LIHUE — The Warrior wahine footballers inched closer to a third-consecutive Kauai Interscholastic Federation championship.
Kapaa High School’s varsity girls soccer team defeated Kauai High, 1-nil, Saturday at Vidinha Stadium.
With Saturday’s result, Kapaa (9-1-0 KIF) needs at least a draw in one of its last two matches to clinch the KIF title.
“Very huge win. We knew Kauai High was coming to play,” said Kapaa head coach Mytra McKeague. “We knew they were going to give it their all. Hats off to them. They played a great game. We were fortunate to get a goal early in the second half, and we just fought through that.”
Following a scoreless first half, Kapaa got on the board at the 57th minute. Warriors junior midfielder Kaylee Overmyer took a shot from well-outside the 18-yard box.
“One of my teammates, I believe it was (senior midfielder Natalie Devin), dropped the ball back to me. I just saw the opening and just took it. And some my teammates were yelling for me to rip it,” Overmyer said. “It felt amazing.”
Minutes after Overmyer’s goal, Red Raiders senior forward Judy Ann Edurise made a run toward goal and was knocked off by Warriors junior defender Anolani Rosa just outside the penalty area.
Consequently, Rosa was issued a red card for “denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity” and Kapaa played the rest of the match down one player.
“I don’t think that was intentional, but that was the rule,” McKeague said. “She didn’t play the player, so that’s a good thing. Never played down (a player) before, so that was a new experience for me. Luckily, my assistant coaches have. … So, we played more defensively and more forward play.”
Overmyer added about playing short a player: “It was really hard. We had to change our formation. We were playing one down. There’s always a man open. We were just holding and being accountable for our marks.”
On the ensuing Red Raiders free kick, junior midfielder Kyla Bandsma played the ball toward goal and the ball deflected off the Warriors wall.
Later in the second half, Red Raiders sophomore forward Kehela Ventura had a shot on goal from inside the 18-yard box. Warriors senior goalkeeper Nygeria Williams made a diving save to deny Kauai an equalizer.
“The girls played their hearts out. They never gave up,” said Kauai head coach Joe Cassler. “That’s all I can ask from them every single game — that they just play with the game we taught them, and they do it with all the effort and all the integrity that we ask them to. It just didn’t go in our favor.”
During the first half, Kauai (7-3-0 KIF) had the majority of scoring chances. Perhaps the Red Raiders’ best chance was at the 32nd minute.
Red Raiders senior midfielder Britney Ehia headed the ball over Williams, as Williams attempted to make a play on the ball, and toward an empty net. But a Warriors defender was able to get to the ball and clear it out.
“We were pushing the ball forward. We were moving it around the way we wanted to,” Cassler said. “Give credit to the Kapaa team and their defense today. They really hung in there, and they took a lot of high pressure. We just didn’t get the ball in the back of the net today.”
McKeague said about the first half: “They were definitely on their toes in the first half. At halftime, we spoke with the girls and said, ‘We need to be first to the ball.’ I think in the second half, they came out first to the ball — on their toes every play.”
Red Raiders senior defender Railee Layosa was issued a yellow card in the second half for unsporting behavior.
Kapaa will next play Waimea (0-10-0 KIF) at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Hanapepe Stadium. Kauai will host Island School (4-6-0 KIF) at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Vidinha Stadium.
Kapaa: Kaylee Overmyer (57’)
At Hanapepe Stadium
Varsity girls: Island 3, Waimea 1
Island goal scorers: Ali Temme 2, Nora Foss
Waimea goal scorer: Jana Luis
Varsity boys: Waimea 3, Island 0
Waimea goal scorers: Isaiah Duldulao 2, Kody Gardner
At Vidinha Stadium
Junior varsity girls: Kapaa 3, Kauai 2
Kapaa goal scorers: Taelyn Nunes 2, Maya Loughead
Kauai goal scorers: Mia Takekuma, Keiley Albarado-Planas
Junior varsity boys: Kapaa 1, Kauai 0
Kapaa goal scorer: Nakela Snyder
Varsity girls: Kapaa 1, Kauai 0
Kapaa goal scorer: Kaylee Overmyer
Varsity boys: Kapaa 1, Kauai 0
Kapaa goal scorer: Tutearii Tuturu