PUHI — The Voyagers bookended their season with one last win at home.
Island School’s varsity boys soccer team defeated Kauai High, 2-1, Saturday morning.
“We played as a team. We got everyone on the field. We didn’t get to go to states this year, but we closed it out strong, and I’m proud of our team,” said Voyagers junior forward Brandon Beydoun.
Beydoun scored the go-ahead goal at the 44th minute when Island School was awarded a corner kick.
Sophomore midfielder Benjamin Griep played the ball toward goal, and Beydoun met the ball with his head in the penalty area to score.
“One of my teammates (junior defender Kyle Leibow) blocked the goalie. I saw it go through, and headed the ball,” Beydoun said.
After falling behind, Island School (6-4-2 KIF) scored an equalizer midway through the first half. Freshman midfielder Conor Hunt got the game-tying goal from inside the 18-yard box.
“Credit to them for getting that early goal. But, hopefully, the sign of a mature team is to understand there’s 80 minutes of a match, and to be patient, build and work towards it,” said Island School head coach Sean Magoun. “We equalized a short time after. From that standpoint, I think the boys showed great maturity.”
Kauai High got the match’s first goal minutes into the first half, also off a corner kick.
Red Raiders sophomore midfielder Dodger Middlebrook took the corner kick for Kauai, and senior forward Rylen Yadao was there in the 18-yard box to tap in the ball to the net.
Kauai had one last chance at an equalizer in the closing minutes. Senior forward Domingo Garcia flicked the ball overhead to set up his shot toward goal. Voyagers senior goalkeeper Andres Elzaurdia was there to make the save to preserve Island School’s lead.
“Got to give credit to their goalie. Their goalie is excellent. He saved some tough shots,” said Kauai head coach Martin Steinhaus. “It’s part of the game. They have a team that’s more experienced. They have players that connect better on the field.”
Kauai High concludes it season with a 3-7-2 record in the Kauai Interscholastic Federation regular season.
“It was an eye-opener for all of the players,” Steinhaus said. “Some of them coming from (junior varsity) for the past three years, Kauai JV boys soccer has been the dominant one. So, they had their winning culture behind them. And then they come here and they had to struggle and build from the very beginning. Each game was like a learning step.”
“I would say, overall, there’s been improvement. We are on the right track. I just hope we can get players that can connect better in the game of soccer and be more (successful),” he added.
Island School finishes with a 6-4-2 KIF record and is runner-up to Waimea High School.
Five Voyagers seniors played their final match: Elzaurdia, forward Andy Anderton, midfielder Tanner Tavares and defenders Tai Mitchell and Michael Chung.
“The five seniors have been with us four years and have been very committed from beginning to end,” Magoun said. “Their work ethic is to be applauded. Sometimes, you get kids who come and go — who dabble in the sport, tried out, don’t quite like it and move on. But these gentlemen have stuck through it, and some of them not seeing much playing time. But their commitment to the group, that’s what you hope for.”
Kauai’s Middlebrook and junior forward Jackson Peterson were issued yellow cards during the second half — Middlebrook for unsporting behavior, and Peterson for dangerous play.
Island School: Conor Hunt (14’), Brandon Beydoun (44’)
Kauai: Rhylen Yadao (3’)