WAILUKU - Seabury Hall girls soccer coach Sumner Erdman has very little hair on his head, but on Saturday at War Memorial Stadium it appeared he had a lot more.
He wore a faux visor with "Coach" spelled out on the front and lengthy fake blonde locks on top.
His team gave him reason to keep what hair he actually has with a hard-fought 2-0 victory over St. Anthony. The result clinched the fourth Maui Interscholastic League Division II title in a row for the Spartans (3-9-1).
Seabury Hall’s Phoebe Fickbohm dribbles while being pursued by St. Anthony’s Keili Johnson (left) and Rebekah Hallsten during the Spartans’ 2-0 victory over the Trojans on Saturday at War Memorial Stadium.
The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo
St. Anthony (0-13-1) gave the champions all they could handle. Freshman Phoebe Fickbohm's header in the 30th minute was the match's only goal until stoppage time, when Lena Fox scored off a corner kick from Kristina Brown.
Fittingly, the last goal came from a pair of seniors.
"I'm so excited, we were just jumping up and down," said Brown, a central defender who thwarted several St. Anthony chances during the match. "I have been playing with Lena for a long time. I'm stoked that all the seniors and I can venture to states once more, so it was awesome."
|x-clinched league championship|
|Maui High 3, Hana 0|
|Seabury Hall 4, St. Anthony 0|
|King Kekaulike at Seabury Hall, 4 p.m.|
|Baldwin at Lahainaluna, 5 p.m.|
|Maui High at Kamehameha Maui, 7 p.m.|
|* * *|
x-clinched state-tournament berth
y-clinched league championship
Maui High 3, Hana 0
Seabury Hall 2, St. Anthony 0
King Kekaulike at Seabury Hall, 5 p.m.
Maui High at Kamehameha Maui, 5 p.m.
End of regular season
Fox, an MIL All-Star volleyball player for the state runners-up, was also excited for a senior class of eight. There were rough times for the Spartans this season as five players suffered season-ending injuries.
"It is absolutely amazing to get another chance," Fox said of her fourth trip to the soccer tournament. "We always have so much fun at states, we're so thrilled to get to go, and the fact that our team has completely changed because we have had so many injuries, it's awesome."
The Spartans' win pushed them one point in front of Hana, which finished its season earlier in the day with a 3-0 loss to Maui High in a match that was scoreless at halftime. The Dragons attended the game, but left after Fox's goal.
Erdman did not find out the Hana score, by design - "I didn't want to know because all we could do was control ourselves and we had to win anyway," he said - and his players didn't have any idea either. The Sabers beat the Dragons 6-0 on Friday.
"I was talking about it before the game and I was banking that it was going to be the same as (Friday)," Brown said.
Erdman said he was impressed with St. Anthony.
"They came out and played hard," Erdman said. "It was close and they came out and were gaining momentum. It was 1-0 and right in the middle of that momentum our keeper (Gabby Ratte) had to come up with a really big save. That kept the momentum from getting any bigger. We got a second (goal), but it was very, very late in the game. It could have gone either way."
Ratte's big save came in the 60th minute on a breakaway by Selina Williams. Ratte dove and threw her body down to smother the ball and stomp out St. Anthony's best chance at the equalizer.
Fox was similarly impressed with the Trojans.
"They were fantastic," she said. "Selina Williams played a great game, never gave up, we're buds, and I thought she did a fantastic job. They all came out really fiery. Definitely was a tough game."
The Spartans have won two of their last four matches.
"They're good, I think they're going to do pretty well," said Trojans coach Lindsey Drayer, who led St. Anthony to an MIL championship five seasons ago. "It's so fun, states. I didn't know what to expect that first year, but I was, like, 'Wow, how much better could we be if every game we played was like this?' You get tested in our league. It's nice to have those nailbiters, you get that adrenaline, you get that feeling of playing under pressure."
* Robert Collias is at firstname.lastname@example.org