PUKALANI - This was a tie that helped both teams a little, but not enough for either's liking.
The King Kekaulike and Baldwin high school girls soccer teams battled to a 4-4 deadlock Friday at King Kekaulike Stadium, keeping the two teams tied for second place in the Maui Interscholastic League Division I standings, now with 29 points apiece.
King Kekaulike (9-2-2) has one match remaining, on Monday at Seabury Hall, while the three-time defending league-champion Bears (9-3-2) are finished with their regular season.
King Kekaulike High School’s Emmely Felipe knocks a shot past Baldwin’s Racquel Riopta (center) and Emilie Tarin for a goal in the first half of a 4-4 tie Friday.
The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo
If there was a winner in this one, it was first-place Kamehameha Maui (11-2-0), which clinched a state-tournament berth.
Na Alii stormed out to a 3-0 halftime lead, and had a 4-1 advantage before the Bears scored three goals in a 13-minute span midway through the second half.
"Back and forth, especially in the second half," King Kekaulike coach Gundi Dancil said. "We did really well in the first half, we came out all cylinders firing, made a lot of good passes. Second half, Baldwin came out, they did their job. They started getting physical on us."
x-clinched state-tournament berth
King Kekaulike 4, Baldwin 4
Maui High 6, Hana 0
Hana at Maui High, noon
St. Anthony vs. Seabury Hall at War Memorial Stadium, 5 p.m.
King Kekaulike at Seabury Hall, 5 p.m.
Maui High at Kamehameha Maui, 5 p.m.
End of regular season, unless make-up games necessary
Na Alii got goals from Emmely Felipe in the eighth and 14th minutes, and Kayela Santiago in the 32nd.
After the Bears drew closer on a nifty goal that Sarah Nomura lofted from the left front corner of the penalty box into the upper-right portion of the net, Na Alii pushed the lead back to three with Kisa Giebink's 30-yard laser on a free kick in the 57th minute.
After that it was all Baldwin.
Christine Kenagy scored on a line drive in the 59th minute, and Tara Tesoro cut the gap to one in the 64th off an Amber Kozaki corner kick.
After a diving save by Bears goalkeeper Racquel Riopta on a breakaway in the 65th, Emilie Tarin tied the score on a 050-yard free kick in the 72nd.
"It was exciting in that second half there," said Baldwin coach Tia Medeiros. "In the first half, there was a little let-down, but they came back and showed their character. I mean, if they could just play like that all the time, but it was awesome, yeah."
The Bears need a good deal of help to reach a playoff match for the MIL's second state-tournament spot.
"Unless a miracle happens it's not going to happen," Medeiros said.
The only team that can overtake Kamehameha in the race for the league title is Maui High, which is three points out of second place, but has up to three matches remaining - a make-up game against Lahainaluna will only be played if necessary.
"We need three points (Monday)," Dancil said. "Right now we are looking at a numbers game all around. It has gotten to a point where all of the D-I teams are very strong."
* Robert Collias is at firstname.lastname@example.org