HIANG kicks off new season with shutout victory

Capt. Glen Hayase sails through air after blasting a shot in for a goal.

Story and photo by Randy Dela Cruz

Sports Editor, Ho‘okele

Every season, the Hawaii Air National Guard (HIANG) soccer club enters the new year as one of the favorites to win it all, and it’s no different this time around.

In the team’s season-opening showdown, the HIANG got three goals from three different players, which included a score by a newcomer. They took a 3-0 win over 17th Operational Weather Squadron (17 OWS) on Feb. 24 in a White Division intramural soccer game at Ear-hart Field, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

Last season, HIANG reached the championship final but fell short of winning the title.

Although, there are no guarantees that the team will be just as successful, team captain and veteran soccer player Capt. Glen Hayase said he believes that all the pieces are in place to have another solid season.

“It’s the first game, but our team is solid again,” Hayase said. “I think a lot of it would have to do with the other teams, but we’re always competitive. A lot of it would depend, like every other year, on deployments, TDYs and hopefully, no one gets hurt.”

For years, Hayase has been one of the main cogs in the HIANG’s attack, but he has also had a lot of help from his team-mates.

One of those players, Staff Sgt. Sean Chang, is also back with Hayase, and with the game still fresh, it didn’t take long before the two got back in sync to collaborate on the first goal of the game.

Hayase recognized that Chang had made a break toward the goal and delivered a perfect pass to his teammate, who proceeded to finish off the play with a score that made it 1-0 in the first half.

“It was just the right place and right time,” Chang said. “I was left a little open and I was able to run up to the ball. I had a good 10-yard gap between me and the last defender because they were a bit offset for me. I had a lot of room and tried to place it as well as I could.”

Chang said that couldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for the familiarity gained by all those years of playing together with Hayase.

“I’ve got to give credit to Glen,” Chang said. “He’s honestly the anchor on our team. It’s a great advantage to have that connection due to all those years of playing together. We’re all guardsman, and we interact well with each other. It’s kind of like that local vibe.”

The HIANG took the 1-0 lead into halftime, but coming out of the break, it didn’t take long before the team extended its lead by one.

Only this time around, the goal was booted in by Capt. Susan Weeks, who unlike Hayase and Chang, is a newcomer to the team.

Standing on the outside at the left wing, Weeks was left open for just a split second, but it was all that she would need. She took the pass and immediately launched a long kick that found its way by the goalkeeper and into the net for a 2-0 advantage.

“I just felt like I had an opportunity to take a shot at the goal, so I went for it,” Weeks said about her booming kick that reached the goal with plenty to spare. “I looked up and it looked like it was a good shot.”

Not to be outdone by his teammates, Hayase got a golden opportunity to add his name to the scoring book and he took full advantage of the situation.

Hayase got loose for a breakaway right down the middle of the field before he blasted a shot for the final goal.

“There’s plenty of ways to mess up,” said Hayase as he recalled the goal. “But those are the ones you dream about. You break open, it’s just you and goalie, one bounce…”

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • email
  • RSS

Category: Sports