LIHUE — Kauai High School’s varsity boys soccer team defeated Kapaa, 2-0, in the Kauai Interscholastic Federation season opener Wednesday afternoon at Vidinha Stadium.
“Like every year, Kapaa is a very tough match. Today was no different. It was an exciting opening game of the season. The boys played incredibly well today,” said Kauai head coach Mark Brandeburg. “Our season started so late. I know all four teams in the league were champing at the bit for tonight. Everyone will settle down after today.”
Red Raiders sophomore defensive back Aaron Renaud struck first with a free kick shot to the goal from about 60 yards out at the 23rd minute. Senior stopper Shane Ogata then headed in Kauai’s second goal at the 47th minute from a corner kick served by senior midfielder Justin “Scrappy” Garma.
“I was actually going for goal. I saw the keeper out, so I tried to get it over him,” Renaud said about his goal. “I was excited. It’s my first goal in my varsity career, and first goal of the season. I was just feeling joyful.”
Warriors senior stopper Noah LaMadrid said he and his teammates will work harder to tighten things up moving forward into the KIF season.
“When it came down to it, we had to stop panicking — just stay calm and play like how we play at practice,” he said. “They (our coaches) don’t need to say much. We know how they feel. They know how we feel. We’ll get to practice tomorrow and work harder.
“Honestly, that free kick tripped our goalie. I think it was luck,” he added about the two allowed goals. “That corner, it was just a good corner. We got to work on our marking on that. It easily couldn’t have been, shouldn’t have been a goal.”
At the 38th minute, Kapaa sophomore forward Tiernan Kehoe had a chance inside the 18-yard box and got the ball past Kauai goalkeeper Trevor Freudig. The Red Raiders goalie, however, got back to the ball as it trickled around the 6-yard box and made the save on the potential equalizer.
Also, Ogata drew a yellow card at the 71st minute for colliding into an opposing player.
Kauai (1-0-0) will play at Island School (0-1-0) and Kapaa (0-1-0) will play Waimea (1-0-0) at Vidinha Stadium on Saturday. The Island School game begins at 10 a.m. and the game at Vidinha is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.
Kapaa 0, Kauai 0
Kapaa and Kauai’s varsity girls soccer teams played 80 minutes to a stalemate, 0-0, in Wednesday night’s game at Vidinha Stadium following the Kauai boys’ 2-0 win earlier in the day.
With the draw, Kapaa (2-0-1) stays atop the KIF standing and Kauai (1-0-2) stays put at second.
“I think matches like this will help prepare whichever team goes to the state tournament,” said Kapaa head coach Kevin Cram. “Last year (at states), we saw speed that we didn’t see in the regular season. Watching this game, this is a lot like what we’re going to see in the top-level of play we’re going to see at the state level. It’s nice to have that for preparation for either team.”
Each team had one last crack in the final minutes to break the tie. Kauai junior center forward Aleigha Scovel had a shot on goal in the 80th minute, but was saved by Kapaa sophomore goalie Nygeria Williams.
In stoppage time, Warriors junior forward Ana Carvalho-Toloai got past defenders and made a run on the nearside of the field. She shot a cross to the box, but the ball was caught by Red Raiders junior keeper Tammie Yoshimori.
“We’ve been trying some different things. We just have to fine-tune it a bit more. But some games are like that — a 0-0 game when we had a lot of shots,” said Kauai head coach Kevin Devitt. “We probably had about 15-20 good, clean shots. Their goalie did a good job.”
Just before halftime, Kauai junior forward Anaiah Christensen came out of the game clutching her shoulder. She did not return.
“It was shoulder-to-shoulder contact. She was just recovering from a collarbone injury … Nothing malicious about it,” Devitt said. “She came back full at the start of the season. She injured it playing community league. Pretty much the same type of tackle, fell down and landed on it.”
Kauai will play at Island School (1-1-1) Saturday at noon. Kapaa will host Waimea (0-0-3) at Vidinha Stadium at 3:30 p.m., on Saturday as well.