Voyagers score late equalizer

PUHI — Island School and Waimea High School’s varsity boys soccer teams played to a 1-1 draw Wednesday afternoon in Puhi.

Shortly before Voyagers freshman midfielder Conor Hunt scored at the 80th minute to equalize, Island School (3-0-2 KIF) had a chance off a corner kick. Voyagers senior defender Tai Mitchell met the ball inside the box, but his shot sailed above the crossbar.

Island School head coach Sean Magoun said though he’s glad to have tied rather than have lost, he wasn’t too thrilled with how his team played.

“We have to take the tie away from this game, and realize that all we were able to get today was an equalizer,” he said. “We had ample opportunities — just didn’t capitalize. Again, that’s why we play the game. I wasn’t overall impressed with the performance of our team as a whole. The rust showed. Not playing consistent games definitely showed.”

Waimea struck first at the 22nd minute. Menehune senior forward Carl Mecham scored from inside the penalty area.

Waimea could have had a second goal at the 68th minute when senior midfielder Justin Fune took a shot from inside the 18-yard box. The ball bounced off the crossbar and appeared to have crossed the goal line, but a goal wasn’t called and play continued.

“I think we scored a second goal. I’m not sure what the ref didn’t see,” said Waimea head coach Kapono Chong-Hanssen. “We saw the net move, and it bounced down afterwards. I have a hard time understanding how that didn’t go in. But the calls didn’t go our way, and we ended up tying.”

Waimea (2-0-3 KIF) played at a disadvantage for an entire half.

The Menehune were issued three red cards in the match — one just before halftime and another early in the second half — and played a majority of the second half with nine players on the field.

“It’s tough when you’re getting red cards called on you left and right,” Chong-Hanssen said. “The guys pulled it together. They played really well. But when you’re playing nine versus 12, they finally got a goal at the end. I was really happy with how the guys pulled it together in the second half, and really worked for each other even though we were two men down for the second half.”

A Waimea assistant coach was also issued a red card while pleading with the game official regarding the non-goal. Additionally, the team was issued three yellow cards.

“Some of them were warranted. Some of them, I think, weren’t warranted at all,” Chong-Hanssen said. “I think we got a raw deal on a lot of those cards. But that’s the game. You just got to work through it.”

Magoun said of having the two-player advantage but only getting one goal: “Give credit to Waimea. They played very hard. Even with nine guys, they played valiantly. I applaud that, but we could have been better about the finishing third (of the field).”

Waimea will play Kapaa at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, and Island School will play Kauai High at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Both matches will be played at Vidinha Stadium.

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