PUHI — Midfielders Ryan Ruiz and Justin “Scrappy” Garma each scored goals in the final 3 minutes to ice a 4-1 victory for Kauai High School’s varsity boys soccer team at Island School on Saturday.
“Our plan was to shut them out early. We did that with two quick goals, but we started to fall apart when the game got physical,” said Garma, a senior and team captain. “We got some talk from our coach. He told us to play our best, like it was the last five minutes of our lives. Then we scored those two goals at the end.
Ruiz hit a strike to the net from about 20 yards out at the 77th minute. Garma then scored from inside the 18-yard box two minutes later.
Red Raiders head coach Mark Brandeburg said he’ll gladly take the win, but his players didn’t perform as he expected.
“The kids, we thought, played a little sloppy,” he said. “Just not passing like we wanted to do. They got away from their game plan. Fortunately toward the end, they got it back together.
“And I will say, Island School, every game they get better and better. They’re a tough team to play,” Brandeburg added.
In the first half, sophomore defensive back Aaron Renaud scored off of a corner kick at the 2nd minute, and senior midfielder Tyren Kaneshige scored off of a free kick at the 11th minute.
“We just try them to get their head on the ball, and get a body on the ball,” the Kauai coach said about the two early goals scored on set plays.
Voyagers freshman sweeper Kyle Leibow gave Island School its only goal from a penalty kick at the 66th minute.
“I’ve been practicing PKs. I didn’t really have to think about where to place it,” Leibow said. “I was just looking down so the keeper couldn’t predict where I was going to kick it. I just took my shot. Thought it was going to float over, but it went in.”
Island School head coach Sean Magoun said though the result wasn’t what he hoped for, it’s part of growing pains that will help his team later.
“We’re a very young team. I’ve got nine freshman, eight sophomores, and the rest are upperclassmen,” he said. “It’s going to be building, and the only way to build is by experience. Experience is the best teacher. For sure, we’ve got some good experiences to draw on and it will help educate our kids on how to play.”
Kauai (2-0-0 KIF) will play Waimea at Hanapepe Stadium and Island School (0-2-0 KIF) will play Kapaa at Vidinha Stadium on Wednesday. The varsity boys games are scheduled for 5 p.m.
Varsity girls: Kauai 1, Island School 0
Junior center back Kawehi Taniguchi struck at the 49th minute to give Kauai High’s varsity girls team a 1-0 win over Island School on Saturday.
“We’ve been doing different things. We’re going to concentrate more on finishing now,” said Red Raiders head coach Kevin Devitt. “That’s where our weakness is. We’re not putting the ball to the back of the net. The rest of the field, we’re doing pretty good. Just got to work on finishing.
“We’re still in second place, but we’re not done yet,” he added. “We going to get a little bit more action going here. We’re going to turn up practice a couple notches, definitely.”
Island School freshman striker Brianna Binder had a chance to score with a penalty kick at the 44th minute, but was denied by Kauai junior goalkeeper Tammie Yoshimori.
At the 54th minute, Voyagers junior midfielder Brianna Griep made a move past Yoshimori in the 18-yard box, but Taniguchi ran back in time to clear the ball.
“We definitely found opportunities, 1-on-1, but we missed on those opportunities,” said Island School head coach Colby Ayonon. “In those little moments, we got to be able to capitalize on.
“I think it (scoring) comes off of confidence. Anything in that 18, if you have that opportunity, you have to be a little bit more selfish. Then hopefully, we can get a shot on frame,” he added.
Kauai (2-0-2 KIF) will play Waimea at Hanapepe Stadium and Island School (1-2-1 KIF) will play Kapaa at Vidinha Stadium on Wednesday. The varsity girls games begin 7 p.m., following the varsity boys.