PUKALANI - In a four-way dash to the finish in Maui Interscholastic League boys soccer, every point is crucial.
The Kamehameha Schools Maui and King Kekaulike teams knew it before their matchup on Friday night at Kanaiaupuni Stadium.
After a dramatic 1-1 tie, now they can feel it.
Kamehameha Maui’s Nainoa Silva is marked by King Kekaulike’s Micah Tateishi during the teams’ 1-1 tie on Friday at Kanaiaupuni Stadium.
The Maui News / CHRIS SUGIDONO photo
"There's no doubt, we need every point out there," Kamehameha coach Kimo Correa said. "We came out inspired, King K, they came out inspired, too. That was a great, great game."
Na Alii (8-0-3) entered a tie with Baldwin atop the Division I standings - each team has three matches to play, including one against each other next week.
"Both teams knew what they had to do," said King Kekaulike coach Ryan Arakawa. "I think it was a very good match. The teams in the MIL are just pretty good. It comes down to the last war every single year and it is just who has enough energy to play through it the rest of the season."
King Kekaulike 1, Kamehameha Maui 1
Lahainaluna 7, St. Anthony 0
Seabury Hall 6, Hana 1
Seabury Hall at Hana, noon
St. Anthony at Maui High, 4 p.m.
Kamehameha, which got the equalizing goal from Micah Alo with four minutes to play, is 7-2-1.
Na Alii's Jake Jacobs scored in the sixth minute after a scramble near the sideline drew Kamehameha goalkeeper Acer Pahukoa out of the net. King Kekaulike goalkeeper Cameron Baker then came up big several times until Alo's goal on another scramble in the box.
"That goalie was awesome, man," Correa said of Baker.
Arakawa said he has seen it before from his junior netminder.
"Cameron always comes out big when he needs to," Arakawa said. "He keeps us in the game every single time."
Baker had stellar saves on Alo a few times - one came with a minute left in the first half when he dove to tip away a rocket that ricocheted toward the lower left corner, another was in the 54th minute when Alo's header appeared to be going into the upper right-hand corner, and another came when Alo was alone five yards in front of the goal, but Baker sent the line drive over the crossbar in the 73rd minute.
"It was horrible," Baker said of the one that got past him. "Everyone was moving towards it and then to see it go to the other side of the goal completely where I wasn't, off-balance and everything. They just put it in, they did a really good job doing it, I just really wish we could have got it."
Baker also had a spectacular stop of Brennan Joaquin on a breakaway in the 56th.
Alo was wondering if he was going to find a way to solve Baker.
"Brennan dropped it back for me and it was just an easy tap," Alo said. "Luckily Cameron was out of position. (Baker) blocked all my shots, simple as that, he just blocked all my shots. He is very good, he is super-good. He is a great goalie."
Kamehameha used the trio of Pahukoa, Devonte Llanes, and Keola Paredes in the net.
* Robert Collias is at firstname.lastname@example.org