From fifth in the OIA to the state semifinals, Pearl City is making a run to the championship

Pearl City celebrated after beating Mililani to advance to the state semifinals in Division I. Photo by Darryl Oumi/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

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.

>> PHOTO GALLERY: Pearl City vs. Mililani

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.”

Division I

Match #DateMatchupTime/ScoresSite
1Feb. 3KS-Maui vs. CampbellKSM, 1-0KS-Maui
2Feb. 3Moanalua vs. KailuaMoan, 1-0Moanalua
3Feb. 3Hilo vs. Pearl CityPC, 3-1Hilo Bayfront
4Feb. 3Punahou vs. AieaPun, 1-0Punahou
5Feb. 6(4) Konawaena vs. MoanaluaKona, 1-0Waipio
6Feb. 6(3) King Kekaulike vs. PunahouKK, 1-0Waipio
7Feb. 6(2) Mililani vs. Pearl CityPC, 2-1Waipio
8Feb. 6(1) Kamehameha vs. KS-MauiKSK, 1-0Waipio
9*Feb. 7Moanalua vs. KS-MauiKSM, 3-0Waipio
10*Feb. 7Punahou vs. MililaniMil, 1-0 (PKs)Waipio
11Feb. 7Konawaena vs. KamehamehaKSK, 3-0Waipio
12Feb. 7King Kekaulike vs. Pearl CityKK, 2-0Waipio
13*Feb. 8KS-Maui vs. MililaniMil, 2-1Waipio
14*Feb. 8Konawaena vs. Pearl CityTie, 2-2Waipio
15Feb. 8Kamehameha vs. King KekaulikeKSK, 1-0Waipio
* — consolation

Division II

Match #DateMatchupTime/ScoresSite
1Feb. 5Sacred Hearts vs. WaimeaWaim, 3-2 (3-1 PKs)Waipio
2Feb. 5Seabury Hall vs. KapaaKapa, 1-0 (2 OT)Waipio
3Feb. 5Waianae vs. NanakuliWain, 2-1Waipio
4Feb. 5KS-Hawaii vs. RadfordKSH, 6-0Waipio
5*Feb. 6Sacred Hearts vs. Seabury HallSHA, 4-1Waipio
6*Feb. 6Nanakuli vs. RadfordRad, 2-1 (4-2 PKs)Waipio
7Feb. 6(1) Hawaii Prep vs. WaimeaHPA, 6-0Waipio
8Feb. 6(4) Kalaheo vs. KapaaKapa, 2-0Waipio
9Feb. 6(2) Kauai vs. WaianaeKaui, 12-0Waipio
10Feb. 6(3) Mid-Pacific vs. KS-HawaiiMPI, 4-2Waipio
11*Feb. 7Waimea vs. KalaheoWaim, 1-0Waipio
12*Feb. 7Waianae vs. KS-HawaiiKSH, 8-0Waipio
13Feb. 7Kauai vs. Mid-PacificKaui, 2-1Waipio
14Feb. 7Hawaii Prep vs. KapaaHPA, 3-0Waipio
15*Feb. 8Sacred Hearts vs. RadfordTie, 0-0Waipio
16*Feb. 8Waimea vs. KS-HawaiiKSH, 3-0Waipio
17*Feb. 8Mid-Pacific vs. KapaaTie, 2-2Waipio
18Feb. 8Kauai vs. Hawaii PrepHPA, 4-1Waipio
* — consolation


  1. Opinion February 7, 2020 4:23 am

    Punahou had a bunch of articles written up on them this season. Yet they lose to King Kekaulike and there’s nothing written about it. Wasn’t that the biggest upset yesterday?

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