WAILUA — Close games gave soccer fans their money’s worth at the Kaua’i Soccer Association (KSA) championships Sunday.
Coach Wayne Taniguchi of the Tunda Girls was at the thick of the excitement as his Under 10 and Girls Under 14 teams were involved in overtime/shootout situations to determine the outcome of their respective brackets.
Coach Bobby Rapozo (Ha’aheo) who was doubling as a KSA official, watched with interest as the parents of the U-10 Tunda Girls were all on their feet, moving up and down the sidelines as the girls in blue battled fiercely against the white-shirted Tornadoes coached by Bill Lemke.
“At least his two teams will medal,” Rapozo said of Taniguchi.
Tornado forward Herschel Ah Puck broke a 0-0 halftime deadlock with two quick goals in the second half.
But those goals could not knock the wind out the Tunda Girls’ sail as they battled back against the 2-0 deficit, Leiana Alejandro pulling the blueshirts back in the game on a shot that sailed just above the hands of the Tornado goalie and stopper who crowded the goalmouth.
Alejandro scored on an assist from Jourdan Correia who crossed the ball across the goalmouth to the rightside for Alejandro’s boot.
As the clock wound down, Sanoe Simbre-Taniguchi deadlocked the contest on a penalty kick to force the double overtime, and eventual shoot-out where the efforts of Tunda Girls’ goalie Simbre-Taniguchi fell short of the power kicking from the Tornadoes.
Coach Taniguchi’s second contest in the GU-14 ended with the red-shirted Tunda Girls and the blues of Ross Kagawa’s Lihu’e Remix ending in a 0-0 deadlock leading to their double overtime/shootout match where the Tunda Girls emerged victorious, 1-0.
Kevin Devitt, commissioner for KSA, and Karl Ubongen, said the season was very competitive, and now the teams have a week off before heading to the Mililani SevenASide tournament during the Thanksgiving weekend.
Devitt said about 10 Kaua’i teams will be making the trip to O’ahu for that tournament.
- Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) and firstname.lastname@example.org