Soccer Saga, Episode 1: Chargers will be back

Resting on your laurels is not a good idea when you’re holding a 2-0 lead.

Not that resting is exactly what the Pearl City girls soccer team did against Campbell in the state quarterfinals Saturday, but somehow, the Chargers gave the game away, allowing the Sabers to rally for a 2-2 tie and winning a 5-3 penalty kick session.

Pearl City senior Jordan Gomes, a workhorse at center fullback who made a huge save on a penalty kick as a substitute goalkeeper in the first half, was so distraught she couldn’t speak to reporters afterward.

But Chargers junior fullback Kylie Lewis didn’t hesitate to talk as her team departed the bench area at Kamehameha’s Kunuiakea Stadium to clear the way for the later match.

One of the assistant coaches said something like, “You would have to pick Kylie.”

The assistant was intimating that Lewis does not hold back and might say something not very public relationy (yes, we know, that is not a word).

Lewis immediately said, “I like to cuss.” But, with the assistant coach right there, she didn’t.

“Let’s put it this way, we’re bummed that we didn’t get the outcome we wanted,” she said. “You start to think a two-goal lead is safe, but it’s not.”

Lewis doesn’t hold back on the field, either. She is a physical defender and got in the way of many Sabers opportunities.

That style backfired at the most of inopportune times. A hard sliding tackle just outside the box knocked over Campbell star Aliani Lorenzo, and the Sabers’ Aryanna Cabudol converted a 21-yard direct kick to tie it 2-all.

Bad timing. It was the final minute of the match.

There’s no second-guessing the hard tackle, though. Had Lewis not made that play, Lorenzo would have had a glaring scoring chance.

Interestingly, the call could have gone either way. Lewis clearly got the ball with her extended foot first before Lorenzo fell over Lewis’ leg.

Pearl City coach Dr. Frank C. Baumholtz III was, of course, disappointed with the end result of the match, but he was smiling and looking at the positive side after the Chargers’ state-best 31st appearance in the states.

“I get to go bicycle riding more now,” said the coach, who has been part of the team 27 of those 31 seasons. “I lost about 8 pounds this season. This was one of the more stressful years with the girls — grades, boys, following rules. We have one rule on this team — be a good girl. It’s tough when you can’t get that sometimes.”

That doesn’t mean Baumholtz isn’t looking forward to the Chargers of next season. He is. He just wants to get on that bike for a while.

“We have bright future. We’re very, very young.”

The Chargers have a freshman sparkplug at center midfield — Brittny Ihara; a sophomore speedster at halfback and wing — Randi Fontes; a sophomore play-making and scoring threat — Bethany Nazareno; and a junior starting goalkeeper with lots of state experience — Sydney Young.

Gomes and standout striker Daelenn Tokunaga will be graduating, but Lewis is coming back.

As for the close loss, Baumholtz said, “Somebody’s gotta win. That was a helluva game.”


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