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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, January 7, 2010

Mid-Pacific, 'Iolani boys play to 0-0 tie

By Leila Wai
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

'Iolani's Micah Cabagbag (6) and Mid-Pacific's Keegan Choy battle for the ball in the first half of yesterday's ILH game at 'Iolani's field.

REBECCA BREYER | The Honolulu Advertiser

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It was an unexpected result a scoreless tie between 'Iolani and Mid-Pacific, two boys soccer teams that feature two of the better goal-scorers in the state.

"Probably the two best offensive guys in the state, and we came out scoreless," Mid-Pacific coach Jayson Abe said. "Granted, they both had chances, but just couldn't put it away today."

Both teams came in and left with identical records (3-1-1) after yesterday's Interscholastic League of Honolulu boys soccer game yesterday at 'Iolani School, although 'Iolani is classified as a Division I team and Mid-Pacific a Division II squad. The Owls are the only team in the ILH's Division II, and play an all-Division I schedule.

Both of their losses were by Punahou (6-0-0), which leads the league.

"Why are we Division II? I get that question a lot," Abe said. "It's set in stone before our season starts. We have 12 seniors this year, and that's a rarity. And they are 12 talented seniors who have been playing together since they were young and grew up together. It's just one of those years. It's a special squad. It's probably one of the best teams we've ever fielded, and may ever field. They are that good."

'Iolani coach Chris Lee called Mid-Pacific's classification "just a title."

"They beat two DI teams last year and beat us in the preseason last year," Lee said. "I knew coming into the game they were a quality side and they showed it. It was a pretty evenly matched game."

The anticipated showdown between 'Iolani's Nick Goo and Mid-Pacific's Cody Sullivan, both names high on goal-scoring lists in the ILH in the past few years, started off with both playing in the midfield. In the second half, both moved up top to forward.

Goo leads the ILH with nine goals. Sullivan, who is second in the ILH with six goals, scored four goals against Punahou in one game last season.

Abe placed Sullivan, normally a forward, in the midfield to "establish some rhythm ."

"Cody did a great job up top generating our attack. We fed balls through him and he created for us," Abe said.

Goo's positioning in the midfield is more of a result of the Raiders still trying to find the right positions for the right players.

"It's a different team and we're still trying out things," Lee said. "We're still trying to find our team, and we're not there yet, and hopefully we'll get there soon. We're still tinkering with things, trying to find out what fits best."

'Iolani graduated 12 seniors from last year's state and ILH championship team, including the ILH Offensive (Brock Granger) and Defensive (Reid Sakamoto) Players of the Year.