The top-seeded Kamehameha Warriors faced elimination as the final seconds ticked down last night at the JN Automotive/Hawaii High School Athletic Association Boys Soccer State Championships.
Instead of freezing up in the coolness of Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium, the Warriors came up clutch, winning 2-1 in a penalty-kick shootout in the Division I quarterfinals.
Kamehameha will meet unseeded Kaiser in today’s 5 p.m. semifinal match.
Getting into extra time was no given for Kamehameha, which trailed for nearly the entire second half. Jason Richards’ header, off a free kick by Brayden Prothero from 30 yards out, found the net, and Kamehameha’s prayer was answered with just 40 seconds left in regulation.
From there, the match went through two overtime periods without a score, necessitating the shootout. Hoku Pidot, Richards and Kona Gaison nailed their penalty kicks, to give the Warriors a hard-earned, 100-minute victory. Mililani made two of its penalty kicks.
The teams met twice in preseason, splitting the matches. Richards knows several of the Trojans as teammates with the Honolulu Bulls club team.
"This one was way more intense. We were on our heels for most the time," the senior midfielder said.
The tying score was pure confidence.
"I looked at Brayden and he looked at me. I just felt it," Richards said.
The Trojans struck gold first with a highlight-level play. J.B. Cunningham’s long shot attempt caromed off the right bar, and Jake Segami pounced on the ball for a quick follow shot to give Mililani a 1-0 lead in the 44th minute.
Both teams played with more urgency from that point, but it was Mililani that had the match under control until the last 40 seconds.
Mililani had 16 goal kicks to Kamehameha’s 10, but Kamehameha had 17 shots on goal to Mililani’s eight.
Kamehameha goalkeeper Chad Nishimura had three saves and Tyler Wilson had four saves for Mililani.
BOYS STATE SOCCER
At Waipio Peninsula Soccer Complex
Quarterfinals at main stadium
» Kaiser 3, King Kekaulike 2
» Punahou 4, Hilo 0
» Kapolei 2, Baldwin 1 (PK, 4-2)
» Kamehameha 2, Mililani 1 (PK 3-2)
» Waiakea 4, Moanalua 1
» Roosevelt 1, Aiea 0
Semifinals at main stadium
» Kaiser vs. Kamehameha winner, 5 p.m.
» Punahou vs. Kapolei, 7 p.m.
» King Kekaulike vs. Mililani, 3 p.m. field 7
» Hilo vs. Baldwin, 3 p.m. field 8
» Honokaa 2, Radford 0
» St. Anthony 1, Mid-Pacific 0 (PK, 3-1)
» Kapaa 3, Konawaena 1
» Hawaii Prep 3, Waipahu 1
Semifinals at 3 p.m.
» Honokaa vs. St. Anthony, field 11
» Kapaa vs. Hawaii Prep, field 12
Consolation at 3 p.m.
» Radford vs. Mid-Pacific, field 9
» Konawaena vs. Waipahu, field 10