A second Abel has become the fourth player to reach the goal-scoring century mark in the past two seasons.
Jennifer Abel, a junior striker, reached the 100-goal mark by tallying three goals in Kadena’s 10-0 shutout of Okinawa Christian International on Tuesday in the Far East High School Class AA tournament.
“It’s kind of amazing,” said Jennifer, who joined senior sister Dianne, who entered Wednesday’s play at Camp Foster with a region-leading 170 career goals.
Jennifer said reaching the 100-goal barrier surprised her because she was thinking more of helping Kadena to a Class AA title three-peat.
“I wasn’t focusing on it but when it hit me, wow,” she said. “It’s all about the team winning, and if my scoring helps the team win, then it’s all good.”
Dianne crossed the 100-goal mark last season when she scored a Pacific single-season record 66.
While Kadena finished round-robin play 4-0 and took a top seed and first-round bye into the single-elimination playoffs Wednesday, Jennifer — in a race to beat her sister’s Pacific single-season mark — ended Tuesday with 61 goals. Dianne’s total is 53.
Coach Hoa Nguyen predicted that no matter how many goals Dianne scores in her career, Jennifer “is going to break it. She’s a defensive player and she knows how defenders think and that’s what makes her dangerous.”
Yokota also prowlingKadena isn’t the only Panther prowling for Girls Class AA tournament honors.
After a pedestrian 5-6-3 regular season, Yokota lost its opening pool-play match on Monday, then closed the round-robin phase with four straight victories, including a 1-0 shocker over Japan Soccer League champion Nile C. Kinnick, which beat the Panthers twice during the season. Yokota also edged Seoul American 2-1 and topped Guam High 3-1.
“It was a great day,” coach Matt Whipple said.
Tuesday continued a trend of the Panthers’ enduring a mediocre regular season, only to turn it on at Far East, where they’ve finished fifth the past two years.
“Some games this season, they haven’t played to their level,” Whipple said. “That hasn’t happened this week. ”
Missed penalty kicks costly for Falcons boysPerhaps no soccer play is as almost as sure as the penalty kick … unless the shooter misses it.
Ask Seoul American senior Allen Chin. Successful on his first 10 attempts this season, he shanked one attempt in the first half, then had another stopped by Yokota goalkeeper Jim Scott.
Though the Falcons rallied to tie Yokota 2-2, Chin could have boosted Seoul American’s chances of getting a higher playoff seed.
“That’s a big thing, seeding. It means a lot in the championship round,” an outwardly calm Chin said afterward. “It can be the difference between fourth and second in our pool.”
What does a coach tell a player after a missed penalty kick?
Said Kinnick girls assistant coach Go Yamada after Red Devils senior Lisa Murray clanked one off the crossbar in Kinnick’s loss to Yokota: “You tell them to shake it off and go on with the game. Nothing you can do.”
Kadena’s boys exact revenge on CAJIt took 361 days, it wasn’t in the tournament championship game, and foul weather forced the match to be truncated in the second half but Kadena’s boys finally beat defending Boys Class AA champion Christian Academy In Japan — a victory they’d discussed since the start of the school year.
Nathan LaGrave assisted on two goals and scored one himself as the Panthers blanked the Knights 3-0, avenging the 2-1 double-overtime title-match defeat last year.
But Aaron Zendejas, who scored one of the three goals, said the Panthers “don’t go in there to settle any scores. Just play it like any other match. … I’m glad that we handed it to them, but it was just another game.”
Rain shortens Class AA boys playFor the second time in three years, rain forced Boys Class AA matches to be postponed or truncated and changes made to the pool-play and single-elimination playoff schedule.
Two round-robin matches were pushed to Wednesday, delaying the playoff matchups because some of the seeds weren’t determined.
Four of the 10 seeds remained to be decided by Wednesday’s pool-play games. The first playoff matches also were pushed back two hours.
Weather forecasts called for rain Wednesday evening, clouds on Thursday and rain again on Friday, day of the championship.