girls, who are out of title contention, challenge Northwest Nationals.

DAY ONE: Both of the Maui United team had to delay the start of the opening matches in their respective Super Groups of the U.S. Club Soccer Seattle Regional on Saturday.

That’s because the event organizers rescheduled their late-morning games to early evening in order to allow the participants to watch the World Cup showdown between the U.S. and Ghana.

The Maui United under-14 battled to a hard-fought 0-0 deadlock with the Emerald City FC M95, which is third-ranked in the state of Washington.

“We had two great chances in the second half,” said coach Fred Guzman,” but one of the shots went directly to keeper and the other was just wide of the right post.”

Guzman gave high marks to midfielders Daniel Quenga and Juaquin Navarro-Bourne, as well as defender A.J. Owan.

The Maui United under-16 girls suffered a 4-2 loss to Eastside 94 Red. Maui’s Maya Plaroan opened the scored with a breakaway goal seven minutes into the match, but Eastside responded with three goals before halftime. MUSC pulled back a goal midway through the second half on a 25-yard blast by Amanda Jorgensen.

“We played much better in the second half, but could make up the hole we got into in the first half,” said coach Matt Snyder. “That’s a very good team we played. They are the No. 1 team in Washington, No. 7 in the Region and is No. 13 nationally.”

Both teams are in action today. The u-14 boys challenge River City Steelers and the u-16 girls meet Westside Metros Fury, which is ranked No. 2 in Oregon.

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