The Kalani boys soccer team has mastered enough moments in the past two state tournaments that it is starting to look like it is writing the script.
“No way,” Kalani striker Kazuto Moribe said with a laugh. “We are trying so hard to get it in, but at the end I guess we just make it. Whoever comes we just take them, go all out the whole time.”
The Falcons reached the Division I final of the Outrigger Hotels and Resorts/HHSAA Boys State Soccer championships at Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park on Friday night with a gritty 2-1 win over Kamehameha-Maui. The Falcons play Punahou in the final Saturday night at 7 in a rematch of their semifinal win over the Buffanblu last year.
Kalani made it to the final last year on a last-second goal by Leo Klink to beat Punahou, but lost to Mililani 3-0 in the final. The Falcons get Punahou this time around for the title match.
“Punahou is the No. 1 ILH team and that is always a big deal,” Kalani coach Mike Ching said. “It’s been a crazy tournament. Hopefully we can bring it home.”
After being stopped by Kamehameha-Maui keeper Devonte Llanes repeatedly, Klink scored the game-winner in the 70th minute.
“I was very happy when it went in because I was frustrated I couldn’t put any in earlier,” Klink said. “As usual I always put one in late for some reason.”
Klink earned his score. He and Warriors defender Kainalu Kealoha matched stride-for-stride. Kealoha tried to veer Klink away from the goal, but the OIA’s leading scorer was not going to be denied. Klink finally beat Llanes right to left. The Falcons kept the defensive pressure on the rest of the way.
“Elation just went off on the bench,” Ching said. “We kept knocking at it and we thought we could get it, but it was that one goal that finally went in. I mean Leo, what can you say? The provider of moments.”
Iolani def. Mililani, 2-1
Goal scorers—Iolani: Chris Bueno (16th); Guy Ahlo (73rd). Mililani: Zachary Carvalho (78th).
Pearl City def. Kapolei, 2-0
Goal scorers—Pearl City: Bradley Rios (51st); Paul Enriquez (77th).