LIHUE — Kauai High School coach Auika Metcalfe said Saturday’s game against Kapaa High School at Vidinha Stadium was so exciting, she was shaking.
The Red Raiders looked at a 2-1 halftime deficit before rebounding to end the day in a 4-4 deadlock against the Warriors. The deadlock also broke the string of Kapaa girls’ not allowing a goal in their seven previous matches.
“I’m very proud of our girls,” Metcalfe said. “They worked hard, fought hard. But we still have a lot to work on for the big picture. We’re trying to find the best positions, trying to see what fits, and at what time. This is every practice, every game, we’re inching closer to the big picture of traveling and playing beyond.”
Kapaa struck early when Brianna Binder got the assist from Talia Washington, going straight up the middle in the fourth minute.
Kyla Bandsma came up the right crown and fired into the net at the 17th minute for the 2-0 lead, which stood until the 38th minute when Kauai broke the no-goals-allowed string on an Eryka Napoleon goal with an assist from Kassidie Bukoski.
Napoleon scored a second, and the Raiders also got goals from Kehela Ventura and Chassidy Cantorna to stalemate the match.
Following Binder’s and Bandsma’s first-half goals, Kapaa’s Kaylee Overmyer found the net in the 53rd minute for the 3-2 go-ahead, and April Barnes gave the Warriors a 4-2 lead with her goal in the 58th minute.
The Raiders answered with the final two goals for the deadlock.
“This was anyone’s game,” said Kapaa coach Mytra Mckeague. “The girls did well out there, and this was good for us as coaches. It gave us great coaching points — to see what we need to work on. We might have a half-game advantage, but there’s still a lot of soccer to play.”
Earlier in the day, Kapaa boys battled back from a 0-0 halftime stalemate to edge past Kauai, 3-1, behind goals from La‘akea Gonsalves, Joshua Layaoen and Ryan Banasihan.
Layaoen found the net in the 49th minute after his shot was deflected by the Kauai goalkeeper and settled into the net.
The Raiders answered the bad break in the 51st minute by deadlocking the match on a goal from Kaimana Bessert.
Kauai continued its defensive slugfest with a shortened bench after one of its players suffered an injury, leaving the Raiders void of substitutes.
“We only had one substitute,” said Kauai coach Martin Steinhaus. “Considering that we even played short at one point, the boys played well.”
Kapaa closed the door in the final three minutes of play after Banasihan and Layaoen found the net.
“They’re getting better,” said Kapaa coach Kevin Cram. “They’re good kids, and we want to make better players out of them. Maintaining possession is big for us, and we are getting them to execute better.”
Steinhaus is still looking for his team’s first win.
“We still are trying to figure out how to get the right fit,” he said. “But the most important thing for these boys is they try.”
Earlier in the day, the Kapaa junior varsity boys built a 2-0 halftime lead and took a 3-1 win over the Kauai JV boys. Hanohano Kuhaulua and Isaiah Blas found the net for Kapaa in the first half, with Tyler Hawthorne sealing the win in the 68th minute. Quilah Valdez secured the Kauai goal in the 54th minute.
In girls JV action, Kauai got goals from Jenna Takeuchi and Kaylee Alapai in its 2-1 win over Kapaa, which got its goal from Kalista Brigante in the second half.
The Kapaa varsity girls next host Island School Tuesday starting at 4 p.m., and the Warrior varsity boys host the Voyagers Wednesday starting at 4 p.m.
Kauai will host the Menehune Wednesday at Vidinha Stadium, with the boys scheduled to start at 5 p.m., followed by the girls match starting at 7 p.m.