Kauai’s Ventura named girls soccer POY

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island file

    Kapaa’s Jaylana Ladera, back, pressures Kauai’s Kehela Ventura (8) in the first half of a KIF varsity girls soccer match at Vidinha Stadium, in this Dec. 5 photo.

As voted for by the coaches, the Kauai Interscholastic Federation girls soccer all-stars have been named. The list was released by the league late Thursday.

Kauai High School senior forward Kehela Ventura was named Player of the Year.

“I’m just really grateful and thankful for all the opportunities soccer has provided me,” Ventura said Friday. “I’m really thankful for my coaches who have guided me through not just soccer but through life.”

Ventura led all of Division II in the state in goals scored with 22, according to ScoringLive.

“I love scoring goals. The feeling is incredible,” Ventura said. “But I get frustrated at myself (if I miss or make a bad play). So, I always have to remember to calm down before I score or when I’m dribbling down the field. It’s like, I have to think, ‘Calm down. Don’t shank it.’”

Kauai High varsity girls soccer head coach Auika Metcalfe said of Ventura: “She’s actually been playing with our varsity team at the end of her freshman year. We pulled her up to states to compete with us. So, we’ve been with her for about four years now. Every year, she’s learn and grown. She really puts all of her effort in. She’s a star player. She’s constantly working on her skill set and finding new ways to get better, and she’s always making sure that she’s prepared and ready to go.”

Ventura said she received a scholarship to play soccer for Bard College, an NCAA Division III school in New York.

“I’m really excited. For college, I was looking for a different experience from what I’m used to,” Ventura said.

Kauai High School was an undefeated 12-0 in the regular season to win this year’s KIF girls soccer championship.

Kauai head coach Auika Metcalfe was named KIF Coach of the Year.

“I’m very honored for that award, for that nomination, but it wasn’t just a singular person,” Metcalfe said. “I have a tremendous staff — Joe Cassler, Chance Bukoski and Crystal Ozaki, they were all my help. They really, really were available in any sense of the way. Any time I needed them, they were there for me.

“My athletic director Keli‘i Morgado, he’s always on our side. Always constantly, ‘What do you need? How can I help?’ It wasn’t just a me portion. It was a whole Kauai High School team of individuals. I just feel honored to be working with all of them.”

Kauai High School has four all-stars this year. Kapaa has five, Waimea has two, and Island School has one.

At the 2019 The Queen’s Medical Center Girls Soccer Championships-Division II state tournament, Kauai placed third and KIF-runner up Kapaa High School placed fourth.

Kauai defeated Kapaa, 4-1, in the third-place match at the Waipio Peninsula Soccer Complex in February.

KIF Girls Soccer All-Stars

Forward: Kehela Ventura, Kauai, senior; Hannah Collins-Doijode, Kapaa, senior; Jasmine Semblante, Waimea, freshman

Midfielder: Mia Takekuma, Kauai, junior; Eryka Napoleon, Kauai, junior; Dina Hayes, Kapaa, sophomore

Defense: Seidree Kealoha-Albarado, Kauai, senior; Jaylana Ladera, Kapaa, senior; Kaleigh Ramil, Kapaa, senior; Cassidy Hubbard, Island School, freshman

Goalkeeper: Leiko Yamauchi, Waimea, senior

Utility: Taelyn Nunes, Kapaa, senior

Player of the Year: Kehela Ventura, Kauai, senior

Coach of the Year: Auika Metcalfe, Kauai


Nick Celario, sports writer, can be reached at 245-0437 or ncelario@thegardenisland.com.


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