Boys High School Soccer Kicks Off!
Sharks off to a good start in defense of boys’ soccer titles
The Samoana Sharks’ varsity and junior varsity are off to good starts in the defense of their boys’ high school soccer championship titles after 4-1 and 6-2 wins, respectively, against Nu’uuli Voc-Tech Wildcats in the first round of the competition that kicked off on Saturday, March 7, 2009 at Pago Park Soccer Stadium.
In the only other J-V match played that day, Tafuna tied with Faga’itua 3-3. In varsity action, it was Tafuna 2, Faga’itua 1; Kanana Fou Stallions 6, Leone Lions 2 and South Pacific Academy 4, Fa’asao Marist Crusaders 1.
There are eight teams competing in the varsity division while six schools are fielding J-V squads. The six are Faga’itua, Leone, Nu’uuli Voc-Tech, Samoana, South Pacific Academy and Tafuna.
The varsity division has a top 3 playoff system where the No. 1 seed at the end of the season gets a free pass to the title match to await the winner of a game between the 2 and 3 seeds.
In the J-V bracket, the team that closes out the season with the best record will be crowned champions.
Samoana’s team is complemented by numerous players that competed in the Football Federation of American Samoa’s 2008 men’s National and Youth Leagues, thus their team, as well as being the defending title holders, is the team to beat the moment.
But that does not mean other teams will be pushovers as the competition was very competitive on that first Saturday, and the same thing goes for the J-V squads.
Most of these players, especially in the junior varsity teams, have played soccer in elementary and the skill level and toughness of the competition is a result of that experience.
JUNIOR VARSITY ROUNDUP
SHARKS 6, WILDCATS 2
The Wildcats let this game get away from them in the second half as they went into it with a 2-0 lead.
The Sharks dominated possession of the ball in that first half but they just couldn’t score, whereas two opportunities by the Wildcats led to goals from Antonio Sitama (21st) and Travis Meleah (24th).
Jonathon Faavae lifted his team up in the second half as he scored three straight goals to complete a hat trick and give the Sharks the lead for good.
He scored a minute into the second half (36th) and again 5 minutes later to tie it at 2-2. An hour into the match he completed his hat trick and go-ahead goal for a 3-2 score before two straight goals from Mavaega Tainamu (64th and 66th) helped push their lead to three (5-2) before Falemaota Siota scored in the 68th to complete the game’s final tally of 6-2.
WARRIORS 3, VIKINGS 3
The Vikings; Shalom Luani staved off sure defeat at the hands of the Warriors after completing a hat trick with a goal a minute to full time.
Luani’s first goal led to a 1-0 lead by the Vikings but that was short lived as Wesley Tiai and Rhoderick Tarray scored on beautiful feeds from Falani Tomasi. Rafe Luvu scored the third goal for Tafuna.
SHARKS 4, WILDCATS 1
Samoana defeated a 9-man squad 4-1 after two Nu’uuli Voc-Tech players wert sent off with two accumulated yellow cards in the game.
Justin Skelton and Iosefa Taufete’e received two yellow cards each to earn a red card and an ejection from the game.
This is considered an indirect red card thus both of these players must sit out a one-game suspension.
WARRIORS 2, VIKINGS 1
The Vikings had numerous missed opportunities to tie the match as both teams played 80 minutes of very competitive soccer.
Tafuna edged Faga’itua 2-0 after the first half on goals by Dion Ott and Alapati Sula.
Joey Iosefa scored in the second half for Faga’itua.
STALLIONS 6, LIONS 2
The Lions were very competitive against Kananafou despite closing out the game with only 9 players after two were red carded during the course of the match.
They lost their first player, Max Taulalo, early in the first half after the referee caught him shadow punching the Stallions’ goalie James Puni.
Despite playing with a man down, Leone was still competitive as they managed to tie Kananafou 1-1 by the end of the first half. Gun Kang scored in the first half for the Stallions, his first goal of a hat trick performance. Alfred Nio scored for the Lions.
They continued to cause problems for Kananafou even when Tusi Lagai was sent off after accumulating two yellow cards with a caution in the second half.
With his departure the Lions were now down to 9 players and Kananafou’s Bernard Bernard Jr. gave his team the lead minutes later for a 2-1 score.
But back came the Lions with Melfi Alshehri scoring the equalizer.
Finally, running out of gas, the Stallions started to break through with Matthew Mariota scoring a pair of goals and Kang completing his hat trick to bring to an end the Lions’ 9-man squad’s heroic efforts.
Because Taulalo’s was a direct red card, he has to sit out a two-game suspension while Lagai’s is indirect red card is only a one-game absence.
DOLPHINS 4, CRUSADERS 1
The referees are cracking down hard on any player that tries to incite violence through actions or words, and that is what happened to the Crusaders’ Rafael Mano.
He was issued a direct red card for making comments about punching an opponent, thus the Crusaders played with only 10 players for much of the match.
Scoring the lone goal for Fa’asao Marist was Vaivai while scoring for SPA were Yong Nam Cho, Ethan Salatielu, Daniel Vili and Zhuquan Jin.
Tomorrow at eight o’clock Faga’itua’s J-V takes on Samoana on Field #1 while Field #2 features Fa’asao Marist against Leone in varsity action.
At 9:45 the Vikings’ varsity team takes on Samoana on Field #1 while Field #2 has Nu’uuli Voc-Tech taking on Kananafou, also a varsity division match.
At 11:30, SPA and Tafuna’s teams play simultaneously with the varsity team taking to Field #1 while the J-V squads will play on Field #2.
All games are held at Pago Park Soccer Stadium every Saturday.