Bears add to logjam Thompson scores both goals in win over Na Alii; two points separate top three D-I teams
Jan. 21, 2012 KAHULUI - Mattias Thompson is back, and so is the Baldwin High School boys soccer team.
Thompson, the Maui Interscholastic League Boys Soccer Player of the Year in 2010, scored two goals to lead the Bears to a 2-0 win over King Kekaulike in a pivotal match Friday evening at Keopuolani Park.
The Bears' third straight victory lifts them to 8-3-0 in the wild MIL Division I race. Defending champion Na Alii (6-4-1) suffered a major blow to their postseason hopes.
Baldwin is third in the D-I standings with 24 points, two behind Maui High and one back of Lahainaluna. The Sabers have played 12 games, one more than the Bears and Lunas. Two teams will qualify for next month's state tournament after the 14-match regular season.
Thompson, who missed all of the 2010-11 regular season with a broken leg, has 15 goals this season.
"Basically now, my hamstring and my calf are bothering me - I have just been taking a lot of ibuprofen to play the games," said Thompson, who next season will play for NCAA Division II Lenoir Rhyne University in North Carolina. "My broken leg is fully healed, but the aftermath has been bothering me. I'm not fully at 100 percent, but I am working my hardest at practice and giving my all for my guys. I'm trying to play like I'm 100 percent."
Thompson put the Bears on top in the 22nd minute, tapping home a cross pass from Nicholas Lawrence. Thompson was snuffed on a penalty kick by King Kekaulike goalkeeper Cameron Baker in the 38th minute, but scored in the 50th from the far right side after a pass from Mitchell Marrs.
One minute later, Thompson had a goal called back for interfering with Baker.
Baldwin and Lahainaluna meet on Wednesday at Keopuolani Park. The Bears then finish with Seabury Hall and St. Anthony, which each have just two victories, while the Lunas have a pair of matches against Hana, which has lost all nine of its games. Maui High will face Kamehameha Maui and King Kekaulike.
"We know it is ours to take if we take care of business," said Baldwin coach Kane Palazzotto. "This really sets up a big game against Lahaina on Wednesday. We got King K out of the way and now we are worried about Lahaina. I'm pretty sure it will come down to that match, but if we don't get a result in that match we could be on the outside looking in because Maui High is right there."
Palazzotto moved Dean Phillips from center midfield to defense earlier this month and it has paid dividends - third-string goalkeeper Kyson-Lee Kaiama, playing because of injuries, was tested very little on Friday, even in a physical contest that King Kekaulike controlled early.
"That was a tough match," Palazzotto said. "King K is a big rival for us, it is an Upcountry-downtown thing, so we always know it is going to be a tough game when we play them. It started off a little slow for my liking, but the boys pulled it through."
Lahainaluna beat Baldwin 4-3 last month.
"We know we need every point out there right now," Thompson said. "We are trying not to think about the race as much as we can. Our motto basically since we have been losing is, 'Just play for each other.' We were kind of letting our egos get in the way and I am just trying to get the guys together as a team."
Palazzotto is happy to have Thompson on the field, no matter how slowed he may be.
"He is the former MIL Player of the Year, what else can I say?" Palazzotto said. "He is healthy somewhat."
Na Alii are not completely out of the race.
"I thought it was a pretty equal match," said King Kekaulike coach Ryan Arakawa. "Baldwin just got that early goal. We kept trying to get in there and get a goal, but it didn't go in for us. We need the next three and we'll see what happens. It has been a crazy season."
Bears back on top Three second-half goals lift Baldwin over Maui High
Jan. 13, 2012 KAHULUI - The Baldwin High School boys soccer team scored four unanswered goals to rally past Maui High 4-1 on Thursday afternoon, taking back first place in the tight Maui Interscholastic League Division I standings.
Keoni Kapisi gave the Sabers (5-2-2) the early lead at Keopuolani Park with his goal in the 21st minute, but the Bears (7-3-0) responded quickly, getting a goal from Aukai Akoi five minutes later.
Baldwin then got three second-half goals from Kasey Kuge (51st), Nicholas Lawrence (58th) and Mattias Thompson (73rd) to seal the win, bouncing back from a 3-1 loss at Kamehameha Maui on Tuesday that dropped the Bears into second place in the MIL behind Lahainaluna (6-2-1).
"I attribute it to pride," Baldwin coach Kane Palazzotto said of his team's second-half surge. "We came off the half tied 1-1 and we knew our backs were against the wall. We just kept telling the boys this is the biggest step we have to take if we want to go forward and win this league, and the boys pulled through and it was great. They played tough, they played hard and they played physical."
With just over three weeks left in the league season, just seven points separate leader Baldwin from last-place Kamehameha Maui. And the Warriors are by no means out of the race, having played just half of their 14 games while all other D-I contenders have played at least nine.
Palazzotto knows his team still has a long way to go to secure its second MIL?title in three years.
"The bigger scope is that it keeps us there, it keeps us in the hunt," Palazzotto said of the Bears' latest win. "We've got another four games to go and we'll take it a game at a time, but it's a good start."
In the girls game late Thursday, Maui High (5-3-3) handed Baldwin its first loss in three seasons, 3-2.
The Bears, who had already clinched their third straight MIL title with a win over Kamehameha Maui on Tuesday, fell to 12-1-0 on the year.
Goal scorers were not reported. *for more information click HERE
MIL soccer: Thompson, Ewaliko post hat tricks
Dec. 17, 2012 Mattias Thompson and Keelan Ewaliko each scored three goals for the Baldwin High School boys soccer team in a 12-0 victory over Hana on Friday night at Keopuolani Park.
Kasey Kuge added two goals for the Bears, who improved to 2-0-0 in Maui Interscholastic League play. Dean Phillips, Miles VanDyke, Zach Coloma-Mariano and Ricky Casco also scored.
The Dragons fell to 0-3-0.
* BALDWIN GIRLS 1, HANA 0: At Keopuolani Park, Lindsey Miyamoto scored the lone goal of the game in the 30th minute for Baldwin.
The Bears, who had the minimum amount of players because of the school's senior ball, remained undefeated at 5-0-0.
Hana dropped to 2-3-0.
* KAMEHAMEHA MAUI GIRLS 1, KING KEKAULIKE 0: At Kanaiaupuni Stadium, Lily Higashino scored in the 26th minute for Kamehameha Maui (3-1-1).
King Kekaulike's record fell to 2-2-0. *For more information click HERE
Baldwin keeps pace Thompson scores twice to help Bears down league-leading Lunas 4-0
Jan. 26, 2012 KAHULUI - For the Baldwin High School boys soccer team, the march continues.
For Lahainaluna, the wait starts.
The Bears grinded out a 4-0 win over the Lunas in a pivotal match Wednesday night at Keopuolani Park to keep control of their own destiny for the Maui Interscholastic League crown.
Baldwin improved to 9-3-0 in the tight league race, and with 27 points, the Bears are four behind the Lunas (10-3-1) with two matches to play. Lahainaluna, with official notification of a forfeit victory over Hana scheduled for Saturday, is done with the regular season.
Maui High, King Kekaulike and Kamehameha Maui are also still alive for one of the two MIL Division I berths to the state tournament.
"Basically, that was a championship-caliber match for them, for us it is just another three points," Baldwin coach Kane Palazzotto said after his team's fourth straight win. "We didn't clinch tonight, we didn't gain a state berth, it was just three points. We know that we have got Seabury Hall on Tuesday at 4 o'clock, at Seabury, so that is going to be tough."
The Lunas, who could have clinched their first MIL title with a win, must now hope their 30th season of boys soccer won't end the way the first 29 have - without a state bid.
"Now we have to sit and watch and hope that something comes our way," Lunas coach Sam Aki said. "Maui High has two tough games, Kamehameha and King Kekaulike, so we are just kind of hoping for something so we can go to state. . . . We are hoping for anything, we will take anything at this point."
Mattias Thompson, the 2010 MIL Player of the Year who missed all of last season with a broken leg, scored his 16th and 17th goals of the season. His first gave the Bears a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute off a nifty header with his back to the goal on a free kick from Dean Phillips from midfield, and Thompson's second goal came on a breakaway in the 69th minute that made it 3-0.
In between, the senior striker assisted on a goal by Jaren Otani. The final goal came in injury time off the foot of sophomore Victor Roman-Navarro.
"The first (goal) was just a beautiful ball from Dean," Thompson said. "I didn't have to do much. I looked over at the goal and all I had to do was redirect it. It was a great ball from Dean. The second goal, I got the ball to Jaren and he buried it. The third goal, I headed the ball over the defender and was one-on-one with the keeper, and I just got it past him."
Palazzotto said that the key to the recent success started when Phillips moved from striker to center fullback to play alongside sophomore Matthew Foronda.
"It is a testament to the kids for us to be here right now," Palazzotto said. "We really had to make some adjustments because we were giving up too many goals. Dean really wanted to try to be an offensive threat this season, but when you have got a guy like Mattias on top we really had to settle in and make sure we hunkered down. With Dean back there I think we have the two best center backs in the league."
If the Bears were to stumble in either of their final two games - they finish with St. Anthony on Feb. 4 - both the Lunas and Sabers would be back in the title picture.
"Basically if we get by these two games, it is one win to clinch (a state berth), two wins to win a title," Palazzotto said. "If we can do that and play continuously well into the state tournament, it is going to look positive for us."
Aki watched his team finish third last season after leading the standings with two matches to play, but a tie and a loss left them home from state. A total of five yellow cards were passed out Wednesday, four on Baldwin. The Lunas also had a player ejected on a red card late in the match.
"It was a physical game, both teams were battling," Aki said. "This year is definitely different than last year. We feel better about how we played this year."
Dec. 31, 2012 LAHAINA - Sergio Gallardo did not realize precisely how big this was.
The sophomore's unlikely goal from about 45 yards away - near the left sideline of the artificial turf at "The Imu" - lifted the Lahainaluna High School boys soccer team to a dramatic 4-3 win over Baldwinon Friday.
Both coaches said it was the Lunas' first win ever over the Bears in boys soccer.
Gallardo's goal came with 15 minutes to play and capped a comeback from a 3-1 deficit, setting off a wild reaction from the 500 or so fans on hand at the Lunas' on-campus field.
"I don't think we have ever had a comeback like that," said Lahainaluna coach Sam Aki.
Gallardo lofted a rainbow shot that was tipped by Baldwin goalkeeper Kyle Russell just before landing in the back of the net.
"I thought I had a chance and I just took it," Gallardo said. "I thought (Russell) was going to knock it out. I was excited, I was happy when it went in."
The Bears still lead the Maui Interscholastic League Division I standings at 5-2-0 (15 points), but the Lunas (4-1-1, 13 points) can take the lead in their next match, on Tuesday against King Kekaulike.
"No doubt, it is anybody's race," Aki said. "Anyone can win it. The boys played unbelievable tonight, it was a great team effort. Everyone played, everyone did something."
For the Lunas, the position is familiar.
They have never been to the state tournament in boys soccer, but last season led the standings with two matches to play before a tie and a loss cost them their first MIL title and state berth. That tie came when they led by a pair of goals with less than five minutes to play and allowed Baldwin to climb past Lahainaluna and into the state tournament.
Aki said last season's finish is driving this team.
"Of course it is motivating us, last year we were an individual team, this year we are a solid team," he said.
Baldwin's Mattias Thompson scored the first goal Friday on a 13-yard blast off an assist from Jaren Otani in the 12th minute. Lahainaluna got the equalizer on a diving header from Johnathan Moreida De La Paz off a pretty cross from Jorge Hernandez in the 30th.
Five minutes later, Thompson made the score 2-1 on a free kick that he bent into the upper right of the net from 25 yards away. In the 38th, the Bears' Nick Lawrence lofted a beautiful pass to Keelan Ewaliko, who tapped the ball in left-footed.
Hernandez brought the Lunas within one at halftime on a penalty kick in the 39th.
"We knew coming in here was going to be tough," said Baldwin coach Kaniela Palazzotto. "They definitely have some good players over here. I'm not going to take anything away from them in the second half, but being up 3-2 instead of 3-1 (at halftime) is a little tough, especially playing away from home. You get gifts, so I will leave that at that. That penalty kick is actually the goal that won it."
The Lunas tied the match on Hernandez's goal off a pass from Noah Camara in the 51st. *For more information click HERE
Baldwin boys rally to win opener
Dec. 14, 2012 KAHULUI - The Baldwin High School boys soccer team won its Maui Interscholastic League opener on Tuesday, rallying from a second-half deficit to beat Kamehameha Maui 3-2 at Keopuolani Park.
The Bears' Mattias Thompson scored the final goal of the match in the 65th minute, on an assist from Keelan Ewaliko, who had tied the score five minutes earlier. Zacharic Coloma-Mariano scored the first goal, in the 27th minute.
Rance Souza scored for the Warriors (0-1-1) in the 34th minute, and Stephen Barut had put them ahead in the 55th. *For more information click HERE
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