Maui Warrior boys soccer ties with Nā Aliʻi

Maui+Warrior+boys+soccer+ties+with+N%C4%81+Ali%CA%BBi

Photo by Reid Cairme

Kaisyn Lee heads a ball near the Warriors' goal. Two upcountry soccer powerhouses clashed at Kana'iaupuni Stadium on January 11, 2013. The Kamehameha Maui and King Kekaulike High School boys soccer teams tied 1-1.

By Reid Cairme, Sports Editor

The Kamehameha Maui Warriors fought a fierce battle with King Kekaulike High School’s Nā Aliʻi at Kanaʻiaupuni Stadium on Friday, January 11, 2013. The Warriors tied Nā Aliʻi 1-1 in a heated match.

This game puts the Warriors in third place for the MIL season so far. They will need to win every game from now on in order to go to the state competition.

“We need to win out and hope for the best,” Head Coach Kimo Correa said.

With Baldwin and King Kekaulike tied in first (27 points) and Lahainaluna ahead of KSM by only one point (23 to 22 points), the Warriors will also need these  teams to rack up a loss or two to move up in the standings.

“We still have a chance,” Junior Chandler Alo said.

The Warriors came out strong right at the start with Junior Avinash Singh and Sophomore Bryant Kubo each trying for a goal. Kekaulike goalie Cameron Baker blocked both attempts as well as nearly every shot made by the Warriors later in the game.

Baker made some spectacular saves including one that he deflected into the crossbar. Rather than bouncing in, the ball shot straight up and rolled down the top of the goal to drop off the back – no Warrior score.

In another amazing save in the second half, Baker went completely vertical, launching himself sideways just enough to tip the ball past the side goal post, inches away from the mouth of the goal.

Early in the game, Nā Aliʻi made two quick score attempt, one right after the other. The Warriors’ senior Acer Pahukoa blocked the first attempt, but didn’t recover quickly enough to block the rebound, and KKHS surprised the Warriors by scoring within the first six minutes of the game.

“The quick goal was shocking,” Coach Correa said. “It put us in a tight spot.”

The Warriors were determined to even up the score. When Chandler Alo attempted a goal with an assist from senior Stephen Barut, a KKHS defender’s knee dug into Chandler’s thigh while he went for a header and went down.

“They needed my help,” Alo said. “I got back on my feet five minutes later.”

Alo, freshman Brennen Joaquin and sophomore Micah Alo continued to take shots at the Nā Aliʻi goal, but were denied by Baker.

“Cameron is a great goalie,” Micah said.

The first half ended 1-0 in favor of Nā Aliʻi.

The Warriors came back in the second half, still struggling to make a goal.

Nā Aliʻi attempted to score several times against the Warriors but senior Devonte Llanes blocked and saved for KS.

“Devonte did great for someone who just came out to soccer for the first time,” Coach Correa said.

In the meantime, the Warriors’ offense dominated as far of amount of time in control of the ball, but lacked when it came to getting the ball in the goal.

In the last four minutes, Micah Alo made a much hoped-for goal for the Warriors.

“King Kekaulike has a great defense,” he said, “but my team was amazing, and we pushed through and played hard.”

Despite several more good attempts to score, at the end of the night, the game ended with the Warriors tied with Nā Aliʻi, 1-1.