OIA shut out of boys soccer D-I semifinals

After a stunning turn of events on Thursday afternoon, Friday’s HHSAA Division I boys’ soccer semifinals will include three neighbor-island teams and zero OIA squads.

Instead, it will feature two MIL teams in fourth-seeded Baldwin and King Kekaulike, as well as No. 3 seed Hawaii Prep from the BIIF and top seed Punahou from the ILH.

The upset that made this scenario possible was King Kekaulike’s 2-1 victory over No. 2 Kalani at Waipahu. The Falcons entered Thursday undefeated at 12-0-1 and gave up just one goal all season, until Na Ali’i’s Kade Taniguchi and Jerycho Medeiros stunned Kalani with long-distance goals.

Despite also finishing the regular season undefeated, King Kekaulike (9-0-3) finished second in the MIL to Baldwin because of the league’s point system. Na Ali’i played the Bears twice this season, playing them to a 1-1 draw the first time before a 3-1 victory on Jan. 10.

“Everyone knew that we were underdogs. We’re used to being underdogs in the MIL,” Medeiros said. “We came out here, tried our hardest and came out with the win.”

“We feel great,” Taniguchi added. “We just had that mind-set before the game that we’re here to win and that’s pretty much it.”

King Kekaulike beat Pearl City 2-1 in Maui on Monday, while Kalani was idle because the Falcons earned a bye as the OIA champion. Regardless of if Na Ali’i plays for bronze or gold on Saturday, they will have played four matches over six days. Although it is a tough ask, co-head coach Tye Perdido believes his team is well-equipped for it.

“We got in really good prep before the season started in training the guys, running them and making sure we were doing stuff specific to soccer as opposed to the cross-country type of running,” he said. “Since then, we’ve just been maintaining it and the guys have been playing a lot of minutes recently so we’ve been trying to just get them rested, get them rehabbing in order to be ready for this tournament since it is pretty much back-to-back games.”

Na Ali’i’s training has already paid dividends, as they appeared to be the more well-conditioned team despite Kalani’s bye. The Falcons made 14 substitutions, although head coach Michael Ching attributed that more toward “trying to find a key spark.” King Kekaulike used three.

After winning its first HHSAA title in 2013, Kalani’s hopes of winning state crown No. 2 came to a fortuitous end on Thursday. To Ching, who was at the helm during the team’s memorable run five years ago, the program remains in solid shape.

“I told the boys that I’m very proud and we had a great year. We went to Japan and we won the OIA championship,” Ching said. “It’s always tough to lose, but when you get beat, King Kekaulike was just better than us today.

“It doesn’t necessarily end here. We have a lot of juniors and we only lose around three or four juniors that started. We’ll use this as motivation to be back.”

King Kekaulike takes on Hawaii Prep at 5 p.m. at the main field of Waipio Peninsula Soccer Complex, while Punahou and Baldwin’s matchup takes place right after. Baldwin advanced to the semis with a 2-0 victory over Kapolei, while Hawaii Prep outlasted ‘Iolani 2-1. Punahou finished Thursday’s nightcap with a 3-0 victory over Mililani.

Division I

Match #DateMatchupTime/ScoresSite
1Feb. 12'Iolani vs. MoanaluaIol, 4-0'Iolani
2Feb. 12Kaiser vs. KapoleiKapo, 3-1Kaiser
3Feb. 12King Kekaulike vs. Pearl CityKK, 2-1War Memorial Stadium
4Feb. 12Waiakea vs. MililaniMil, 3-1Waiakea
5Feb. 15(4) Baldwin vs. KapoleiBald, 2-0Waipahu
6Feb. 15(2) Kalani vs. King KekaulikeKK, 2-1Waipahu
7Feb. 15(3) Hawaii Prep vs. 'IolaniHPA, 2-1Waipahu
8Feb. 15(1) Punahou vs. MililaniPun, 3-0Waipahu
9*Feb. 16Kapolei vs. MililaniKapo, 5-2Waipio
10*Feb. 16Kalani vs. 'IolaniIol, 1-0Waipio
11Feb. 16King Kekaulike vs. Hawaii PrepHPA, 3-2Waipio
12Feb. 16Baldwin vs. PunahouBald, 3-1Waipio
13*Feb. 17Kapolei vs. 'IolaniIol, 1-0Waipio
14*Feb. 17King Kekaulike vs. PunahouPun, 2-1Waipio
15Feb. 17Hawaii Prep vs. BaldwinPPD., co-champsWaipio
* — consolation


  1. VIkingspride February 16, 2018 12:26 am

    Give it up for Hawaii Prep, they’ve jumped up to D-I just this season after dominating D-II for the past couple of years and they’re answering a lot of doubts.

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