Bears beat Nā Ali’i in overtime thriller


Photo by Kainoa Deguilmo

Coach Kane Pelezzotto raises his arms in celebration of the Bears 1-0 win over King Kekaulike at the MIL Division 1 Boys Soccer playoffs, Wednesday, February 11, at Kanaʻiaupuni Stadium. Baldwin advances to the state tournament, which begins next Friday, February 20.

By Kainoa Deguilmo, Sports Writer

The Baldwin Bears beat the King Kekaulike Nā Ali’i 1-0 in an overtime thriller on Wednesday February 11 in Kana’iaupuni Stadium. The result of that Maui Interscholastic League division playoff put the Bears in second, and they will be the second team to represent Maui in the state tournament.

Beirne Teshima scored the single goal off a header in overtime.

“The ball went wide, and in my mind I was thinking ‘I have to get to that ball,’” Teshima said.

Teshima suffered an injury in the second half, but came back in.

“At first I asked my coach, ‘Will I go back in?’ and he said, ‘Yup, so get ready,’” he said.

Each team played excellent defense and brought the game into overtime.

“Our coach just kept telling us to fight until the end,” Teshima said. “For our next game, we just need to follow up what we do, because we had a lot of opportunities that we didn’t follow up in the first half.”

Baldwin also advanced to the Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Boys Soccer Championships in first place last year.

“Before the game I told them, moments like this will not come often, and to enjoy it whether they win or lose,” said Coach Kane Palazzotto, the Baldwin head coach.

The game stayed close and there were many nail biters.

“First of all, hats off to King Kekaulike,” said Palazzotto, “We played a tough team tonight, and it’s a tough loss for them, but a good win for us. Both teams battled tonight.”

Baldwin has a chance to have a rematch with the Warriors, the MIL champions. The two teams switched places in the standings this year. Last year, the Bears were first and the Warriors second, but in the end, the two faced off in the third-place game at the state tournament. It could happen again.

“They are a really tough team,” Palazzotto said. “Hopefully we both represent Maui well and make it to the semi-finals. We just have to take it one game at a time.”

King Kekaulike fought to the end the whole night.

“My boys were firing tonight, and we were dominating in the beginning,” said King Kekaulike head coach Ryan Arakawa.

The scrappy play of Nā Ali’i last night makes them hopeful for next season.

“They got a good taste tonight of what to expect [next year],” Coach Arakawa said.