LIHUE — Kapaa’s Eryka Keoho nailed two goals, three minutes apart, to seal a 4-1 soccer match over the Hilo Vikings Friday afternoon during a Kauai Interscholastic Federation soccer match at Vidinha Stadium.
“We’re a little further than we were at this time, last year,” said Kapaa coach Kevin Cram. “We had some of the junior players out so we could see what they were capable of doing, and everyone got to play today.”
Keoho, playing stopper through the first half, watched her teammate Kahi Davis break into the scorebooks in the second minute, nailing the cross from Kaishe Davis-Caberto out of the right pocket.
The goal gave Kapaa a 1-0 halftime lead before the Warriors netted three goals in the second half for the win.
“I’m happy with the progress the girls have made,” Cram said. “The potential for effectiveness is there, but we still have a lot of work ahead of us.”
Natalie Devin broke into the second half with a goal at the 42nd minute, capitalizing on a Hilo goalkeeper judgement error.
“I’m proud of what these girls are doing on the field,” said Hilo assistant coach Curtis Chong who stepped in after head coach Paul Bello was afflicted by the flu bug Friday. “We have an 18-girl team, and of those, 12 of them are either ninth- or 10th-graders. We lost 11 seniors to graduation, so we’re definitely a young team.”
Following Kapaa’s goal, Hilo broke into the scorebooks at the 69th minute when Alysha Medeiros scored off a penalty kick.
Kapaa answered eight minutes later when Keoho capped a cross-field drive with a solid unassisted goal, repeating the feat three minutes later with a ball wet from the passing showers for the win.
“We’ll be seeing them again during the Thanksgiving weekend when we play in the Hawaii Preparatory Academy tournament on the Big Island,” Cram said. “Hilo, who plays three games this weekend, goes home and hosts their own tournament next week before heading to HPA. That’s nine pre-season games compared to just four for us. It would be nice if we could have more teams come so we could get in more games.”
Chong, who rushed off to Wilcox Memorial Hospital to check on one of his players who suffered a collision late in the game, said this game was an opportunity for the girls to get together and become a team.
Hilo also squared off against Kauai High School and Waimea High School before leaving.