The Hilo High Vikings has probably had more stars-studded soccer teams. There have been much more talented teams.
Viking Briana-Jean Tanaka, a freshman, was part of a senior-laden Vikings team that dominated the Big Island Interscholastic Federation over most of its four-year span and won three league titles. They were also awarded a BIIF triple repeat from 2009-2011.
Tanaka and her teammates were the BIIF league runner-up. Monday they managed to achieve a breakthrough none of those teams could.
Two goals were scored by Tanaka at Hilo Bayfront. The Kaiser Cougars was defeated by the Vikings 2-0. Making The Vikings the first school team from their school to reach the HHSAA Division 1 girls tournament winner’s bracket.
Consolation play was the only way for the Vikings to win in their previous state tournaments. Most recently in 2018. Hilo will face second-seeded Mililani, in the quarterfinals at Oahu’s Waipio Peninsula Soccer Complex Thursday at 1 p.m.
Tanaka scored in both halves, making her the team’s leading goal scorer with eight total goals for the Vikings (4-2-1).
She scored in the 24th minute from 18 yards. Lindsey Hiraki got the assist. Tanaka scored her second goal in the 64th minute from five yards out.
Kali’u Boteilho saved five against the Cougars (9-4-1) in the OIA.
The Big Island Interscholastic Federation will have two teams in its state quarterfinals for the first time.
The Waiakea Warriors beat the Hilo Vikings 2-0 to win their first BIIF championship on February 12.
The Warrios are the fourth seed and face Campbell, of the OIA on Thursday at 3 p.m in the quarterfinals.