HANAPEPE — Kauai High School’s varsity boys soccer team defeated Waimea High School, 2-0, Tuesday afternoon at Hanapepe Stadium.
“For this game, we worked on tactics — more than just your positioning. What is the other team doing, and how can we either capitalize on their mistakes or cut off what they’re trying to do,” said Kauai head coach Guga Tosi. “Understanding other perspectives, the other team’s strategy, and work with that. That was our goal today.”
Kauai (1-0-1 KIF) got the opening goal at the 31st minute. Jonathan Hine scored from inside the 18-yard box.
“It was kind of a fumble from the goalie. He kind of missed the ball. It was a nice cross-slash-shot to goal,” Tosi said. “Luckily, Jon Hine was at the perfect spot. We’ve been trying to get him to crash the goal, and he just tucked it in.”
Kauai’s Logan Noice extended the team’s lead to two at the 58th minute with a one-on-one opportunity at goal.
“It was a through ball, and it got him into space. It was a perfect one-touch,” Tosi said. “I’ve been teaching him to stay calm. Don’t just try to kick. Find where the placement is, and he did it perfectly. One touch into space, he looked and just tucked it in to the left. I’m trying to teach him to do that as an attacker. For me, that was phenomenal.”
Waimea (0-2-0 KIF) picked up the pace and had several chances at goal after Kauai’s second score in the second half.
Waimea’s Kody Lehano-Tanaka had three scoring chances in the last 15 minutes of the match. Two of them were shot at goal, but Kauai goalkeeper Kyson Ikehara got the saves.
“The last 10-15 minutes of the game, we completely (dominated). That’s what we can do. We just got to find the net,” said Waimea head coach Mark Kennett. “Some changes will be made in the way we go about things. We got to. Hopefully, we’ll turn it around.”
In stoppage time, Waimea was awarded a corner kick. Sean Mullikin met the ball with his head inside the penalty area, but Ikehara was there for the save.
“We’ve just not found our rhythm yet,” Kennett said. “We have moments where we’re really good, and then just some complete lapses. I attribute it, a little bit, to that we didn’t go to preseason. This is only the second game we’ve actually played. We got a long way to go. Hopefully, we will find it and get into that rhythm of finding our goal scorers.”
In Tuesday’s match, Waimea was issued three yellow cards. All of them were for unsporting behavior.
Kauai was also issued a yellow card for unsporting behavior.
“That is definitely something that will be addressed at next practice,” Kennett said. “We had two (our last game). I think mentally, they let it get to them. That, we can’t let that go on. If not, it’s going to hurt us. It’s got to stop. We can’t have this anymore.”
Tosi said: “I think we responded negatively to Waimea’s, kind of, aggressive attitude sometimes. I’ve been trying to teach these guys, ‘Hey, don’t let the aggressiveness get to you. Be the bigger man and cool it off. Let me as the coach answer for you. … The moment you put yourself in that position, then you’re both wrong.’”
Kauai will play against Kapaa at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Vidinha Stadium. Waimea will host Island School at 10 a.m. Saturday at Hanapepe Stadium.
Before Saturday’s matches, Island School (0-0-1 KIF) will host Kapaa (1-0-0 KIF) at 4 p.m. Thursday in Puhi.
Kauai: Jonathan Hine (31’), Logan Noice (58’)
Kauai: Kalei Anderson, yellow (unsporting behavior)
Waimea: Jensen Battulayan, yellow (unsporting behavior); Nicholas Semblante, yellow (unsporting behavior); River Owen, yellow (unsporting behavior)
Nick Celario, sports writer, can be reached at 245-0437 or firstname.lastname@example.org.