KEAAU – The Hilo Vikings tried playing defensive, they tried playing long balls to Riley Patterson, they tried getting physical. They tried scoring the equalizer and they even tried taking the match to two overtimes and penalty kicks.
But there is nothing Hawaii Prep can’t handle these days.
Division I, Division II. Doesn’t matter. The prevailing BIIF boys soccer winds still blow through Waimea.
Jake Schneider, Sihkea Jim, Riley Hiatt and Conor Hunt scored in PKs, and HPA beat Hilo 2-1 to repeat as D-I champs Wednesday night at Paiea Stadium. Ka Makani (15-1), who brought home D-II titles in 2016 and 17 before moving up, have won three consecutive BIIF postseason matches matches via either OT or PKs.
“That you can’t teach,” coach James Berry of his team’s clutch gene. “That’s (about) being here before, several times. Hats off to them (for handling pressure). That was heavy duty.”
Hilo goalkeeper Jase Ambrosio prolonged the first overtime after HPA drew a penalty kick, diving to his right to rob Schneider of championship goal, and his 42nd of the season.
Moments later, Patterson lined up for a free kick from 33 yards out, but his bid for goal No. 42 sailed high.
“Honestly, it’s our grit,” Jim said. “I think we have that. And overall our chemistry. We’ve been playing together for years.”
Hunt thought he had to golden goal in the second overtime, but it was waved off because of an offsides.
He was true on his PK and his clincher set off an HPA celebration that is starting to become commonplace.
“There is a lot of pressure put into us,” Hunt said. “We have this expectation that this is HPA soccer, we’re supposed to win games. It’s not always like that, we have to prove who we are.”
Ka Makani garnered the top seed as they attempt to defend their co-state championship next week. The Vikings (11-3-1) are headed to states as well and will host Kalani of the OIA at 3 p.m. Monday in the first round at Hilo Bayfront. They saw their 13-match unbeaten streak broken and have finished BIIF runner-up six of the past seven seasons.
Hilo’s Josh Rosario scored the equalizer, connecting off of Keanu Keolanui’s corner kick in the 66th minute.
Ka Makani also scored off a corner kick, which made sense since they took a bevy of them. Often in the early going, Brendan Moynahan went short with his corners, dumping them off to Maiki Kawakami.
In the 51st minute, his ball went short to a Hilo player, but there was a misclear and Tage Boyette was there to clean it up, burying a ball into the right half of the goal.
Despite being outplayed for the first 39 minutes, Hilo almost took the lead right before the half.
Patterson dribbled down the right flank and somehow threaded the needle against four defenders. His cross was on point to a waiting Keanu Keolanui, but Stormer Horton went to his left to keep the match scoreless.
Horton stood up again in PKs, allowing only one shot to get past him.
“We went with experience,” Berry said. ‘Three other goalies that can match him, but Stormer has been here.”