LIHUE — Warriors sophomore winger Tiernan Kehoe scored the go-ahead goal off a penalty kick at the 52nd minute to give Kapaa High School’s varsity boys soccer team a 1-0 victory over Waimea at Vidinha Stadium on Wednesday night.
“I had to capitalize on the opportunity. I can’t miss a PK,” Kehoe said of his game-winning score. “You just got to be calm, take the shot and imagine it going in. It felt great.”
With the victory, the Warriors (3-1-1 KIF, 10 points) share the top spot with the Menehune on the Kauai Interscholastic Federation standings.
Kapaa head coach Gary Hudson said he’s happy to see his team picking up momentum after starting the season with a loss and a draw.
“We’re feeling that as a team. We were a little disappointed in our start of our game tonight. We were a little too nonchalant, thinking that we had this in the bag,” Hudson said. “But I think the boys answered more in the second half. We talked to them at halftime, and they responded well.”
Waimea head coach Kapono Chong-Hanssen said he’s not so much disappointed in the fact that his team lost, but more so in the fashion it happened. He believes Kapaa shouldn’t have been awarded the penalty kick that would become the only goal in the match.
“It’s just frustrating to lose the points because of a decision like that. To me, everyone in the stands saw that it was a delayed reaction and a dive afterwards,” he said. “It’s just frustrating to lose like that, but I’m proud of the way my boys played. Just got to move on from that.”
Waimea junior Devon Hartsell, who is typically an outside defensive back, stepped in at goalkeeper. The usual starter, junior Noah Alejandro, wasn’t available after suffering a concussion during the team’s match against Island School.
Aside from the penalty kick, Hartsell did not surrender a goal. One of his more eye-catching saves came at the 25th minute when Kapaa junior midfielder Justin Franklin had a shot on goal from about the edge of the 18-yard box, and Hartsell reached upward to get a hand on the ball.
“I got lucky a few times, but I feel that I had a decent game,” said the Waimea backup keeper. “The whole team was pretty good today. We’ll come back harder next time when we have all of our players in the right spots. Hopefully, we’ll have the same synergy that we had going in the first game where we tied against Kapaa and take this one back from them.”
Chong-Hanssen added Alejandro was feeling fine and wanted to play, but is still going through the concussion protocol. He hopes to have his first-string goalie back soon.
During stoppage time, Kapaa assistant coach Mark Sassone got a red card for dissent, or acting overly aggressive, when arguing a call.
“Mark is a passionate coach. What happened on that play was the kid got cleaned out, and the ref had turned and looked the other way,” Hudson said about the foul. “We’re just trying to stand up for our players. We don’t want to see anybody get hurt out there. He was voicing (his opinion). He wasn’t attacking anybody. Just our player had gotten hurt. We’re just trying to protect our kids. That’s all.”
Waimea (3-1-1 KIF, 10 points) will host Kauai on Saturday at Hanapepe Stadium. The varsity boys’ game will begin at 3:30 p.m.
Kapaa’s varsity boys will also play on Saturday against Island School. The boys’ match will begin at noon at Vidinha Stadium.
– The Warrior wahine shot out to a three-goal advantage during the first half en route to a 4-0 win over the Menehune varsity girls on Wednesday.
“Our main area of emphasis was passing accuracy. We still have a challenge with that, but I think they’re starting to gel a little bit as a team,” said Kapaa head coach Kevin Cram. “When they’re all working together, it looks good out there. But the technical part, we still need some work on.
Freshman forward April Barnes scored two goals in the first half — the first at the third minute and the second at the 25th minute.
She also had an assist when she shot a cross from the far side of the field and sophomore forward Kaisha Davis-Caberto was inside the box to head the ball in for the score at the 57th minute.
“The first one, it was a one-on-one with the goalie. It was an easy touch for goal,” Barnes said. “We did well in finding the through balls.”
Kapaa junior forward Ana Carvalho-Toloai scored the team’s second goal at the 20th minute.
Waimea head coach William Trugillo said the team is progressing despite being winless so far this year. He sees improvement, especially from his midfielders.
“The three middles were much better today than they have been in the past few games,” he said. “I told them that was the key. We had some spots here and there when we were able to control it. That was because the middle was active.
“There is improvement. You can see longer stretches where the girls have a better understanding of the game. But they got to come out with fire from the very beginning,” the Menehune coach added.
Kapaa (5-1-1 KIF, 16 points) will also play against Island School on Saturday. The girls’ match will begin at 10 a.m. at Vidinha Stadium.
Waimea (0-7-0 KIF, 0 points) will play Kauai at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Hanapepe Stadium.