The U13 Hawaii Rush girls have won the State Cup and U12's have earned a Wild Card birth to the Region IV Championships in Oahu in Mid June.
The U13 Nike girls came into the tournament as favorites but showed great composure and maturity from the first moment they stepped on the field. The group’s results (2-1 vs. Pono, 8-0 vs. Rigers and 2-1 vs. Aces) do not necessary reflect the superiority that the team showed, and conceding two goals only served as a fuel to motivate the girls to get better. Leahi came next in a semifinal that was fully controlled from the start by the girls. A 3-0 final score, while allowing only one shot against, reflected a total dominance tactically and technically. The final game was a rematch against a motivated Pono team who this time surprisingly was able to score early and lead for most of the first half. Maybe the energy and composure was not up to par for the first half but the experience and belief certainly played a role on turning the table and mounting an unmistakable comeback. Second half was a show not only from the spectacular point of view but also of a superior group that knows what it take to win and be champions. Four more well finished goals in the second half sealed a 5-1 final score. The team showed great balance and chemistry, proving that training systematically and following the correct principles of the game will always prevail.
The U12 Nike Girls were able to achieve their ultimate goal, at the State Cup Tournament; they qualified for the Far West Regional Tournament. Unfortunately, it wasn't in the fashion they wanted to do it in. The age group had a wild card birth in the Far West Regional Tournament and the girls achieved their goal before they even played the final game. After a hard fought 2-1 loss to Surf in the State Cup they are looking forward to overcoming the disappointment and represent Hawaii Rush and Hawaii at the next level. They battled through pool play finishing with a 3-0 record (Bulls 1-0, Pono 8-0, and Leahi 1-0), putting themselves on top of the group. They managed to dominate the semi-final game as well after a shaky and slow start. The score speaks for itself as they beat the Riggers 4-0 with numerous missed opportunities to add to the count. The girls will now recharge and refocus as they are excited and ready for the challenge of participating in their first ever Far West Regional Tournament.
Although all teams represented themselves very well and competed with everyone, by Hawaii Rush standards, the event was a bit disapointing from the results point of view. Now everyone will be looking back and reflecting on their performances, concluding on what they will focus on, whether it is preparing for the the Regional Event or looking forward to next year.
Congratulations to our U12 and U13 Nike teams for their achievement to participate at the Far West Regional Tournament coming up this June right here in Oahu.
Below you will find a brief story on the other Hawaii Rush team's “journey to the finish line”.
A much improved team from last year the U14 Nike girls proved worthy of being amongst top contenders. The girls came out of their pool play in second place by overcoming the Warriors and Riggers allowing no goals against in the first two games, only to concede to Abunai 1-0 in the third game. The semi-final game against the Bulls, the eventual U14G State Champions, proved to be a bit of a nail biter as they lost closely by a score of 3-2. Scoring twice against the Bulls was an achievement on its own but unfortunately allowing three goals proved too many to overcome. TheThird Place game was against Abunai again and this time the girls won 2-1. The team has worked hard recently to prepare and embrace a new tactical approach to the game. The personnel and positioning of players proved to be a key as well.
The U15 Nike girls have to look deep within, as they had a disappointing State Cup Tournament. The goals and aspirations of the 98G group are high, being that the U15G group had a wild card birth we were all excited as we can compete with every team in this age group. Playing a very good brand of soccer and competing with every team in the age group was not enough for the girls and opponents took full advantage of costly mistakes. The team had quite a few set backs that proved to be detrimental in their overall psychological and mental component. Dropping an opening game to Surf (0-2) while clearly having the opportunity and the chances to win proved detrimental to the confidence and self belief for the reminder of the event. Even though the team was able to rebound back and overcome Ka-oi posting a 3-0 win the story of the first match almost repeated itself with Leahi (0-2), leaving everyone in disbelief on the missed opportunities and the uncharacteristic mistakes. The last game against the Bulls had no impact on the standings but the girls remained committed and respectful towards the opponent. The final score (2-2), after having to come back from a goal down, proved somewhat the team’s ability to control their destiny when focused and relaxed. We are confident that we will learn from these experiences and move forward getting better as a group.