HS Boys are WJAA soccer champions!

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Last weekend, the HS boys' soccer club traveled to Nagoya and captured the WJAA small schools soccer tournament championship. The team put together two days of good soccer, combining solid defense with strong offense, winning all four matches. Andy Wilson scored 10 goals in the tournament--5 of them came at the expense of the EJ King Cobras in the second match on Friday. That match saw 4 other players find the net: Seiji Barrera, Jojo Ueno, Taiga Kido, and Brandon Chong. The defense led by GK Kaisei Kita kept the Cobras and the first match opponent Marist Bulldogs off the scoresheet. Marist has proved to be a tough opponent in March and this match was only decided in the waning minutes by a penalty kick scored by Fuki Takeda. 

On Saturday morning, the Flames faced the home team, the NIS Dolphins, who had been upset by the Bulldogs Friday afternoon 2-1. The two teams battled back and forth with several close calls and near misses. KIUA was on top until 6 minutes before time when a Nagoya senior netted a long, curling effort to knot the score at 2-2. Regular time ended and the teams went to a penalty shoot-out. One player from each team missed and Kaisei stopped 1 shot before Yohogi Maekawa sealed the victory, putting the Flames into the final against the Bulldogs.

Andy Wilson put the Flames on top in commanding fashion with a hat trick in the first half. The first goal was off of a great crossing pass from Fuki, who also added a goal to put the Flames up 4-0 at the half. In the second half, Marist battled back, scoring 2 goals within the first 15 minutes, but the Flames settled down and defended well to seal the victory. It was great that everyone was able to play in the championship as well as on Friday.

This is the second time KIU Academy has won the tournament; the first championship came back in 2012. In addition to bringing home the first place trophy, Andy won the Golden Boot award as the top goal scorer and Kaisei won the Golden Glove award for the best keeper in the tournament. Congratulations and thanks to the student athletes, the managers Sera and Nano, and Coach Ewen Ebsworth. A special thanks goes to Mr. Kazuhiro Tsushima for his support and advice.