Soraya Santos knows the jitters, Naomi Takata knows compassion and Frank Baumholtz knows what it’s like to have a heartbeat again.
Pearl City’s stunning 1-0 sudden victory over No. 1 seed Kamehameha on Thursday night is instantly one of the biggest quarterfinal upsets in recent memory. Pearl City (15-1), the OIA’s third-place team, last won the state title in 2016. Kamehameha (12-2-1), the ILH champion, was seeking its first title since ’14.
The Chargers pulled out the clutch victory as their coach was feeling a bit stressed.
“My heart is beating again,” Baumholtz said after the thrilling win. “Their defense is so tough. Our defense was fabulous. My goalie (Takata) was fantastic. She made some great saves. Then she got a piece of three of those PKs.
Takata felt for her counterpart, Kamehameha’s Kendal Stovall.
“She’s my good friend. I feel heartbroken for her,” Takata said.
Santos delivered the game-winning, sudden-death penalty kick after having a big case of the jitters as she walked from midfield to the box. The freshman calmed down, took her time and delivered, and the Chargers raced to her side in celebration.
“My friends said to have confidence in myself. I was feeling all that pressure, but then I thought, why am I having all this pressure. This is just like practice,” Santos said.
Her coach was with her all the way.
“We’ve been practicing shootouts since November,” Baumholtz said. “She missed a couple of them during practice the past week. She went out there and I said a little prayer for her.”
It wouldn’t have happened without a save by Takata. Another freshman, Kaila Takai, the daughter of the late congressman K. Mark Takai, also delivered a PK.
Kamehameha dominated regulation in terms of attacks, but simply couldn’t convert as Takata, a junior goal keeper, used all of her hand skills, footwork and leaping ability to make save after save.
Once the match entered overtime, the momentum switched. Pearl City got two clean looks at the goal. Santos had a tough angle from the right side, but got off a nifty kick toward the right post. Her attempt glanced off the bar, however, and the match remained tied at nil-nil.
A few minutes later, the Chargers’ season-long leading scorer, Daelenn Tokunaga, had a chance to score from the right. She drew the goalkeeper, Stovall, but her attempt was wide left by a couple of yards.
The second overtime ended without a score.
Once the match entered penalty kids, the drama only heightened. The first set of five kickers for each team landed four balls in the net.
* Penalty kicks, first set
Kylie Minamishim, Kamehameha: kick good
Piper Collado, Pearl City: kick good
Kaulana Kanno, Kamehameha: kick good
Hunter Malaki, Pearl City: miss, off upper right post
Carley Park, Kamehameha: kick good
Daelenn Tokunaga, Pearl City: kick good
Kailee-Rae Quartero, Kamehameha: miss, high
Reyann Lee, Pearl City: kick good
D’awncey Jones-Black, Kamehameha: kick good
Bree Fuller, Pearl City: kick good
** Penalty kicks, second set (sudden death)
Shalynai Liat Naputi, Kamehameha: kick good
Caylie Uyema, Pearl City: kick good
Nicole Wong, Kamehameha: kick good
Kaila Takai, Pearl City: kick good
Rachael Tagatauli, Kamehameha: miss, deflected off top bar
Alexis Aleio, Pearl City: miss, left post
Leah Feato, Kamehameha: miss, deflected.
Soraya Santos, Pearl City: kick good, match over