KS-Maui Boys Beat Lunas 2-1 in Do-or-Die Match
By Rodney S. Yap
The Kamehamaha Maui soccer team survived a do-or-die elimination game 2-1 Tuesday against Lahainaluna at Kanaiaupuni Stadium.
“If you could feel my heart rate right now I think I’d have to go to the hospital,” said a pumped-up Kamehameha Maui head coach Kimo Correa after improving to 8-2-1 — for 25 points — and second place in the Maui Interscholastic League Division I boys standings behind unbeaten King Kekaulike’s 27 points (8-0-3).
Micah Alo’s penalty kick in the 49th minute broke a 1-1 deadlock for Kamehameha Maui. The goal was set up by a handball violation by Lahainaluna in the penalty box. More importantly for the Warriors, the score came just two minutes after the Lunas’ tied the match at 1-1 on a goal by Rhys Lendio.
“Sometimes you have to trust in God that something good will happen and we got a break right there,” Correa said of Alo’s goal.
The Lunas (7-3-2) looked to have tied the game at 2-2 in the 63rd minute on a penalty kick my Sergio Gallardo Pedroza, but the goal was offset after two players – one from each team — moved in the penalty box too early. Gallardo Pedroza was given a retry and his shot sailed over the crossbar on his second attempt.
“It’s part of the game, we have to live with the calls and play,” said Lahainaluna head coach Sam Aki. “Unfortunately for us some of those calls didn’t go our way, but that’s the game.”
Warrior defender Kainalu Kealoha was called for a foul in the penalty box to help set the table for Lahainaluna’s Gallardo Pedroza’s penalty shot. Correa made a goalie change a few minutes before, substituting regular starter Acer Pahukoa for senior backup Devonte Llanes.
“If you watch our goalie coach work with our keepers, these boys give 110%,” Correa said. “Coach Ikaika (Lee) tells me who’s ready.”
“We definitely needed that win,” Aki said. “A tie would have maybe helped a little, but a loss completely eliminates us from the running so the best we can do now is mess some people up. We play Baldwin so we can have a pretty big impact on Baldwin and definitely affect the standings.
“If we beat Baldwin that would put Kamehameha and King Kekaulike through.”
Baldwin is 8-2-0 with four matches remaining.
In MIL girls soccer action:
KAMEHAMEHA MAUI 8, LAHAINALUNA 0
Moana Astronomo scored four goals and Marley Duncan, Kaliee Tabaco, Quinn William, Brandy Takiguchi each added a goal for the Warriors.
“It’s good to see other girls score and gives our team more confidence,” said Kamehameha Maui head coach Steven Mau, who also played plenty of his reserves in a 3-4-3 alignment.
For all intent and purposes, the win sets up potential championship match with Maui High next Tuesday at Kamehameha Maui. The contest will be the regular-season finale for the 11-2-0 Warriors, while the Sabers, who have a pair of game against Hana this weekend, beat Seabury Hall 4-0 on Tuesday.
Maui High’s Tiana Lucas scored three goals and assisted on the other goal.