HANAPEPE — Waimea High School’s varsity boys soccer team defeated Kapaa High, 3-2, Saturday afternoon at Hanapepe Stadium.
With Saturday’s result, Waimea has started the season with three consecutive wins.
“Even though we have three wins, our first two games of the season — especially our second game against Kauai High — in a way, they really didn’t feel like wins,” said Waimea head coach Kapono Chong-Hanssen. “We didn’t feel like we played up to our potential. We were somewhat lucky we came away with the results that we had.
“This day, we really emphasized to the guys, ‘Hey, we need to put 100 percent effort for both halves,’” he continued. “We got 80 minutes, and we’re coming up on Christmas break. The biggest thing we emphasized was it’s our first home game. The community supports us so much. We just wanted to give a gift to everybody and show what we can do. … It’s a long season, but we can enjoy this moment.”
Menehune junior forward Shayden Duldulao scored twice in the first half, one at the 10th minute and the other at the 20th. Senior midfielder Kody Gardner had the assist on Duldulao’s second goal.
Gardner scored at the 62nd minute inside the penalty area, which would become the goal that would clinch Waimea (3-0 KIF) the win. Duldulao had the assist on Gardner’s goal.
“Me and him, we try to pass more for our other teammates. But if it’s not there, then we try not to just kick it,” Gardner said of himself and Duldulao. “We’re just mostly looking for more opportunities.”
He added: “Good job, boys. Shout out to them. Congratulations to us for just keeping our heads in it and playing the game we love.”
Chong-Hanssen said while Duldulao and Gardner are a formidable tandem up front, when they get others involved is when the offense opens up.
“They’re very good, but they cannot beat a whole team (by themselves). Nobody can,” he said. “Really, the progression and the improvement I saw today was incorporating our other people better, which opened up more space and then allowed Kody and Shayden to pass through the middle again. Whereas before, we weren’t pulling in other guys. We weren’t spreading them wide, and we weren’t creating as many opportunities for those two. Today, we did. And it paid off for both of them.”
Facing a 2-nil deficit in the first half, Kapaa (1-2 KIF) closed the gap at the 23rd minute when Warriors junior forward Ryan Banasihan took a shot inside the 18-yard box.
Shortly after Gardner’s goal, Warriors senior forward Gabe Franklin scored for Kapaa to again cut the deficit.
In the closing minutes, Warriors sophomore midfielder La’ake Gonsalves took a shot from distance hoping for an equalizer, but Menehune senior goalkeeper Kaimi Lau San-Agustin made the save to keep Waimea’s lead intact.
“Well, they didn’t do anything that we weren’t expecting. We’ve got to do better in working together as a defense and executing the attacking plan,” said Kapaa head coach Kevin Cram. “If we do that, then we’ll be OK.”
He added: “The good thing is that nobody gave up. We kept working and kept trying. We need to do better, and I think that will come with time and some training.”
For Franklin, this was the third match in a row in which he scored. In the season opener, Franklin netted a hat trick in a 3-1 win over Kauai High School.
“He works hard. He’s a big boy, and I think we can expect that out of him,” Cram said of Franklin. “Now if we can get the supporting cast to step up and help him out, we’ll be OK.”
Waimea will next host Island School (2-1 KIF) on Jan. 6. That match is set for 10 a.m. at Hanapepe Stadium.
Kapaa will play Kauai High (0-3 KIF) at 1:30 p.m. at Vidinha Stadium also on Jan. 6.
Waimea: Shayden Duldulao 2 (10’, 20’), Kody Gardner (62’)
Kapaa: Ryan Banasihan (23’), Gabe Franklin (68’)
Kapaa: Gabe Franklin, yellow (unsporting behavior)
Varsity boys: Waimea 3, Kapaa 2
Varsity boys: Island School 3, Kauai 2
Varsity girls: Kapaa girls 12, Waimea 0