HANAPEPE — Island School and Waimea High School’s varsity boys soccer teams played to a 1-1 draw Tuesday afternoon at Hanapepe Stadium.
“Another tough one. It’s our second tie of the new season,” said Waimea head coach Kapono Chong-Hanssen. “Disappointing to let them equalize after scoring the one goal.
“Overall, we’re going through some growing pains. It’s different. After 10 years of not winning and then to win a (Kauai Interscholastic Federation championship), it’s a total different scenario to try to be retaining the title. It’s an adjustment for these guys, and we’re still adjusting to it.”
Waimea (0-0-2 KIF) struck first at the 44th minute.
Menehune junior midfielder Kody Gardner served a corner kick, and senior forward Carl Mecham was in the penalty area to meet Gardner’s ball for the score.
“It’s really a matter of effort. When these guys are putting in 100 percent into attacking these balls, we’re going to get those no matter what,” Chong-Hanssen said. “Kody Gardner can just put the ball wherever he wants, and we have enough guys that can finish. But it’s matter of putting in that effort every single time.”
Island School (1-0-1 KIF) then equalized soon after.
Voyagers junior forward Brandon Beydoun had possession of the ball and was streaking down the sideline. Beydoun crossed the ball into the 18-yard box, and junior midfielder Ryan Yavinsky had the shot to put the ball to the net.
“It was a great service from Brandon Beydoun. Brandon worked hard to get it down the line, and he gave a great left-footed service down the middle,” said Island School head coach Sean Magoun. “Ryan was at the right spot at the right time at the (penalty kick) mark, and he put it home.”
At the 66th minute, Mecham had a shot at a go-ahead goal again off a corner kick, but the ball bounced off a Voyagers defender and was cleared out of the penalty area.
“We just need to buckle down, and we need to have the same attitude we had in years past,” Chong-Hanssen said. “We need to be scrappy — scrape and claw for everything.”
In the closing minutes of the match, Island School had a free kick from outside the 18-yard box. Off the set piece, Voyagers freshman midfielder Conor Hunt took a shot from distance but the ball sailed high.
“You try to get creative with your pieces so you don’t get predictable and just send the ball to the back post,” Magoun said. “You try to cultivate opportunities where you can.”
Waimea will next play against Kapaa at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Vidinha Stadium. Island School will host Kauai High at noon on Saturday.
“We’re taking it one practice, one game at a time,” Magoun said. “I don’t take any team for granted. That’s why we play the games. I’m proud of my boys. They’ve worked hard. We’re just looking forward to our next contest.”