Waimea boys rebound for 3-2 win

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Waimea’s River Owen battles for ball control against Island School’s Emi De La Mora and Alae Miike in the first half, Saturday during the KIF boys soccer game at Island School.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Island School’s Ryan Yavinsky and Waimea defender Ethan Yamamoto battle for control in front of the Waimea goal in the first half, Saturday during the KIF boys soccer game at Island School.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Island School midfielder Emi De La Mora anticipates the play action as Waimea midfielder Kody Gardner moves the ball to forward Austin Galas in the first half, Saturday during the KIF boys soccer game at the Island School field.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Waimea goalkeeper Kaimi Lau San-Agustin is crunched by Menehune defender Ian Malabe while Ethan Yamamoto, Makoa Vanaman and Island School forwards Alae Miike and Brandon Beydoun wait to control the ball in front of the Waimea goalmouth in the sixth minute of play, Saturday during the KIF boys soccer game at the Island School field.

PUHI — The Waimea High School boys soccer team opened on a winning note Saturday after coming back from a 2-0 halftime deficit at the Island School field.

Playing under near-ideal conditions for soccer, the Voyagers drew first blood in the first six minutes of play, gaining good ball control and keeping the ball in Menehune territory.

“Get the ball out of there,” commanded Waimea coach Kapono Chong-Hanssen as the ball stalled in front of the Waimea goalmouth. In the melee, Menehune goalkeeper was crunched by his own defender blocking players away from the ball before Island School’s Benjamin Griep got his foot on the ball to sink it for the first goal.

Six minutes later, Voyager forward Emi De La Mora outran the Menehune defender and rifled the second goal from about 20 yards out for the 2-0 halftime lead.

Waimea made adjustments during the break and mid-forward Kody Gardner found the net for the first of his two goals in the 48th minute while the Menehune defense led by Ethan Yamamoto, Makoa Vanaman and Ian Malabe kept Island School at bay.

Play strained as River Owen deadlocked the game with a goal in the 61st minute. Yellow cards surfaced in the intense second half as Waimea’s Gardner drew a card for profanity and Island School’s Alae Miike was pegged for unsportsmanlike behavior.

Waimea put the game away with five minutes remaining when Gardner found his second goal.

Island School will next host Kapaa boys Tuesday starting at 4 p.m. while Waimea travels to Vidinha Stadium Wednesday to take on the Kauai High School boys starting at 5 p.m. The boys game will be followed by the Waimea girls meeting up with Kauai High School at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

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