Maui United Girls Ousted in Semis of Surf Cup
By Fred Guzman
Despite creating numerous chances, Maui United couldn’t find the back of the net in regulation and overtime of its semifinal match in the under-18 Gold Division in the San Diego Surf Cup.
That set up a dramatic shootout in which Maui United was outscored 5-4 by Westside Metro of Portland, Ore.
Lily Higashino, Tina Imada, Charlotte Garcia and Cheyenne Somers converted their penalty kicks. Westside made all of their attempts before Maui United’s fifth shooter fired her attempt over the crossbar.
That ended Maui United’s bid for the tile after having swept all three of its matches in pool play with victories of 3-2 over CZ Elite of Southern California, Gloucecester of Ontario, Can., and Sting West of Fort Worth, Tex.
“The girls put on a tremendous performance throughout the tournament and played exceptionally well in the semifinals,” said Maui United coach Matt Snyder. “But that’s the nature of the sport. We didn’t find the back of the net and we came up short in the shootout.”
Snyder was particularly complimentary of a defensive line that was lacking a key player in team captain Liz Higashino, who begins training as a scholarship athlete today with the University of Pacific.
“Emilie (Tarin), Tina (Imada), Charlie (Garcia) and Pele (Buika) did an outstanding job. So did our goalkeeper, Maggie (Cropp),” Snyder added. “Another plus was that many of our players were contacted by college coaches who attended what is considered one of the top two showcase tournaments in the country.”
Other members of the Maui United team were: Amber-Lei Madriaga, Alexandra Felix, Ashley Asuncion, Lauren Ichimura, Mari Ueno, Kalena Kaeo, Amanda Jorgensen, Breanna Gaddis, and Maya Palaroan. The coaches are Snyder and Fred Guzman.
Maui United qualified for the semifinals with a pair of victories on Sunday — a 1-0 victory over the Gloucester Hornets of Ontario, Can., and followed with a 4-0 romp past the Sting West of Forth Worth, Tex.
Somers accounted for the lone goal in the early-morning match off an assist by Jorgensen in the 20th minute.
In the afternoon game, MUSC overcame a slow start to lead 1-0 at halftime, but scored three goals after intermission.
Gaddis opened the scoring in the 16th minute on a header off a corner kick by Jorgensen.
After the break, Maui United erupted for three goals within a span of five minutes in the second half to clinch first place in its four-team group.
Gaddis scored from a 35 yards in the 37th minute. Asuncion rifled in a shot from 12 yards three minutes later on a pass from Somers. Madriaga capped the scoring on a header two minutes after that on Jorgensen’s corner kick. It was Jorgensen’s second assist of the game and third of the day.
Maui United staged a big comeback in its opener, rebounding from an early 2-0 deficit to post a 3-2 win over CZ Elite on Saturday.
Maui United began its comeback in the 22nd minute when Gaddis scored on a header off a corner kick by Higashino and Palaroan followed with a goal just four minutes later.
Somers scored the winning goal off an assist by Garcia.