D-II BOYS STATE SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP
RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Mid-Pacific's Marc Obando celebrated after scoring against Kapaa's Parker Blaylock last night.
Mid-Pacific captures D-II crown in penalty kicks
In the end, the fresher team in green came out ahead.
Second-seeded Mid-Pacific got a clutch kick from Marc Obando to edge unseeded Kapaa 1-0 in penalty kicks to capture the JN Automotive Group/HHSAA Boys Soccer Division II State Championships last night.
State Boys SoccerDivision II
At Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park
Mid-Pacific 1, Kapaa 0 (PK, 4-2)
Honokaa 3, Kamehameha-Hawaii 2
Seabury Hall 4, Kauai 3
Christian Liberty 1, Kailua 1
A tense crowd of about 4,000 watched at Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium. It was Kapaa's fourth match in four nights, while Kapaa had a bye on opening night and came through with the key penalty kicks.
"Our whole season was aimed at this," Mid-Pacific goalkeeper Adam Bailey said, noting the Interscholastic League of Honolulu competition with D-I programs. "The ILH season was the toughest schedule and it was frustrating sometimes."
The Owls finished 9-6-1, including three wins at the state tourney. Mid-Pacific's first soccer state crown was bittersweet in a small way for coach Marc Miranda, who had hoped to face his father, Honokaa coach Maurice Miranda, in the finals. Honokaa fell to Kapaa in the semifinals.
"It's about establishing a program. This is gonna bring a winning mentality to the school, and the kids and the parents have been right there," Miranda said.
Going through a physical 100 minutes before PKs, though, took a toll.
"I don't want to go to PKs ever, stomach-wise," Miranda said.
After the 0-0 battle went scoreless through two overtimes, MPI got PKs from Jared Domingo and Brandt Kuioka for a 2-1 lead. Kapaa's ace scorer, Chance Bukoski, then missed off the right post.
The miss shocked both teams.
"I had him beat," Bukoski said of Bailey. "I saw the direction he was going. (The kick) was right on. I thought it was going in."
Cody Sullivan responded with a kick into net for a 3-1 MPI lead. Kapaa freshman Taylor Langstaff cut it to 3-2 with his kick.
MPI's Joel Saito followed with a miss off the crossbar to give Kapaa a big opportunity, but Glen Miguel's kick ricocheted off the leg of Bailey, who was leaning in the wrong direction.
In the fifth go-round, Obando rocketed his shot into net on the left to clinch the win for the Owls.
Bukoski, a 5-foot-11 standout, was hounded throughout the match by Rigel Sestak-Hart, Brendan Wesley-Smith and just about any MPI defender in the vicinity.
"He's a great ballhandler. We tried to make him go to his weak foot," Miranda said of the senior.
With both teams in green and white uniforms, they were clones in many ways. Each had eight corner kicks, one offsides call and similar shot counts (18 for Kapaa and 16 for MPI). Even Bailey and his counterpart, Blaylock, each had three saves.
One difference was in fouls. Kapaa (8-2-1) was whistled for 18, while MPI had just seven.
Opportunities were missed by both sides in regulation and overtime. An apparent Mid-Pac goal at the 46-minute mark was ruled out by an offsides call. At the 55th minute, a bullet by Bukoski was stopped by Bailey.
Kapaa's Joe Velasco missed from 10 yards out at the 72-minute mark. In extra time, Obando missed a 10-yarder of his own.