Star-Bulletin Sports

Saturday, February 16, 2002


Baldwin grins and Bears it

By Jason Kaneshiro

Baldwin's hopes for a third consecutive state girls soccer championship are still alive -- barely.

The Bears survived a persistent Punahou attack through regulation and two overtimes and rallied from a two-goal deficit in penalty kicks to beat the Buffanblu 2-1 last night and advanced to tonight's title game of the Meadow Gold Girls State Soccer Championship.

Baldwin faces Mililani tonight at 7 at Waipio Soccer Park. The Trojans blanked Na Alii in the second semifinal 1-0.

"We were just lucky tonight, Punahou outplayed us," Baldwin coach Kawika Keator said. "Punahou played awesome, but our girls kept on fighting."

The championship game is set for 7 p.m. at Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park in Waipahu.

Punahou controlled most of the match, outshooting Baldwin 22-8. But the Bears' defense, and perhaps fate, thwarted the Buffanblu time and again.

Punahou had a shot bang off the crossbar at the end of regulation and again late in the second overtime.

The Buffanblu had another opportunity in overtime as a loose ball dancing on the Baldwin goal line was kicked away by Baldwin sweeper Tori Kim to preserve the 1-1 tie.

"It's one of those cases where you'd rather be lucky than good," Punahou coach Jorge Barbosa said. "That's the way the creature is."

"Our girls played well, that's the bottom line, that's what we're proud of. It just didn't go our way."

Punahou took a 1-0 lead seven minutes, 43 seconds into the second half when Rachael Lau booted in a rebound off a shot by Charlene Lui.

Baldwin tied it with about 15 minutes left in regulation on Koren Takeyama's shot over the head of Punahou goalkeeper Allison Lipsher.

"I was praying to myself that I could get one breakaway or one shot," Takeyama said. "Kami (Kapaku) passed me the ball and I just one-touched it into the net."

The teams went scoreless in two 10-minute overtime periods, forcing penalty kicks.

Baldwin missed on its first kick and the second was saved by Lipsher. Punahou connected on both of its shots to take a 2-0 lead.

Baldwin goalkeeper Mahie Atay, who finished with 15 saves, kept the Bears alive by blocking the next two shots.

"I knew I had to help the team out," Atay said. "I wasn't worried, even though we missed our first two shots. I knew our girls could put it in."

Baldwin's Christie Trenholme, Taryn Apo and Kami Kapaku converted on their shots to give the Bears a 3-2 lead.

Punahou's Michelle Quensell, who won Thursday's quarterfinal match against Pearl City with a penalty kick, sent her shot wide to trigger a Baldwin celebration.

"It looked pretty grim there in the beginning," Keator said. "But we just hung in there, and Mahie made so many saves."

Mililani 1, Aiea 0: The Trojans (13-0-1) set up a rematch of last year's state championship game by beating the Na Alii (11-2-2). The defensive struggle was decided by a goal by Mililani junior Liane Tom at the 68:14 mark of the match.

Mililani goalkeeper Eryn Kishimoto faced only four Aiea shots and made two saves. Mililani lost to Baldwin 2-0 in last year's state final. Aiea faces Punahou at 5 p.m. in the third-place match. King Kekaulike plays Hawaii Prep at 3 p.m. in the consolation championship.

Fifth-place bracket

Pearl City 3, Kalaheo 1: Chante Figueroa scored two second-half goals to carry the Chargers past the Mustangs.

Kailua 2, Hilo 1: Anela Gonzales' goal at the 68-minute mark gave the Surfriders the win.

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