‘Iolani delivered an impressive knockout of defending co-champion and top-seeded Hawaii Prep 2-1 on Thursday night at Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium.
But there is much more to be done if the Raiders (12-2-1) want to return to the top of the Division I heap in The Queen’s Medical Center/HHSAA Boys Soccer State Championships. ‘Iolani has nine D-I state titles under its belt, but the last one came five years ago.
Standing in the way are three highly talented teams — and ‘Iolani will have to beat two of them, starting with the semifinals tonight against OIA champion and fourth-seeded Kapolei (13-1).
“Kapolei is a perennial powerhouse with dangerous individual players,” ‘Iolani coach Chris Lee said after the quarterfinal victory.
Should the Raiders make it to the final, either ILH champion Punahou (10-1-2) or Mililani (14-1) will be awaiting. ‘Iolani fell to the Buffanblu in the ILH title match and are hungering for redemption.
“At this point, you gotta grind ’em,” Lee added.
‘Iolani played a tight quarterfinal but was fortunate to move on. Jake Schneider, the talented Ka Makani striker, got a second-half goal to make it 2-1. A little bit earlier than that, Schneider barely missed by hitting the low right post on a penalty kick after a hand ball was called in the box on the Raiders.
Then, with about 16 minutes left on the unofficial scoreboard clock, Schneider got involved in a little shoving match with an ‘Iolani player. The center ref came around and gave Schneider — who began to argue — a yellow card and then a red card.
It seriously hampered Hawaii Prep’s ability to tie it up. Ka Makani still applied the pressure, making the Raiders’ defense scramble, but they couldn’t get the equalizer.
“He would have caused problems, but he’s not a one-man team,” Lee said about Schneider’s absence in crunch time. “They have a lot of very good players.”
Schneider was a huge factor in Ka Makani’s run to the D-I co-championship with Baldwin last year and two D-II state championships before that.
The hopes were high coming in.
“It’s tough,” Schneider said. “A lot of emotions are running through our heads. It’s a tough tournament. Every game’s a challenge. What can I say?”
Lee took Schneider’s presence seriously.
“We hoped to contain him all game,” he said. “His career speaks for itself. Hawaii Prep is a really good team and they had a really good run for the last (three years).”
That ILH championship loss didn’t sit right with ‘Iolani.
“After that (ILH title) game, we told ourselves that we were going to flush that result and focus on the next one, keep an optimistic mind-set,” said the Raiders’ Lincoln Oishi, who scored on a header off of Jonah Kawamura‘s corner kick in the first half-minute.
As for the match against Kapolei?
“It’s just another game,” Oishi said. “We have to win it. THat’s how we approach everything.”
Tyler Udarbe ended up with the eventual game-winning goal late in the first half with a determined follow-through shot during a scramble in front off of a throw-in.
Oishi said the loss of Elijah Brown to a broken arm early in the match helped fuel the winning effort.
“He’s one of our most reliable (midfield) wingers,” he said. “We showed resilience. We didn’t give in. We fought for him.”
HHSAA D-I State Boys Soccer
|1||Feb. 4||'Iolani vs. Kaiser||Iol, 4-0||'Iolani|
|2||Feb. 4||Hilo vs. Kalani||Kaln, 1-0||Hilo|
|3||Feb. 4||Baldwin vs. Pearl City||PC, 2-1 (5-3 PKs)||War Memorial Stadium|
|4||Feb. 4||Mililani vs. Campbell||Mil, 4-0||Mililani|
|5||Feb. 7||(2) King Kekaulike vs. Mililani||Mil, 2-0||Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium|
|6||Feb. 7||(4) Kapolei vs. Pearl City||Kapo, 1-0 (OT)||Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium|
|7||Feb. 7||(1) Hawaii Prep vs. 'Iolani||Iol, 2-1||Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium|
|8||Feb. 7||(3) Punahou vs. Kalani||Pun, 2-1||Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium|
|9*||Feb. 8||Pearl City vs. Hawaii Prep||HPA, 6-1||Waipio|
|10*||Feb. 8||King Kekaulike vs. Kalani||KK, 5-1||Waipio|
|11||Feb. 8||Mililani vs. Punahou||Pun, 3-2 (5-3 PKs)||Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium|
|12||Feb. 8||Kapolei vs. 'Iolani||Iol, 3-2||Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium|
|13*||Feb. 9||Hawaii Prep vs. King Kekaulike||KK, 3-1||Waipio|
|14*||Feb. 9||Mililani vs. Kapolei||Kapo, 5-1||Waipio|
|15||Feb. 9||Punahou vs. 'Iolani||Pun, 1-0 (OT)||Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium|
|* — consolation|
HHSAA D-II State Boys Soccer
|1||Feb. 7||(1) KS-Hawaii vs. Waialua||KSH, 2-1 (OT)||Waipio|
|2||Feb. 7||(4) Kapaa vs. Seabury Hall||Kapa, 2-1||Waipio|
|3||Feb. 7||(2) Saint Louis vs. Waipahu||StL, 3-0||Waipio|
|4||Feb. 7||(3) Kalaheo vs. Makua Lani||Kalh, 2-0||Waipio|
|5*||Feb. 8||Waialua vs. Seabury Hall||SH, 8-0||Waipio|
|6*||Feb. 8||Waipahu vs. Makua Lani||ML, 1-0 (PKs)||Waipio|
|7||Feb. 8||KS-Hawaii vs. Kapaa||Kapa, 3-1||Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium|
|8||Feb. 8||Saint Louis vs. Kalaheo||StL, 1-0||Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium|
|9*||Feb. 9||Seabury Hall vs. Makua Lani||ML, 2-1||Waipio|
|10*||Feb. 9||KS-Hawaii vs. Kalaheo||Kalh, 2-0||Waipio|
|11||Feb. 9||Kapaa vs. Saint Louis||Kapa, 1-0||Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium|
|* — consolation|