Girls Varsity Soccer team reaches State Championship


Photo courtesy of Gary Viernes

Team members embrace while challenging Campbell for the Division I state title.

Watching freshman Keena Nakamura (‘25) set up for the penalty kick, captain Madison Viernes (‘23) stands on the outskirts of Kapolei High School’s soccer field waiting for the whistle to start the kick. Viernes remembers losing to a penalty kick in overtime during Waipahu High School’s previous game against Moanalua’s Menehune, and hopes this is the final play. 

Two minutes into the second overtime of the game, Waipahu High School girl’s varsity team scores against the Kapolei Hurricanes and qualifies for the state championships. 

This year the WHS girls soccer team’s first time qualifying and competing for a Division I state title. The girls varsity team had only ever competed for a Division II state title in 2018, but lost in the first round. 

Assistant Coach Rachel Domingo said they expected to face challenges arriving in the playoffs. She explained that the varsity team is comprised of nine freshmen, making them a “young” team. Despite this, Domingo commends the team for their versatility, saying, “The girls definitely worked hard and overcame a lot of challenges to make it to states. I would credit the season to their effort and grit.” 

To prepare for the playoffs and states, the team prioritized conditioning and honing their skills and formations. Domingo says this was crucial because “states and playoffs can be brutal. Sometimes the girls are playing three games in three days.” 

Viernes agrees that conditioning was critical because of the breaks they had between practices and games. She also attributes their successful season to setting goals and maintaining positive mindsets. “The goal was to create the same dynamic that there was in freshman year [between the upperclassmen and underclassmen]. Since there were only three returnees, including myself, we wanted to create the same dynamic that was not only on, but off the field,” she says. Viernes believes this chemistry that bonded the team allowed them to work well together during games. 

Finishing the season as a runner-up for the Division I state title, the girls’ soccer team finished the season with a 8-6-1 standing. After playing Kapolei High School, they went on to challenge Campbell High School for the Division I state title on February 21, 2022. Although they lost 3-1, they ranked fourth in the OIA West.