Kapolei’s poise under the pressure of penalty kicks paid off yet again last night with a 2-1 win.
After finishing 80 minutes of regulation and two overtime periods tied 1-1, the second-seeded Hurricanes outscored Baldwin 4-2 in a shootout at Waipio Peninsula Soccer Complex to advance to the semifinals of the JN Automotive Group/HHSAA Boys Soccer State Championships.
"We practice shootout every single day," Kapolei senior Kainoa Ke-a said.
"It shows on the field. We practice it hard and it pays off in the game."
Ke-a scored Kapolei’s lone goal in regulation and contributed the third of the Hurricanes’ four penalty kicks and the Oahu Interscholastic Association Red Division champions survived the quarterfinal battle. The Hurricanes next face defending state champion Punahou in today’s 7 p.m. semifinal.
Punahou, which defeated third-seeded Hilo 4-0, beat Kapolei in a preseason tournament, "but that was preseason," Kapolei coach Bryce Kaneshiro said. "They’ve changed. We’ve changed.
"Punahou always comes out tough, and if you want to win the state title, the road has to go through Punahou at some point."
Baldwin will play Hilo in the fifth-place bracket at 3 p.m.
Kapolei’s comfort in shootouts was developed both in practice and under game pressure last week, when the Hurricanes edged Mililani 6-5 in penalty kicks to claim a 1-0 win in the semifinals of the OIA Red playoffs. Kapolei went on to outlast Kaiser in the final last Saturday.
"We’re more confident since the OIA playoffs," Kaneshiro said. "We’re confident in what we can do and we practice that a lot."
Kapolei won its ninth straight following a 2-5-1 start, coming back from a 1-0 first-half deficit in yesterday’s match with Baldwin, which defeated Aiea in the first round on Wednesday.
"Baldwin showed us against Aiea they can control the ball, they have height, they can win the ball in the air and that’s what they did when they scored. That was a wake-up call for us," Kaneshiro said. "I’m just glad (the Hurricanes) bounced back and hung tough. But this was a battle."
About 12 minutes into the match, a foul gave the Bears a free kick. They attacked the goal and Madias Thompson knocked the ball into the net from close range for his first goal of the season.
Thompson was the Bears’ leading scorer last year but broke his leg in the offseason and missed the entire MIL schedule. He made his debut in Baldwin’s win over Aiea and scored yesterday despite being less than full speed.
"I told him I’m going to play you about 10 minutes and see what you can do," Baldwin coach Kane Palazzotto said. "He probably played 25 minutes in the second half. Kept waving me off, he wanted to stay in the game, but that’s just the competitor he is."
Ke-a broke loose at the 35-minute mark, taking a pass from Richard Gallarde and bolting free down the middle on his way to the tying goal.
"I told Kalei (Gallarde) earlier to look up for me because I was making my runs," Ke-a said. "I told him look up and I’ll be there."
Neither team could finish scoring opportunities through 40 minutes in the second half and two 10-minute overtime periods.
Baldwin stepped up first in the shootout and the Bears’ first attempt went wide right. Gallarde, Dylan Orian and Ke-a converted for Kapolei, and when another Baldwin shot missed, Brandon Begonia sealed the win for the Hurricanes.
"I’m pretty sure the fans that watched that game had fun," Palazzotto said. "That was fun to watch us going back and forth. We had our opportunities, they had their opportunities and I cannot be any prouder of my boys."
Kaiser 3, King Kekaulike 2
Joshua Perr-Kruse scored goals in the 6th and 58th minute as the Cougars (13-2-2) defeated Na Alii (8-4-1) in their quarterfinal match. Brandon Ale added a goal in the 17th minute for Kaiser.
Logan Bantilan struck back twice in the half, scoring at the 72nd mark and 79th for King Kekaulike.
Punahou 4, Hilo 0
The Buffanblu (9-2-1) dominated the Vikings (14-2-1) in quarterfinal play.
Kaimi Fairbairn (53rd), Mountan Mitchell (61st), Alex Lam (67th) and Quincy Marting (80th) scored all their goals in the second half.
Roosevelt 1, Aiea 0
Brad Pena struck early, scoring in the first minute as the Rough Riders (8-6-4) edged out Na Alii (8-7-3)
Waiakea 4, Moanalua 1
Austin Thomas dominated the first half, scoring in the 9th and 30th minutes, while Cameron Boucher drilled two in the 45th and 66th during the last half in the Warriors (13-3-2) victory over Na Menehune (7-8-3).
Brett Rex scored in the 68th minute for Moanalua.
Division II Quarterfinals
Honokaa 2, Radford 0
Robert Connors (5th) and Josh Robinson (8th) scored both goals in the first half to lead the No. 1-seeded Dragons (9-2-2) over the Rams (7-3-3).
Kapaa 3, Konawaena 1
Joshua Cram scored in the 21st minute in the first half, followed by goals from Matt Domingcil (47th) and Max Goode (64th) as the Warriors defeated the Wildcats.
Max Bender scored in the 67th minute for Konawaena.
Hawaii Prep 3, Waipahu 1
Malachi Kobayashi scored in the 20th and 48th minutes and Nathan Adams added another in the 51st as the Ka Makani (7-5-2) handled the Marauders (7-3-1).
Mikel Garduke (65th) had Waipahu’s only goal.
St. Anthony 1, Mid-Pacific 0
The Trojans (6-6-1) defeated the Owls (2-8-1) on penalty kicks (3-1) in their quarterfinal.