LIHUE — The Warriors’ win over the Voyagers on Saturday garnered them another championship.
Kapaa High School’s varsity boys soccer team (8-2-2 KIF, 26 points) edged Waimea in the Kauai Interscholastic Federation season standings to win a second-consecutive title.
“It shows that all our hard work is paying off,” said Kapaa senior goalkeeper Austyne Carvalho-Toloai about winning the KIF title. “We had a lot of help, thanks to the Kauai High guys. Just got to get ready for states now.”
Kapaa will participate at the Outrigger Hotels & Resorts Boys Soccer Championships — Division II tournament on Oahu later this month.
“We know what kind of adversity we’re going to face up there against the other guys, and what we do in order to win,” Carvalho-Toloai said about playing at states. “We will need to score more. I know today we scored nine goals, but we need to keep it up.”
Kapaa 9, Island School 0
Warriors junior Matt Schmidt, who is typically a defender, played forward on Saturday and scored four goals en route to the team’s 9-0 victory at Island School (0-12-0, 0 points).
“We pressured and balls just went loose. I just took advantage of it,” Schmidt said about his four-goal performance. “Our wingers did pretty good at crossing it in. It was a pretty good day for football.”
“A lot more sprinting straight to goal. A lot more down time in the game, and also a lot more creativity,” he added about the position switch. “Just pressuring all the defenders over there and making runs through the passing lanes.”
Junior forward Caleb Neumann scored two goals in Saturday’s match. Junior winger Max Nice, junior center midfielder Justin Franklin and junior midfielder Eljay Camat each scored a goal, as well.
Kapaa head coach Gary Hudson said his team was extra-motivated to bounce back with a good performance following a 4-1 loss to Waimea on Wednesday at Hanapepe Stadium.
“We had a good couple of days of practice. They felt like they had something to prove,” Hudson said. “They came out and they did their job.”
Island School head coach Sean Magoun said, though it wasn’t the result he had hoped for in the team’s season finale, he is looking
forward to seeing how much better his underclassmen will be when they return next season.
“This wasn’t our best showing, but I’d also like to give credit to Kapaa for trying to peak at the right time as they try to prepare and try to advance themselves at states,” he said. “That being said, I do think we could have showed better. It was the last game of the season, but sometimes with these freshmen and sophomores, it’s hard to predict what you’re going to get. But it wasn’t our best game, for sure.”
“I think we’ll need to set the bar pretty high, and we’ll need them to work for it,” he said about next year’s possibilities. “They’ll physically be a little bigger next year. (Freshmen) will be sophomores, and sophomores will be juniors. That’s what we need.”
Kauai 2, Waimea 1
Red Raiders senior center midfielder Tyren Kaneshige scored the go-ahead goal at the 69th minute to deliver a home win on the last game of the season.
Kauai High School’s varsity boys soccer team (6-4-2 KIF, 20 points) defeated Waimea on Saturday afternoon at Vidinha Stadium.
“Everybody was crowding the middle. The ball popped off of the kick. I was in the right place at the right time, and scored it,” Kaneshige said about the score. “I was pumped. I knew it was, pretty much, the game-winning goal. We took it from there.”
“It feels good. We got the win on Senior Game. Just wanted to leave it all out on the field,” the Kauai senior added. “Just wanted to have fun in the last game.”
Kauai head coach Mark Brandeburg said he’s pleased his team gave its full effort despite no longer being in contention for a KIF championship.
“This is one of the best group of kids I’ve coached in many years. It’s been a lot of fun this year,” he said. “Nothing but class with these guys — they bonded, they’re friendly and they played together on and off of the field. It’s been a great year.”
Junior forward Eric Benitez stuck first at the 25th minute for Kauai.
Waimea sophomore forward Isaiah Duldulao scored an equalizer at the 49th minute, heading the ball to the net inside the 18-yard box. Junior backer Devon Hartsell served the cross to Duldulao from the far side of the field.
With the loss, Waimea (7-3-2 KIF, 23 points) fell three points short of forcing a playoff game with Kapaa.
“It was tough against the wind, and some of the calls went against us,” said Menehune head coach Kapono Chong-Hanssen. “Tough loss, but at least the boys responded back in the second half. I’m proud of what they did this year.”