YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Jacob Hess continued his scoring rampage. Alexis Salmon used her powerful right foot to finally get her name on the scoreboard.

Together, the junior tandem turned Thursday into a daily double for the Kubasaki boys and girls soccer teams, which each reached Friday’s Far East Class AA championship matches for the first time since 2004.

Hess got his 11th and 12th goals of the boys tournament, lifting the Dragons past Hong Kong International 3-0 in Thursday’s semifinal. The Dragons were to face defending champion Christian Academy In Japan in Friday’s final. The Knights blanked host Kadena 4-0.

At Yokota, Salmon, a defender, got her first goal of the season and assisted on another on two direct kicks as Kubasaki shut out Okinawa archrival Kadena 3-0. The Dragons were to take on 2006 finalist American School In Japan, 3-2 winner over Seoul American, in Friday’s girls final.

It marks just the third time Kubasaki’s boys and girls teams reached the title matches in the same year. The Dragons won both titles in 2002 and lost in both finals to Kadena in 2004.

"We’re just ecstatic," Kubasaki boys coach Chris Kelly said.

"That’s really sweet," Kubasaki girls coach Terry Chumley said.

After a scoreless first half, Salmon caught a break on a direct kick from 25 yards out. She clanged it off the crossbar and the ball back-spun into the net, giving Kubasaki a 1-0 edge in the 49th minute.

Twenty minutes later, Salmon lined up for another free kick. Scanning the field, Chumley sensed that junior Rina Ihu had a chance to score on a good kick by Salmon.

"Rina! Be ready!" Chumley shouted as Salmon approached the ball, some 45 yards from the net. The kick found Ihu dead center in front of the net. She one-touched the ball past Kadena keeper Midori Stanford.

"She’s had the opportunity to shoot so many times. For her to get a goal, I know she’s happy," Chumley said of Salmon.

Jessica Osborne added an insurance goal in the 75th minute.

"It could have gone either way," Chumley said. "I said to the girls, if we got one goal, that would be all it took."

For Kadena coach Hoa Nguyen, whose roster included nine freshman, six of them starters, reaching the semifinals "already passed my expectations," he said.

Hess had just nine goals for a Dragons team that entered Far East 4-10, but he scored 12 times in seven victories, in which the Dragons allowed just two goals.

"He’s stepped up from center mid and has been in the right place at the right time," Kelly said. "He’s cool under pressure. He’s a reason why we’re where we are."

Hess scored once in each half, and Rimar West notched his 11th of the season and also assisted on a goal by Hess.

For their first title since 2002, the Dragons must overcome CAJ junior Leo Kobayashi, who came alive with three-goal games in two matches after being silent since Monday. He struck in the first minute against Kadena, and the Panthers couldn’t recover, coach Tom McKinney said.

"We couldn’t rebound from that. We couldn’t pick it up. We had many opportunities; they just beat us to the ball," he said.

Girls Class AAAt Yokota Middle School Field and Bonk Field, Yokota High School,

Yokota Air Base, Japan

Single-elimination playoffs


Hong Kong International 2, Kinnick 1Edgren 2, Zama American, Japan, 0Yokota 4, Guam High 3, SO (3-2)Seoul American 8, Seisen, Japan, 0ASIJ 2, Hong Kong International 1Kubasaki, Okinawa, 8, Edgren 0Kadena, Okinawa, 4, Yokota 0Zama American 10, Seisen 0Thursday’s summaries

Hong Kong 4, Guam High 0

Hong Kong 1  3-4Guam High 0  0-0Goals-Hong Kong, Lizzie Perkins 2, Krysta Tsan 1, Kristen Siano 1.Edgren 1, Kinnick 0

Kinnick 0  0-0Edgren 0  1-1Goal-Edgren, Alyssa Rodriguez 1 (8).Zama 3, Hong Kong 2, SO (4-3)

Hong Kong 2  0  0  0-2Zama 0  2  0  0-2Regulation goals-Zama, Mallarie Ashliman 2 (40); Hong Kong, Kristen Siano 1, Krysta Tsan, 1. Shootout-Zama, Whitney McWherter, Mallarie Ashliman (miss), Anna Park, Kristen Dulay, Keily Sasano; Hong Kong, Lizzie Perkins, Kristen Siano (miss), Jennie Perkins, Kathleen Fu (miss), Kathleen Snell.Yokota 1, Edgren 0, OT

Edgren 0  0  0-0Yokota 0  0  1-1Goal-Yokota. Lauryn Thomas 1 (15).Guam High 6, Seisen 0

Seisen 0  0-0Guam High 3  3-6Goals-Guam High, Sarah Jagodzinski 3, Francin Reyes 2, Brittany Albe 1.Semifinals

ASIJ 3, Seoul 2

Seoul 0  2-2ASIJ 1  2-3Goals-ASIJ, Morgan Bridgman 1 (14), Ivie Myntti 1 (9), Birke Duerloo 1 (8); Seoul, Sarah Eades 2 (18). Assists-ASIJ, Lauren Constantine 1; Seoul, Erica Anglade 1.Kubasaki 3, Kadena 0

Kadena 0  0-0Kubasaki 0  3-3Goals-Kubasaki, Jessica Osborne 1 (11), Rina Ihu 1 (7), Alexis Salmon 1 (1). Assist-Kubasaki, Alexis Salmon 1.Friday’s matches

Guam High vs. Nile C. Kinnick, 9 a.m.Hong Kong International vs. Robert D. Edgren, 8 a.m., seventh placeZama American vs. Yokota, 11 a.m., fifth placeSeoul American vs. Kadena, 1 p.m., third placeASIJ vs. Kubasaki, 3 p.m., championshipBoys Class AAAt Lower and Upper Fields, Kadena High School, Kadena Air Base, Okinawa

Single-elimination playoffs

Thursday’s summaries

Kadena 4, Zama 0

Zama 0  0-0Kadena 1  3-4Goals-Kadena, Stanley Schrock 1 (31), Jacob Bloom 1 (7), Dillon Bush 1 (1), Justin Cameron 1 (1).CAJ 3, Seoul 0

Seoul 0  0-0CAJ 2  1-3Goals-CAJ, Leo Kobayashi 3 (23).Hong Kong 2, Yokota 0

Yokota 0  0-0Hong Kong 0  2-2Goals-Hong Kong, Tyler Leung 1, Ethan Halberg 1.Kubasaki 10, Guam High 0

Guam High 0  0- 0Kubasaki 6  4-10Goals-Kubasaki, Jacob Hess 3 (19), Mitch Shibley 2 (9), Cody Sadler 2 (5), Michael Borum 2 (3), Rimar West 1 (10).Kubasaki JV 2, Kinnick 1, SO (3-0)

Kinnick 0  1  0  0-1Kubasaki JV 0  1  0  0-1Goals-Kubasaki JV, Jeff Ramey 1; Kinnick, Kyle Wessels 1 (5). Shootout-Kubasaki JV, Coddaid, Edwards, Fowler.Edgren 4, Kadena JV 2

Kadena JV 1  1-2Edgren 3  1-4Goals-Edgren, Brandon Massie 4 (21); Kadena JV, Lamar Stevens 1, Kevin McKay 1.Yokota 3, Zama 1

Zama 0  1-1Yokota 2  1-3Goals-Yokota, Tony Presnell 1 (17), Jimmy Niescier 1 (10), Trey Sauls 1 (1); Zama, Zach Woods 1 (8).Seoul 8, Guam High 3

Guam High 0  3-3Seoul 4  4-8Goals-Seoul, Shawn Grandy 2 (8), Daniel Burns 1 (7), Matt Nutter 1 (3), Sae Hee Ahn 1 (2), Greg Pennington 1 (1), Marshal Mathews 1 (1), Eric Chin 1 (1).Semifinals

CAJ 4, Kadena 0

Kadena 0  0-0CAJ 1  3-4Goals-CAJ, Leo Kobayashi 3 (26), Bobby Sakamaki 1 (5).Kubasaki 3, Hong Kong 0

Hong Kong 0  0-0Kubasaki  2  1-3Goals-Kubasaki, Jacob Hess 2 (21), Rimar West 1 (11). Assists-Kubasaki, David Krievs 1, Rimar West 1, Bryan Shibley 1.Friday’s matches

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Dave Ornauer has been employed by or assigned to Stars and Stripes Pacific almost continuously since March 5, 1981. He covers interservice and high school sports at DODEA-Pacific schools and manages the Pacific Storm Tracker.

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