Four teams finished above Pearl City in the OIA Division I playoffs this season.
Now, the Chargers have advanced farther than all four of those teams in the Division I portion of the Queen’s Medical Center/HHSAA Girls Soccer State Championships. They got there by dispatching league champion Mililani 2-1 in the quarterfinals on Thursday night at Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium.
As a matter of fact, Pearl City (12-3-1) is the only unseeded team that made it to the semifinals. The Chargers join top seed and ILH champ Kamehameha (9-0-2), third seed and MIL titleist King Kekaulike (10-0-1) and fourth seed and BIIF winner Konawaena (14-1) in the final four tonight.
Next up for the Chargers is the Valley Isle’s Na Alii.
Frank Baumholtz III, the Pearl City coach, does not have two-time player of the year Sunshine Fontes — now at UCLA — in the lineup. But what he does have is a spunky, young group that appears ready to take its best shot at the school’s first state title since 2016, when Fontes was a freshman.
Pearl City’s Soraya Santos scored late in the first half Thursday to erase a 1-0 Mililani lead. Later, early in the second half, Kaila Takai got the game-winner. Tristyn Tanaka assisted on both Chargers goals.
And then there was the super save by Pearl City goalkeeper Jo-Zayah Iriate, who, with time running out, made a diving stop on a breakaway by the Trojans’ Kailee Wilson. Another golden chance, a drive by Aubrey Dunaway, hit the crossbar.
That’s how close it was.
To say Baumholtz was nervous would be an understatement.
“If you were standing next to me, I’d have grabbed your heart and put it in (my chest) for support,” he said.
But now these OIA fifth-place Chargers have nothing to lose. Two more wins and the school will have a sixth state crown to go with the koa trophies won in 1990, ’91, ’93, ’97 and 2016.
That trick won’t be easy. Three league titleists are still in the mix, including the Warriors from Kapalama, who are the defending champions.
But no matter how far Pearl City makes it among the three possibilities — semifinal loss, final loss or championship victory — you can bet Baumholtz will have his Chargers back again doing some statewide damage in 2021.
“We expect to have 12 juniors and 10 seniors trying out,” he said. “The competition is going to be very tough. We should have a very good team next year.”
This year’s team is going out and taking what it can get and getting pretty far doing it.
“I thought it was a really good team effort,” Takai said. “We had some difficulties in the OIA and came together at the right time. Coach B really had faith in us the whole season and he kept us together.”
|1||Feb. 3||KS-Maui vs. Campbell||KSM, 1-0||KS-Maui|
|2||Feb. 3||Moanalua vs. Kailua||Moan, 1-0||Moanalua|
|3||Feb. 3||Hilo vs. Pearl City||PC, 3-1||Hilo Bayfront|
|4||Feb. 3||Punahou vs. Aiea||Pun, 1-0||Punahou|
|5||Feb. 6||(4) Konawaena vs. Moanalua||Kona, 1-0||Waipio|
|6||Feb. 6||(3) King Kekaulike vs. Punahou||KK, 1-0||Waipio|
|7||Feb. 6||(2) Mililani vs. Pearl City||PC, 2-1||Waipio|
|8||Feb. 6||(1) Kamehameha vs. KS-Maui||KSK, 1-0||Waipio|
|9*||Feb. 7||Moanalua vs. KS-Maui||KSM, 3-0||Waipio|
|10*||Feb. 7||Punahou vs. Mililani||Mil, 1-0 (PKs)||Waipio|
|11||Feb. 7||Konawaena vs. Kamehameha||KSK, 3-0||Waipio|
|12||Feb. 7||King Kekaulike vs. Pearl City||KK, 2-0||Waipio|
|13*||Feb. 8||KS-Maui vs. Mililani||Mil, 2-1||Waipio|
|14*||Feb. 8||Konawaena vs. Pearl City||Tie, 2-2||Waipio|
|15||Feb. 8||Kamehameha vs. King Kekaulike||KSK, 1-0||Waipio|
|* — consolation|
|1||Feb. 5||Sacred Hearts vs. Waimea||Waim, 3-2 (3-1 PKs)||Waipio|
|2||Feb. 5||Seabury Hall vs. Kapaa||Kapa, 1-0 (2 OT)||Waipio|
|3||Feb. 5||Waianae vs. Nanakuli||Wain, 2-1||Waipio|
|4||Feb. 5||KS-Hawaii vs. Radford||KSH, 6-0||Waipio|
|5*||Feb. 6||Sacred Hearts vs. Seabury Hall||SHA, 4-1||Waipio|
|6*||Feb. 6||Nanakuli vs. Radford||Rad, 2-1 (4-2 PKs)||Waipio|
|7||Feb. 6||(1) Hawaii Prep vs. Waimea||HPA, 6-0||Waipio|
|8||Feb. 6||(4) Kalaheo vs. Kapaa||Kapa, 2-0||Waipio|
|9||Feb. 6||(2) Kauai vs. Waianae||Kaui, 12-0||Waipio|
|10||Feb. 6||(3) Mid-Pacific vs. KS-Hawaii||MPI, 4-2||Waipio|
|11*||Feb. 7||Waimea vs. Kalaheo||Waim, 1-0||Waipio|
|12*||Feb. 7||Waianae vs. KS-Hawaii||KSH, 8-0||Waipio|
|13||Feb. 7||Kauai vs. Mid-Pacific||Kaui, 2-1||Waipio|
|14||Feb. 7||Hawaii Prep vs. Kapaa||HPA, 3-0||Waipio|
|15*||Feb. 8||Sacred Hearts vs. Radford||Tie, 0-0||Waipio|
|16*||Feb. 8||Waimea vs. KS-Hawaii||KSH, 3-0||Waipio|
|17*||Feb. 8||Mid-Pacific vs. Kapaa||Tie, 2-2||Waipio|
|18||Feb. 8||Kauai vs. Hawaii Prep||HPA, 4-1||Waipio|
|* — consolation|