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Kamehameha girls, Baldwin boys post pivotal victories

Girls result clinches fourth straight MIL D-I title for King Kekaulike

Kamehameha Schools Maui’s Kailea Tuitele clears a second-half ball on an attack by Baldwin’s Chloe Toma during the Warriors’ 2-0 win over the Bears on Wednesday at War Memorial Stadium. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

WAILUKU — Bella Ayau knew how important her Kamehameha Schools Maui soccer match against Baldwin was on Wednesday at War Memorial Stadium.

She responded with two of the most important goals of her life to lead the Warriors to a crucial 2-0 win in the final week of Maui Interscholastic League girls play.

Kamehameha Maui improved to 6-2-0, good for 18 points in the standings with matches against Maui High (3-5-0) on Friday and Seabury Hall (2-7-0) on Saturday.

Ayau scored the first goal in the 50th minute after a scramble in the penalty box and then added the clincher on a penalty kick in the 78th minute.

“That felt really good because we needed to win this game, that was like a championship game to get into states, so we knew we had to, like, win this ball, win this next play, win every play,” Ayau said. “So getting that first goal in was like a next step, ‘Yeah, we got this, we’re going to win this game.’ “

The Warriors’ Isabella Ayau is pictured during Wednesday’s game. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

The second goal felt just as good to Ayau, a junior midfielder.

“Just in the last 15 minutes, just getting that extra ball, doing whatever it takes to secure the game, because 1-0 is just not enough,” Ayau said.

Kamehameha Maui coach Jim Kaeo knows his team needs six points in its last two matches to secure the MIL’s second state berth. They cannot catch King Kekaulike, who beat them twice this season, including 2-0 five days ago.

“Big win, big win, the girls worked hard all week,” Kaeo said. “They had to kind of step up after King K. So, we kind of took practice a little easy, kind of resting up, 10 games in five weeks. We did a lot of kind of relaxing just to keep them going.

“Couple of our starters are out with injury, but, yeah, they did well.”

Baldwin’s Kekoa Kiesling follows through on his second goal of the Bears’ 6-0 win over Kamehameha Maui on Wednesday. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

With Baldwin’s loss to Kame­hameha and King Kekaulike’s win over Maui High, Na Alii (8-0-1) clinched their fourth straight MIL D-I title.

The Bears are 6-2-1, one point in front of Kamehameha, but with only a match against Na Alii left on the docket.

“It was quite a battle for both sides and we got sucked into their play,” Baldwin coach Dave Mena said, adding that his team “will probably fall a little bit short” of the state tournament.

In the boys match, the league-leading Bears’ Kekoa Kiesling scored the first three goals — and four goals overall — in a convincing 6-0 win over the Warriors.

“Amazing, that’s just all it is, is amazing,” said Kiesling, who has 10 goals in his last three matches.

Baldwin players celebrate with teammate Kekoa Kiesling (right) after his first-half goal Wednesday. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

They took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Kiesling in the 10th minute. He appeared to add a second goal in 23rd minute on a penalty kick, but the goal was waved off when Baldwin was called for having players in the penalty box too early.

Kiesling eventually added an impressive second goal in the 38th minute when he ran down a ball on the left sideline, battled past a Kamehameha defender and buried the ball in the back of the net.

Kiesling’s third tally came on a penalty kick in the 48th minute.

Ian Kikuchi added the Bears’ fourth goal in the 57th minute and Kiesling added his fourth goal in the 60th minute. Keoni Perez Martin added the final goal in the 79th minute.

The victory leaves the Bears (5-0-1) atop the table with 16 points — they passed the Warriors (4-1-2), who remain second with 14 points.

Kamehameha Maui’s Kayden Medeiros follows through on a header over the Bears’ Ian Kikuchi in the first half. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

Baldwin has a huge match against King Kekaulike on Saturday and still has to play Na Alii twice.

“The last three games we’ve been playing really well,” Baldwin coach Kaniela Palazzotto said. “I was really interested to see what this game would be like for us after we started really playing well. We got our goal-scorers going and Koa Kiesling, oh my god, man. Four goals, what can you say?”

Kamehameha Maui coach Jayson Nakasone knows his team must try to find wins the rest of the way — the Warriors are done playing fellow D-I contenders Baldwin and King Kekaulike.

“Definitely, we have to see what happens this Saturday, too (when Baldwin plays King Kekaulike),” Nakasone said. “We’ve got to take care of the rest of our games. It ain’t going to be easy.”

* Robert Collias is at rcollias@mauinews.com

MIL STANDINGS

GIRLS

DIVISION I

W L T Pts

x-King Kekaulike 8 0 1 25

Baldwin 6 2 1 19

Kamehameha Maui 6 2 0 18

Maui High 3 5 0 9

Lahainaluna 0 9 0 0

DIVISION II

W L T Pts

Seabury Hall 2 7 0 6

x-clinched championship

Wednesday’s Results

Kamehameha Maui 2, Baldwin 0

King Kekaulike 4, Maui High 0

Friday’s Game

Kamehameha Maui at Maui High, 4 p.m.

Saturday’s Games

Kamehameha Maui at Seabury Hall, 1 p.m.

Maui High at Lahainaluna, 5 p.m.

Baldwin vs. King Kekaulike at War Memorial Stadium, 5 p.m.

BOYS

DIVISION I

W L T Pts

Baldwin 5 0 1 16

Kamehameha Maui 4 1 2 14

King Kekaulike 4 1 1 13

Lahainaluna 1 6 0 3

Maui High 0 7 0 0

DIVISION II

W L T Pts

Seabury Hall 4 3 0 12

Wednesday’s Results

Seabury Hall 2, Lahainaluna 1

Baldwin 6, Kamehameha Maui 0

King Kekaulike 5, Maui High 0

Saturday’s Games

Kamehameha Maui at Seabury Hall, 3 p.m.

Maui High at Lahainaluna, 7 p.m.

Baldwin vs. King Kekaulike at War Memorial Stadium, 7 p.m.

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