LIHUE — Island School’s varsity boys soccer team defeated Kapaa, 2-nil, late Wednesday afternoon in a rainy match at Vidinha Stadium.
“I’m proud of the boys. Our defense was tough tonight,” said Island School head coach Sean Magoun. “There were some close calls. (Senior goalkeeper Andres Elzaurdia) came up big with a couple of big saves. Our back three, along with help from our midfielders, really stepped up tonight and tried to deny every good shot that they could. That’s key to give our offensive guys an opportunity go get down to goal.”
Island School (3-0-1 KIF) scored both its goals in the second half and from long range.
The first goal came at the 48th minute. Junior defender Kyle Leibow took a free kick from well-outside the penalty area. He took a shot toward goal, and his ball bounced off a Warriors defender before crossing the goal line.
“I saw the opening on that shot, so I just took it,” Leibow said. “Got a nice, little deflection. Got the goal, and we carried through.”
“You’re never going to score if you don’t shoot. So, just take the opportunity. You never know. It might go in,” he added.
Later in the half, Voyagers freshman midfielder Conor Hunt fired from long distance and his shot went straight to the net.
“The second one, Conor just took a quick look up, took aim, ripped it,” Magoun said. “Both boys, they put their sights on the goal, and they put the ball towards the net.”
Kapaa (0-3-1 KIF) had a chance at an equalizer at the 66th minute. Junior midfielder Gabe Franklin took a chance from inside the 18-yard box. Elzaurdia made a diving save to deny Franklin of a goal.
“The keeper was there. Give credit to the keeper,” said Kapaa head coach Kevin Cram. “Placement on the shots, that will come with experience.”
Minutes later, Warriors senior midfielder Tiernan Kehoe had a shot from the corner of the 18-yard box, but his shot was wide of the post.
“Our inexperience hurts us,” Cram said. “Technical skills, the passing, pass choices aren’t where they need to be at this point. … It is a young team. It’s going to be a long process. But if we start it now, hopefully we’ll get them to where we want them to be.”
Kapaa had a number of chances in the closing minutes of the match, but Island School was able to hold on to preserve the shutout.
“It’s a great chess match, and you got to make sure your kids got their legs underneath them, and that the conditioning is really starting to work in our favor,” Magoun said. “Give Kapaa credit for pressing us and coming at us. It’s great. That’s the game.”
While it’s exciting to lead the standings four games into the regular season, Leibow said the team doesn’t want to rest on its laurels.
“We’re just trying to go game-by-game. We’re trying not to look ahead too much. (Just) keeping the spirit up, I guess,” the Voyager said.
Island School will next host Waimea at 4 p.m. Tuesday. Kapaa will play Kauai High at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Vidinha Stadium.
Island School: Kyle Leibow (48’), Conor Hunt (68’)
At Vidinha Stadium
Varsity boys: Island School 2, Kapaa 0
Island goal scorers: Kyle Leibow, Conor Hunt
Varsity girls: Kapaa 11, Island School 0
Kapaa goal scorers: Brianna Binder 4, Kaisha Davis-Caberto 3, Aiyanah Walker 2, Talia Washington, Natalie Devin
At Hanapepe Stadium
Varsity boys: Waimea 2, Kauai 0
Waimea goal scorers: Isaiah Duldulao, Cody Taniguchi
Varsity girls: Kauai 8, Waimea 0
Kauai goal scorers: Kehela Ventura 3, Kayla Kawamura 2, Chassidy Cantorna, Kara Goldstein, Ciena Caires