The Punahou Buffanblu needed a bounce or two to go their way against a gritty Roosevelt squad.
They got a big bounce from freshman Taylor "Shota" Takada, whose 15-yard cross sliced through traffic and caromed off the ground into the net for the winning goal as Punahou edged Roosevelt in overtime, 2-1, yesterday at Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park field No. 8.
Takada’s goal came 1 minute, 40 seconds into overtime, capping a comeback by the runner-up from the Interscholastic League of Honolulu.
The unseeded Buffanblu advanced to the Division I quarterfinal round of the JN Automotive Group/HHSAA Boys Soccer State Championships. Punahou (8-2-1) will meet third-seeded Hilo (14-1-1), champions of the Big Island Interscholastic Federation, in a 3 p.m. game in Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium today.
Their change in fortune came off the foot of the freshman, Takada.
"I got the ball in space. I was trying to cross the ball in. I saw several people in there. It was kind of an accident," he said. "I was fortunate. (The goalkeeper) didn’t expect it, I think."
Punahou coach David Trifonovitch was relieved.
"(The keeper) got shielded from it, I think. Shota put the ball in a danger zone and made something happen," the coach said. "I’m exhausted. These are cardiac kids. There were a lot of fouls, just the jitters of a first game in the state tournament."
Roosevelt’s standout senior, Brad Pena, is just looking forward to consolation action.
"I feel horrible. We should’ve won that game, but stuff happens," said Pena, who scored his team’s goal. "We let up. We didn’t really try after that. We thought we were going to win it. After four straight games of 100 minutes, our legs are exhausted."
With gray skies and rumbling thunder over the Central Oahu plains, Roosevelt held Punahou scoreless for a half. The fourth-place team from the Oahu Interscholastic Association stunned the Buffanblu early in the second half. Pena ended a scoreless stalemate with a one-on-one breakaway, seconds after Punahou barely missed on a scoring opportunity. Pena’s goal came in the 50th minute.
"He’s a great player. He sliced that one through," Trifonovitch said.
"That was the main threat," Takada added. "I would get scared every time he got the ball."
Trifonovitch had a reminder for his team.
"It’s not over with. We’ve got plenty of time. It’s just a matter of getting into our game and getting the width, getting the attacks going on the outside," he said.
At the 62nd minute, sophomore Ian Matsukawa maneuvered past a defender on the back side and drilled a 15-yard shot from the right to tie the match at 1-all.
"I just kind of, I don’t know, tried to get it around him. I saw the goal, so I shot," Matsukawa said.
"He just bent it with the outside of his foot," Trifonovitch said.
It was a confidence-builder for the Buffanblu.
"We had lots of opportunities, didn’t get the luck I guess," Trifonovitch noted.
Roosevelt’s physical play, a recurrence of midfield fouls, took some momentum out of the Buffanblu offense. The Rough Riders had played four 100-minute games in the OIA playoffs.
By the end of regulation — shortly after Punahou failed to score on another opportunity near the goal — Punahou was still fresh.
Next up, the Hilo Vikings.
"Hilo plays fast. They have a good scorer, a good midfielder," Trifonovitch said. "We don’t see neighbor islands a lot. After today we’re going to have some tired legs."
Roosevelt (7-6-4) will meet Aiea in consolation play today at 1 p.m., on field No. 8.
Mililani, Kaiser and Baldwin joined Punahou in today’s quarterfinals by squeaking out first-round victories.
Mililani 2, Moanalua 0
Junior Renato Torquato scored in the 71st minute and JB Cunningham in the 76th minute as the Trojans improved to 12-2-2 by shutting out Na Menehune (7-7-3).
Kaiser 4, Waiakea 3, OT
Junior forward Brandon Ale struck in the third minute of overtime as the Cougars (12-2-2) overcame an own goal to put away the Warriors (12-3-2).
Senior fullback Zachary Yen (fifth minute), junior midfielder Jason Khamvongsa (49th) and junior midfielder Tyler Costa (64th) also scored for the Cougars, who gave up an own goal in the sixth minute.
Junior halfback James Yamane (50th) and junior forward Nu’u Aiava (65th) scored for the Warriors.
Baldwin 1, Aiea 0
Freshman midfielder Jaron Otani ended a scoreless standoff in the 72nd minute as the Bears improved to 7-2-4 at the expense of Na Alii (8-6-3).
BOYS STATE SOCCER
At Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park
» Mililani 2, Moanalua 0
» Kaiser 4, Waiakea 3, OT
» Baldwin 1, Aiea 0
» Punahou 2, Roosevelt 1, OT
Quarterfinals at stadium
» Kaiser vs. King Kekaulike, 1 p.m.
» Punahou vs. Hilo, 3 p.m.
» Baldwin vs. Kapolei, 5 p.m.
» Mililani vs. Kamehameha, 7 p.m.
» Moanalua vs. Waiakea, 1 p.m. field 7
» Aiea vs. Roosevelt, 1 p.m. field 8
All matches at 3 p.m.
» Honokaa vs. Radford, field 9
» St. Anthony vs. Mid-Pacific, field 10
» Kapaa vs. Konawaena, field 11
» Waipahu vs. Hawaii Prep, field 12