Iolani turns back Baldwin, Mililani ousts Kamehameha to reach final
By Leila Wai
Advertiser Staff Writer
The teams meet again tonight in the championship game of the Ohana Hotels & Resorts Boys Soccer Championships at Aloha Stadium.
Top-seeded Mililani (14-0), three-time defending O'ahu Interscholastic Association champion, plays No. 2 Iolani (12-0-4), the Interscholastic League of Honolulu champion, tonight at 8.
Mililani defeated Kamehameha (12-3-3) of the ILH, 1-0, and Iolani knocked off No. 3 Baldwin (11-1) of the Maui Interscholastic League, 3-1, in semifinal action last night before a crowd of 2,041.
Jay Abrigo headed in a 20-yard direct kick from the left side from Justin Kim three minutes into the second half for Mililani's game-winning goal.
"It was a perfect ball, they just didn't set up quick enough and we capitalized on it," said Abrigo.
It was Abrigo's second goal of the tournament. The first goal beat Pearl City, 1-0, in Thursday's quarterfinal.
It was also the first time in the tournament a set play worked for the Trojans, who relied on them during the season to score goals. Because OIA teams play their regular season games on school football fields, the Trojans had to adjust their plays to the wider (70 yards) soccer layout at Aloha Stadium for the state tournament.
"We didn't get many options, we utilized what we had," Mililani co-head coach Steve McGehee said. "We had a couple of options on the left flank and we put one in."
Mililani looks to become the second school to win four consecutive championships. Punahou won it from 1989 to 1992.
"We are getting our chance to do what we want to accomplish," said Kim, who moved to forward from his normal midfield position last night, because of his ability to hold the ball and find the open space, according to McGehee.
Kamehameha's offensive pressure created three direct-kick opportunities from just around the penalty box. The Warriors' best chance to tie the game came on a direct kick with about 11 minutes remaining in the game, but the shot by senior midfielder Randall Haraguchi went just high.
Most of the first half was played in the middle of the field. No team had a dangerous shot on goal until about 10 minutes left in the half.
The first dangerous chance came from Kamehameha, when a cross from the left side by senior midfielder David Gualdarama got over Trojan goalkeeper Darren Smith, leaving the goal open. The ball appeared to catch sophomore forward Logan Sauer off guard. He could only manage to get a part of his body on the ball, sending it far left.
Kamehameha played a playoff game against Pac-Five last Saturday, a first-round game against Castle Wednesday, and a double-overtime game against Kealakehe Thursday.
"A lot of them are complaining that their legs were sore, and they can show it now," Kamehameha coach Andrew Ah New said.
Iolani 3, Baldwin 1: Iolani goalkeeper Jason Keanini had eight saves, including one that saved the game for the Raiders, in their victory over Baldwin in the other semifinal game.
Senior forward Dyrk Teramae and junior midfielder Ryan Harada scored for the second-seeded Raiders. Senior forward Blake Nunes scored for Baldwin.
"Sometimes you just need your keeper to come up big," Iolani coach Ric Miller said of Keanini's game-saving play a diving leap to his right side on a shot off a corner kick in the 60th minute with the score tied, 1-1.
"He must have gotten it with his fingernail," Miller said.
Said Keanini: "Coach has been relying on me this tournament to at least keep the team in contention. The save I made was key, we could have been down 2-1."
Two minutes later, Harada scored on an assist from Teramae to give Iolani the 2-1 lead in the 62nd minute.
Teramae scored the first goal of the game in the 39th minute when he beat a defender and made a low shot under the goalkeeper. He scored his second goal in the 73rd minute off an assist from junior midfielder Kirtus Adams, who beat one defender and found Teramae running down the left side. Teramae made a right-footed shot over Baldwin goalkeeper Jared Keyes' head.
"Our key coming into the game was to make sure Dyrk didn't get open," said Baldwin coach Kaniela Palazzotto, who also said that once the Bears were down 2-1, they were forced to push up offensively, leaving them vulnerable to the counterattack.
Nunes tied the game at 1-1 in the 56th minute on an assist from senior forward Kimo Ballesteros.
Kaiser 2, Kalaheo 1: Matthew Bush and Jeremy Patton scored for Kaiser (13-3-1).
Bush scored in the ninth minute on a penalty kick and Patton scored in the 29th minute on an assist from Curt Sadd.
Max Anton scored on a penalty kick in the 79th minute for Kalaheo (9-6-2).
Kealakehe 3, Pearl City 0: CJ Cintas scored three second-half goals as fourth-seeded Kealakehe (14-3), the Big Island Interscholastic Federation champs, defeated Pearl City (11-4).
Cintas scored in the 52nd, 64th and 70th minutes.
Waiakea 2, Hilo 1: Aaron Inouye and Chad Hanashiro scored for Waiakea (15-3) against Big Island Interscholastic Federation rival Hilo (10-8).
Bryan Straight scored for Hilo.
Reach Leila Wai at firstname.lastname@example.org or 535-2457.