Ho'okele Staff | Jun 30, 2012
The defending base intramural soccer champions, Kunia Gallos, got a goal late in the first half from Staff Sgt. Winston Jackson and made it stand to defeat SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team-One (SDVT-1), 1-0, in a playoff semifinal matchup June 24 at Ward Field, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
The win was the third victory of the tournament for the Gallos, which entered the postseason as the No. 1 seed after capturing the Blue Division’s regular-season title with a record of 12-1-1 and 37 points.
SDVT-1 saw their season come to a close after winning their first two playoffs games last weekend. The team finished the regular season with a record of 9-2-1, which was good for second place in the Gold Division.
Kunia will now try to grab back-to-back championships in a showdown for all the marbles against Hawaii Air National Guard (HIANG) on June 30 at Ward Field starting at 9 a.m.
“We didn’t play them (HIANG) during the regular season, but for the most part, we’re quicker than everyone,” Jackson stated. “If it comes to battle speed, that’s my department and we’ll go at it. We’ve seen the HIANG team in the past. We know what they’ve got and they know what we got, but we expect to win anyway.”
Playing against their old nemesis, the Gallos found the early matchup difficult as SDVT-1 played lockdown on the defense behind the tough play of goalkeeper Navy Diver 2nd Class Matt Waldrop.
Midway through the first half, the speedy Jackson darted to the middle of the field and got in front of the pack for a breakaway, but
Waldrop came up with a huge oneo n – o n e stop to keep the Gallos off the scoreboard.
However, with time running out in the first half, Senior Airman Akira Hose ran the same play toward the goal, but with Waldrop coming up to meet him, Hose booted a perfect pass to Jackson, who kicked the ball from the right side to the left corner of the net for a goal.
“Basically, I was looking for them (SDVT-1) to either commit to me or stay with him (Jackson),” Hose explained. “The defense shifted over to me, so I fed him, he got it, trapped it, got space and shot it in.”
Jackson said that after playing on the same team with Hose for a few seasons, he knew right away to look for the ball.
Once he got the pass, after being stopped by Waldrop once before, he wasn’t going to let it happen again, Jackson said
“He (Hose) had the ball. I just stayed for his option, he hit it to me, and I took it down and slid it across,” Jackson said. “I learned on the previous play that the goalie was pretty good, so got to be real, low and away from the keeper. That’s what I got.’
Scoring the goal that broke the deadlock was very important in gaining the victory over SDVT-1, according to Hose.
Not only did it break the pressure, Hose added that it also helped Kunia settle down and step up its defense.
“The game before you score is all anxiety and kind of on edge,” Hose admitted. “In the second half, we just tried to distribute the ball a little bit more. We were just maintaining the lead.”
Following the team’s tough semifinal against SDVT-1, Hose said that the best thing the Gallos can do to prepare for the title game is to get some rest.
Jackson said that although it’s the biggest matchup of the year for both teams, he would approach it as any other game.
“We’re not intimidated by any other team, so it’s nothing to worry about,” he said. “We’ve been here before, so our mindset it pretty much the same. We’re going to come and try to win. If we lose, hats off to their team, but we don’t expect to.”