LIHUE — Senior forward Ryno Banasihan scored the game-winning goal late in the second half to preserve the Warriors’ unbeaten streak.
Kapaa High School’s varsity boys soccer team defeated Waimea, 1-0, Wednesday afternoon at Vidinha Stadium.
“They just made a great pass, and they made it easy for me,” Banasihan said.
Banasihan scored at the 70th minute from inside the 18-yard box. Though he’s glad for the win, Banasihan said he’s disappointed he didn’t score on other chances.
“Actually, it didn’t feel that good because I missed the first few,” he said. “But it’s not that hard (to stay dialed in) because my teammates keep pushing on and keep feeding me, even though I miss sometimes.”
Kapaa (4-0-0 KIF) is not unbeaten through four regular season games.
“It’s a great start on our end, in being able to pull all three points in all the matches,” said Kapaa head coach Kevin Cram. “It gives us a bit of a comfortable lead, but we need to continue to improve and win games to gain the points if we want to come out winners of the league.”
Banasihan said about the win streak: “I think it’s just our teamwork. We have a lot of guys from last year. We already have that connection.”
Ahead a goal with about 10-15 minutes left, Cram said his team did enough to hang on for the win.
“We’re a goal up, which is nice. Now, all we need to do is prevent them from getting the equalizer,” Cram said. “But when they have the corner kicks and the free kicks and other things, in this game, you never know. It just takes one mistake on the defensive side to allow the offense to score. We just battled in there, which in the long run, it’s a good learning experience but it makes things challenging on my end. But it makes things more exciting for those that come to watch.”
Waimea (0-3-1 KIF) had a chance at the equalizer at the last minute. Braden Lumabao took a shot toward goal from outside the 18-yard box, but Warriors goalkeeper Chysen Lagunes-Rapozo made the save to preserve Kapaa’s lead.
“We threw an extra forward up. Whether we lose 1-0 or 10-0, we got to try to get those points,” said Waimea head coach Mark Kennett about falling behind late. “We’re still alive. It’s going to be tough, but we play them two more times. You never know what will happen.”
Earlier in the second half, Banasihan had a one-on-one opportunity at goal, but Menehune goalie Bryson Kapuhu made the save to preserve a 0-0 tie.
“Bryson, boy, he played an amazing game today. He kept us in it a lot with some fantastic saves,” Kennett said. “He’s matured a lot. This is only his first time in goal. This season is his first time in goal. So for that, my hats off.”
Kennett added Wednesday’s match was the best performance his team has put out so far despite the loss.
“The ball bounces, and they took advantage of it, but I think we played a much better game than we did the first time (against Kapaa),” the Menehune coach said. “We’ve improved. We still got more improving to do, but the ball bounces the other way. But I’m really proud of the way we played. We’re definitely improving, and we’re getting better.”
Banasihan, Kapaa’s Kaiana Oliver and Waimea’s Keith Kanna were each issued yellow cards in Wednesday’s match.
Kapaa will play at Island School (0-1-3 KIF) at noon Saturday in Puhi. Waimea will host Kauai High (1-1-2 KIF) at 1:45 p.m. Saturday at Hanapepe Stadium.
Varsity boys: Kapaa 1, Waimea 0; goal scorers: Kapaa: Ryno Banasihan
Varsity girls: Kapaa 0, Waimea 0, tie
Varsity girls: Kauai 7, Island 2; goal scorers: Kauai: Mia Takekuma 3, Kaylee Alapai-Drone, Makenna Domingo, Eryka Napoleon, Audrey Yukimura; Island: Tayolor Raco, Cass Hubbard
Nick Celario, sports writer, can be reached at 245-0437 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: The Garden Island