Kamehameha senior goalkeeper Jameson Sato stood and delivered for 100 minutes of HHSAA Division II tournament boys soccer before making a decision that could only come from a leader.
He sat down.
Sato yielded the penalty kicks to sophomore Jake Toci, who made a key save Friday as the Warriors edged Pac 5 4-2 in the shootout to reach the state championship game at Oahu’s Waipio Peninsula Soccer Complex.
“Jameson came to me and he wanted to take the PKs,” coach Kevin Waltjen said, “But when he looked at Pac 5, he said Jake would do a better job.”
No matter that Sato has been a stalwart in goal for the BIIF champion Warriors (13-1) – who will face second-seeded Kapaa at 5 p.m. Saturday as they try to claim their first state title – for the past three seasons.
“When he handed Jake the reins, it was emotional and inspirational,” said Waltjen, who never thought of overruling his co-captains. “As leaders, we teach them to make decisions based on what they’ve seen and the information they have.
“We’ve practiced PKs maybe four to five times the past few weeks, and Jake has displayed good decision-making.”
Tyler Waltjen helped choose the lineup for the shootout, and he, Justin Kenoi, Buddy Betts and Rylan Respicio all converted. Toci blocked the Wolf Pack’s third shooter, and the top-seeded Warriors celebrated their third birth in the final in the past four years when Pac 5’s next shooter hit the crossbar.
Winners of 13 in a row, Kamehameha faced its first deficit since a season-opening loss at Hawaii Prep until David Erskine headed in Waltjen’s corner kick in the 57th minute.
Aiden Spagnoli scored early in the second half for Pac 5 (4-8-2).
“The boys kept their composure,” Kevin Waltjen said. “We’ve been telling them to treat every game as a championship game, and today was proof of that.”
In the actual championship tilt, Kamehameha will take on a Kapaa team that shutout No. 3 McKinley 4-0 earlier in its semifinal. The Kauai champs (8-2-3) last won states in 2013, which is the only time since 2009 that the BIIF hasn’t been represented in the final.
“They are going to be a tough team with high pressure,” Kevin Waltjen said. “If the boys play their game they will be all right.”
Honokaa 3, Waipahu 2, PKs: The Dragons advanced to the fifth-place match with a shootout win of their own.
Yo Bostwick scored two first-half goals for BIIF runner-up Honokaa (8-7), which will take on Kalaheo at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Roosevelt 54, Honokaa 44: Kamuela Spencer Herring capped his career with 19 points and seven rebounds, but BIIF runner-up Honokaa (11-7) lost in the fifth-place game at Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu.
Gene Ansagay had 10 points.