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Prep Football Preview Special
Michael Lasquero | ScoringLiveFebruary 12, 2023, 7:38am
Sat, Feb 11, 2023 @ Waipio
WAIPAHU — Back-to-back.
Poikeao Roback's goal off of Elijah Dinkel's shot attempt in the 83rd minute lifted Kamehameha-Hawaii to its second straight Division II title in a 3-2 overtime win over PAC-5 in the Motiv8 Foundation/HHSAA Boys Soccer Championship Saturday night at the Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium.
The Warriors rallied from a 2-1 halftime deficit to earn their second comeback win in as many days after scoring two second-half goals against Seabury Hall in the semifinals.
"Like I say, we're a second half team," said first-year KS-Hawaii coach Greg Minato, who served as an assistant for five years. "The boys wanted to win another championship, especially for the (outgoing) seniors. They did a great job. I love all of them."
It was KS-Hawaii's third state title in program history, with all of them being under three different head coaches.
"It feels great, we put a lot of work into this," said Dinkel, who was named the tournament's most outstanding player. "Most of the boys are super young so we had to redo what we did last year. Our main focus this whole year was to work hard achieve the goal, which was to get back here and repeat."
Dinkel played a role in all of the goals scored by KS-Hawaii. His shot on goal in the fourth minute was parried by PAC-5 keeper Ethan Lee, but it was punched into the direction of Roback, who scored with a left-footed shot.
Dinkel quickly tied things up in the second half on a free kick after Lucas Kay-Wong drew a foul. Dinkel's shot from 35 yards out went off a wall of defenders and bounced towards the right post for his team-leading 31st goal of the season.
It was also his shot in overtime that led to Roback's game-winning goal after Lee deflected his shot.
"I think that was amazing. We've been working on that all season," Dinkel said of Roback's goals. "We noticed that there are a lot of pop out opportunities. We do realize that a lot of keepers cannot really catch the ball as well. I'm super thankful that Po was there. I give all the glory to him."
Dinkel added that being a second-half team is a testament to the leadership on the squad in keeping everyone composed.
"I think a lot of team struggle because they get a little tight, but what we focus on is loosening up, having fun with the game and enjoying the moment."
The Warriors also didn't want a repeat of last year's state title match when it needed a penalty kick shootout to determine a victor.
"We didn't want to go to PKs," Minato said with a chuckle. "That's a 50-50 chance with PKs. All we did was talked about it and said let's get it. Let's get it, let's finish it already and they did. All the credit goes to them."
Outside of the rebound opportunities and the fortunate bounce on Dinkel's free kick, the Wolfpack did a solid job of limiting KS-Hawaii's opportunities.
"I think they tried their best to try and defend as much as they could," said PAC-5 coach Austin Lorenzo. "They slip in one and that was it. That's how it goes sometimes."
After Roback scored his first goal of the match, PAC-5 quickly tied things up two minutes later. Jared Sakai's cross attempt in the sixth minute floated in the wind for brief moment before Nolean Bowler was able to head it in.
Bowler also had a hand in the Wolfpack's second goal of the match. In the 27th minute, Mark Spencer won a ball near midfield and took it up deep into KS-Hawaii territory. After he was met by a defender, he did a quick 1-2 pass to Bowler before fired a shot. Keeper Jacob Aiona put a hand on the ball, but the shot was too strong and the ball trickled in for a goal.
"We knew they were a good team, we put up a good fight, we came to play," said Lorenzo. "I told my boys just being here, you guys already won, so it's OK."
PAC-5 was seeking its first state championship in program history.
Motiv8 Foundation/HHSAA Boys Soccer State ChampionshipsDivision II All-Tournament Team
Micah Chung, Kamehameha-HawaiiJames Haynes, Seabury HallLucas Kay-Wong, Kamehameha-HawaiiManoa Knight, Island SchoolEverton Kuamoo, Kamehameha-HawaiiPo‘ikeao Roback, Kamehameha-HawaiiDuke Romanchak, Seabury HallJared Sakai, PAC-5Mark Spencer, PAC-5Maxwell Wilkins, PAC-5Goalkeeper: Jacon Aiona, Kamehameha-Hawaii
Most Outstanding Player: Elijah Dinkel, Kamehameha-Hawaii
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