LIHU‘E — Kaua‘i High School soccer player Mosiah Bautista scored two goals, Monday night during the Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation boys soccer match against Kapa‘a High School at Vidinha Stadium.
The pair of second-half goals came up short, when Kapa‘a’s Kellen O’Rourke iced the 4-2 Kapa‘a victory on a goal in the 72nd minute, giving the Warriors the KIF boys soccer championship before a crowd that huddled against the night chill.
“The games are over (on Kaua‘i),” said Kapa‘a coach Kevin Cram. “We treated this as a training game, giving as many players field experience as we could.”
Kapa‘a’s KIF championship earns the Warriors a berth to The Queen’s Medical Center Hawaii High School Athletic Association Division 2 boys soccer championships that will contest Feb. 13 through 15 at the Waipio Peninsula Soccer Complex on Oahu.
“This is challenging,” Cram said. “But this team has the potential to win if we can match up with our opponents. The Warriors have been to the state tournament for about nine, or 10 times, and during those trips, we’ve made the finals seven times, and won three.”
Kapa‘a lost little time in gaining control of the field, breaking into the scorebooks on a Kaulia Shiroma net in just the third minute while the Red Raiders were attempting to set their game.
“The players were given some opportunities to scoring goals,” Cram said. “We as coaches try to make the game as easy as possible for the players. They need to play, we do the thinking.”
Team captain La‘a Gonsalves found the net in the 23rd minute, and Keanu Brown’s long shot from near midfield in the 32nd minute pushed Kapa‘a to a 3-0 bulge at the break.
“Kaua‘i outplayed them, 2-1 in the second half,” said KIF official Martin Steinhaus, a former Kaua‘i High School coach. “The Raiders should use that as building blocks for their future teams.”
Bautista opened the second half Kaua‘i goal on a penalty kick in the 57th minute that was answered by Shiroma’s net. The Raiders continued to press, and on a second effort, Bautista found his second net from about 30 yards out to complete the night’s scoring.
“We worked to give as many players field play experience,” Cram said. “We had them work on advancing the ball, and had a few players playing out of position to get them accustomed to playing in a different spot from their normal position. This is all to get things right. The seedings and pairings for the state tournament come out later this week for our play, next week.”