Bears open title defense with win

Barry scores twice as defending state champs take down Warriors 2-1

Baldwin High School’s Christopher Barry advances the ball against Kamehamehea Maui’s Dylan Nakagawa during the first half of the Bears’ 2-1 victory over the Warriors in the teams’ Maui Interscholastic League season opener Wednesday night at Kanaiaupuni Stadium. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photos

PUKALANI — The Baldwin High School boys soccer team has just four starters back from its co-state championship team of a year ago, but the Bears feel like they can make another run this season.

Christopher Barry and Elliot Tom are two of those returning starters, and they led Baldwin to a dramatic 2-1 win over Kamehameha Maui in the Maui Interscholastic League opener on a chilly, windy Wednesday night at Kanaiaupuni Stadium.

Barry scored both goals and Tom made them stand up from his spot in goal.

“It’s a good, big win right off the start — it gives us a lot of motivation and encouragement that we can still do it,” Barry said. “We lost a lot of people from last year, but last year is last year’s team and we’re focused on the future. So, starting off with a big win is huge for us.”

Barry broke a 1-1 tie with a pretty free kick goal from 30 yards out in the 62nd minute that beat Kamehameha goalkeeper Hezekiah Kapuaala. The ball glanced off the left goalpost and into the net.

Kamehameha Maui players defend a corner kick during the first half Wednesday

Barry’s shot in the 49th minute off a pass from Bryan Cummings went in for the first goal of the match. That shot bounced off the right goalpost and into the net.

Moments later, Kapuaala stopped a header on goal by Bishop Wickes.

Teva Pimentel beat the Baldwin defense for a goal off a free kick by Dayne Kubo to tie the match in the 54th minute.

Baldwin coach Kaniela Palazzotto was pleased with the victory after an 0-2-1 preseason against Punahou, Iolani and Saint Louis in a tournament on Oahu.

“It’s never easy up here,” Palazzotto said. “It’s on their turf and last year I think was our first win up here in five or six years, so hopefully we can put a little streak together up here.”

Kapuaala stopped a free kick from about 40 yards out by Barry in the 59th minute.

The back-and-forth contest saw two balls bounce off the crossbars in the 75th minute. The first was by Pimentel and the next came at the other end off a ball by Wickes.

The game went to halftime scoreless.

With the wind at their backs in the first half, the Warriors put plenty of pressure on the Baldwin defense, but returning all-state goalkeeper Tom was up to the task each time.

Tom stoned Pimentel on a penalty kick in the 17th minute and tipped a shot from Cy Ornellas away in the 24th minute, and Ikua Kamaka’s dangerous chance in the 28th minute went just wide.

“He stepped up big tonight, that PK save in the first half really lit the fire under us,” Barry said.

In the 36th minute, Tom came off the goal line and thwarted a chance, and then in the 37th minute he leapt to tip away a shot headed for the upper left-hand corner by Dylan Nakagawa.

Tom again stopped a good chance in the 47th minute when Kainoa Carpenter stole a ball and broke down the right sideline — Carpenter’s shot from a sharp angle ended in Tom’s arms.

Tom calmly caught a free kick from 23 yards away by Hao Awai in the 64th minute. He stopped another chance by Awai moments later.

“When we play against Baldwin, it’s always going to be a tough game,” Kamehameha Maui coach Jayson Nakasone said. “It was a tough game, especially defending that long ball in this wind. If we could have punched one in in the first half it definitely would have helped.”

* Robert Collias is at rcollias@mauinews.com.

Also Wednesday

Lahainaluna 5, Maui High 1

King Kekaulike 4, Seabury Hall 0

Goal scorers reported–Lahainaluna: Jesus Alvarez 2, Elias Gonzalez, Ikaika Galarita, Oliver Olivera. Maui High: Caden Sconfienza.

MIL Soccer Standings

BOYS

DIVISION I

W L T Pts

Baldwin 1 0 0 3

King Kekaulike 1 0 0 3

Lahainaluna 1 0 0 3

Maui High 0 1 0 0

Kamehameha Maui 0 1 0 0

Division II

Seabury Hall 0 1 0 0

Wednesday’s Results

Lahainaluna 5, Maui High 1

Baldwin 2, Kamehameha Maui 1

King Kekaulike 4, Seabury Hall 0

Saturday’s Games

Seabury Hall at Maui High, 2 p.m.

Lahainaluna at Kamehameha Maui, 7 p.m.

Baldwin at King Kekaulike, 7 p.m.