ASHSAA Girls Top 4 set for Feb. 22
It is down to the final four for the 2013-2014 ASHSAA Girls Soccer varsity division with the semi-finals set for Feb. 22 at Pago Park Soccer Stadium.
Teams ranked No. 1, 2 and 3 have advanced to the semi-finals while the fifth seed, Kanana Fou Stallions, upset No. 4 Faga’itua Vikings on Feb. 15 to make the final group.
Samoana Sharks, the division’s top seed and three-time defending champs, will take on the Stallions while No. 2 Fa’asao-Marist Cougars face off against No. 3 Nu’uuli Voc- Tech Wildcats.
No. 1 SAMOANA vs. No. 2 KANANA FOU
Samoana has stayed in pole position for the majority of the regular season, twice being replaced at the top by the Cougars on a differential in goals and then staying at No. 1 at season’s end after an assist from the Wildcats.
The Sharks had to await the result of the Cougars-Wildcats match on Feb. 12 to determine where they stood at season’s end, either the No. 1 spot or one lower and if Fa’asao-Marist had won by more than two goals, Samoana would have placed No. 2. Instead they got a huge assist from Nu’uuli Voc-Tech after they beat the Cougars 2-1, assuring the Sharks with the top seed going into the first round of the playoffs.
Samoana has the lowest goals against them during the season with only two while having the third-most goals scored, behind Fa’asao-Marist and Faga’itua. The Sharks sat out the first round of the playoffs as a result of the No. 1 seed.
For the Stallions, despite forfeiting their first two games of the season they have made it to the final four. They finished the season just a game under .500, good enough for the No. 5 seed and setting up a playoff game against the second, highest scoring team in the league, Faga’itua.
Kanana Fou completely dominated the playoff match against Faga’itua, leading 2-0 in the first half and then finishing off the Vikings 4-2.Against Samoana on Jan. 17 they barely lost 2-1 in a match that was later forfeited against them by ASHSAA. Both teams played again on Feb. 7 with the defending champions walking away with a narrow, 1-0 win.
Samoana will be relying on their season’s MVP candidate Vaiula Afa to help lead them to a fourth straight championship game. The Stallions’ MVP candidiate, Maketa Agatonu, will need the firepower she provided with a hat trick performance against the Vikings on Feb. 15 to be on hand to help Kanana Fou beat the Sharks.
No. 2 FA’ASAO-MARIST vs. No. 3 NU’UULI VOC-TECH
Fa’asao-Marist, the regular season’s highest scoring team with 35 goals, has a bone to pick with the Wildcats, a 2-1 loss on Feb. 12 that denied them the No. 1 seed.
That was the second meeting between the two teams with the Cougars beating Nu’uuli Voc-Tech 3-1 on Feb. 8, a make-up game that was originally scheduled for Jan. 14.
The Cougars’ ASHSAA MVP candidate Nikki Tolmie will be looked upon to lead a strong group of players such as JJ Sasala, Vidya Singh and Alyssa Willis to a championship title their school last won before Samoana’s run of three straight. Both Tolmie and Sasala played on that winning that won the title for the Cougars.
Paeai Milikini provided the amazing free kick that helped the Wildcats beat Fa’asao- Marist on Feb. 12 and has been a threat when playing up front. Goalie Katerrina Tusi is been equally great for Nu’uuli Voc-Tech as their net minder and her athleticism has helped her team stay at the No. 3 spot consistently throughout the year.
Both games are expected to be tough and will go down to the wire.