The Baldwin High School boys soccer team took an early lead, then hung on through multiple close calls.
Victor Roman-Navarro scored in the 17th minute, and Chance Jacintho a minute later, and the Bears defeated Lahainaluna 2-1 on Friday night in a Maui Interscholastic League game at Keopuolani Park.
As Bears coach Kane Palazzotto put it: "2-0 is always a dangerous lead in this game. If it goes 2-1, then you're pretty much under pressure."
Baldwin High School’s Zacharia Coloma-Mariano controls the ball during the Bears’ 2-1 win over Lahainaluna on Friday at Keopuolani Park.
The Maui News / CHRIS SUGIDONO photo
Keoni Miranda produced that tension with a goal in the 79th minute off a pass from Nestor Gomez-Perez, pulling the Lunas within one, and Sergio Gallardo Pedroza's shot soon after went just wide of the net.
Then, on the last play of the match, Lahainaluna was fouled in front of the penalty box and awarded a free kick. Pedroza took the shot, but it was blocked by the Bears' wall of defenders.
"It was a good game," said Lahainaluna coach Sam Aki. "We were a little tight in the first half, but in the second we did a little better and started pressing. In the last five minutes we were all over them, but they got some good goals and we only got one."
|Baldwin 2, Lahainaluna 0|
|Maui High at King Kekaulike, 5 p.m.|
|Lahainaluna at King Kekaulike, 5 p.m.|
|St. Anthony vs. Baldwin at War Memorial Stadium, 5 p.m.|
Baldwin 2, Lahainaluna 1
Maui High at King Kekaulike, 5 p.m.
Lahainaluna at King Kekaulike, 7 p.m.
St. Anthony vs. Baldwin at War Memorial Stadium, 7 p.m.
Roman-Navarro scored off an assist by Kailoa Akoi, and Ari Moreno assisted on Jacintho's goal.
"Our team did whatever we could to get in behind and try to score goals," Roman-Navarro said. "We knew the Lunas were good and liked to move the ball around. So we wanted to put pressure on them and use our wings more to finish goal opportunities."
Baldwin (5-2-0) is tied for second in the MIL Division I standings with Kamehameha Maui, which has played six games this season.
"Every game for us is big," Palazzotto said. "We can't afford to lose another one, and I think the boys respect that and understand it's not going to be easy."
The Lunas (5-2-1), who top the D-I standings, had opened the season on a six-game unbeaten streak.
"We're eight games in now, but we're a couple games ahead of everybody else," Aki said. "We have a big game against King Kekaulike (on Wednesday), and they're in the driver's seat with no losses. So we need to just settle down, play our game and finish."
* Chris Sugidono is at email@example.com.