Baldwin, KS-Maui Advance to State Semifinals
By Rodney S. Yap
The Baldwin High School soccer team relied on its bench to finish off Kapolei 5-3 in penalty kicks and advanced to today’s semifinals of the 2014 Outrigger Hotels & Resorts State Championships.
“Their second guy missed left just outside the post,” said head coach Kane Palazzotto about the penalty-kick shootout that sealed the Bears’ 2-1 victory.
Baldwin (11-0-2) called on veterans Jaren Otani, Nick Lawrence and Matt Foronda for its first three PK’s before 5-foot-2 sophomore Derek Hight and reserve freshman goal keeper Dante Perez-Martin came off the bench cold for the team’s final two scores.
“We knew we were playing a tough team in Kapolei. …I got to give it up to them they battled hard and it was a very tough game.”
As for his stellar bench play, Palazzotto said: “Although they didn’t see any time in the game, they came through when we needed them to and the stayed very composed.”
Kamehameha Schools Maui also advanced to the semifinals by beating fourth-seeded and previously unbeaten Kealakehe, 3-1.
The Warriors (11-0-3) will face top-seeded Iolani today at 5 p.m., followed by Baldwin and Punahou in the other semifinal at the Waipio Soccer Complex at 7 p.m.
KS-Maui trailed Kealakehe 1-0 when Cabanas’ putback goal in the 12th minute tied the match at 1-1.
“We got a free kick that Kailoa (Akoi) took from about 40 yards out,” said Cabanas. “And I just tried to crash the goal with everybody else and Kailoa put it on frame and it went off their keeper and I just cherry picked it and put it in.”
Cabanas, a junior, said the Warriors grabbed the momentum after that and never looked back.
“We just started pressing hard and the goals after that just came.”
Sophomore Brennan Joaquin scored the Warriors’ go-ahead goal in the 67th minute.
“It was just like my goal, Kailoa took a free kick from about 45 yards out and he put it on frame again and it bounced off the keeper and a few other defenders and Brennan just tapped it in with his head.”
“We knew our defense was going to get hammered all day so we tried to counter that by getting it out of the back as quickly as possible.”
Chandler Alo would later add an insurance goal for KS-Maui in the 74th minute.
Kapolei jumped on Baldwin first, 1-0, when C.J. Harvey managed a goal in the 12th minute.
Palazzotto said Kapolei’s goal came off a corner kick into the middle of the box.
“The guy (Harvey) made a good play, out jumping Nash (Wuthrich) and heading it into the goal.”
That’s when Palazzotto inserted some fresh legs, substituting sophomore Micah Ching, and freshmen Korey Kuge and Nahoa Foster.
“Micah Ching had himself a game tonight. It’s fun to see these kids step up and step in.”
“We’ve been a second-half team all year … so we tried to tell the boys at halftime to just focus on ourselves and continue to knock the ball around.”
Kapolei would have to play one man down when “one of their better players” received a red card for punching.
“He ended up hitting Hunter Clement in the face,” Palazzotto explained. “They both kind of went in hard for a ball and they both hit each other. Hunter was on the ground and their guy was on the ground and he took a swing at Hunter. He actually hit Hunter and so he got thrown out of the game.”
Palazzotto said the red-card violation happened about 14 minutes into the second half.
It wasn’t until the 58th minute when Baldwin found the equalizer off Foronda’s foot. The senior defender bumped Otani’s corner-kick assist into the goal off his knee.
“From there it was pretty much back and forth. Kapolei stepped it up and had a couple of chances to win it in overtime. We had a couple of chances to win it in overtime, but nobody could find the net so we had to go to penalty kicks.”
Seabury Hall lost to Mid-Pacific Institute on penalty kicks in a Division II quarterfinal game.
The Spartans (5-7-1) were outscored 5-4 in the shootout. They will play Leilehua today at 3 p.m. in a fifth-place semifinal.