Waimea takes the next step

HANAPEPE – Lindsey Ibara, a long-time in-line hockey player, is used to

focusing and scoring goals up front and in-close to the net.

Ibara, who is

also a long-time soccer player, didn’t fail when his golden opportunity came up

last night.

Locked in a 1-1 duel, Ibara gained possession of the ball

during a scramble in front and slipped a shot into the low left corner of the

net to give the Waimea Menehunes a 2-1 lead midway through the second half of

the first of two KIF varsity boys soccer playoff games at Hanapepe

Stadium.

The Menehunes held off the the Kapa’a Warriors the rest of the way

to advance to tonight’s championship game against the Kaua’i Red Raiders. Game

time is 6 p.m. at Hanapepe Stadium with the winner advancing to the state

tournament starting Wednesday.

Midway through the first half, Taylan

Azeka’s screaming line drive corner kick put Waimea ahead 1-0. The

rocket-ship-like ball zoomed toward goalie Graham Kovarik. Kovarik jumped and

tried to bat the ball over the net, but it ricocheted into the top corner of

the net instead.

Waimea dominated much of the first half, but Kapa’a was

able to get through for some chances with some crisp passing by Tayton

Williams, Kaena Mayer, Kainoa Nakazawa and Tyler Wakuta.

Twice during the

first half, Waimea forwards crashed in on Kovarik after chips from the

midfield, but both times, the Menehunes got to the scene a split-second

late.

Kovarik also came up big when he tipped Jamieson Cosier’s 30-yard

direct kick over the net.

Near the end of the half, Mayer’s point-blank

shot for Kapa’a was picked off by Menehune goalie David Hanashiro.

Just

before the end of the half, Kapa’a’s Duncan MacDonald sailed a high blast just

over the net.

Early in the second half, Eddie Adams was about to take a

direct-kick shot, but chose instead to pass to high-scoring striker Colby

Ayonon. Ayonon dribbled upfield for five yards and sent a shoulder-high bullet

from 35 yards out into the left corner for the 1-1 tie.

After Ibara’s

go-ahead goal, the Menehune focus shifted to defense, and the Westside boys

were able to thwart a frantic Warrior effort.

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