PUHI — The Red Raiders and Voyagers played to a stalemate in cold and rainy conditions.
Kauai High School’s and Island School’s varsity boys soccer teams played to a 0-0 draw Tuesday afternoon at the Island School campus in Puhi.
“It’s not a very nice game to watch today. The conditions were pretty dicey,” said Island head coach Sean Magoun. “I didn’t think we played to our level of soccer that we can play given the conditions, but you learn how to play in all sorts of conditions — wet, dry, hot. So, it’s a learning curve for us. It’s certainly wasn’t pretty soccer, but we had our chances. Again, we just didn’t capitalize.”
At the 59th minute, Island School (0-1-3 KIF) was awarded a free kick. Island’s Benjamin Griep took a shot toward goal from outside the 18-yard box, but Kauai goalkeeper Whitney Lugo made the save.
In the waning minutes of the match, Island’s Kalei Kanehe took a shot from inside the penalty area, but his ball rolled softly toward goal and Lugo made the save.
“Kauai High played a great game. They have a bit more speed than we do. I thought we were fortunate to come out with a tie today, but if a tie is all we’re going to get today, I’ll take it,” Magoun said. “We pushed up the field. I thought our finishing ability is not quite there yet. We need to still exercise more development of how we finish as a team. So, I think that’s still coming together. … But overall, a gritty performance by our group.”
Tuesday’s match was Island’s third tying result early in the season.
“I think for the boys, they just have to come to a point where they play, and they knock on the door so many times that eventually the floodgates will open, and they’ll be scoring in opportunities because they get it as a group and play with a certain chemistry,” Magoun said. “It takes time. I’m waiting for them to realize that moment and wake up. But, we’re still four games into the season. Albeit, I have a very young team, and they’re still learning a lot. With every match comes new lessons learned and new growth potential.”
Tuesday’s game was also the second draw between Kauai (1-1-2 KIF) and Island. In the Kauai Interscholastic Federation season opener on Dec. 8, the Red Raiders and Voyagers played to a 1-1 draw.
“Us and Island School, I think we’re both on the same wavelength, I’ll put it that way,” said Kauai head coach Guga Tosi. “This game was very clean. Just normal soccer that we see. We both want good games. For whatever reason, we’re a good match to each other.”
Kauai’s best chance at a go-ahead goal came at the 56th minute when Kaimana Besseret had a shot on goal from inside the 18-yard box, but Island goalie Kaimana Moraes made a diving save.
On the ensuing corner kick, Kauai’s Dodger Middlebrook took a shot but his ball missed high.
“Amazing battle both ways. Everybody’s hustling, and everybody’s getting the ball. This was one of the better games I’ve seen us play all season,” Tosi said. “The kids know that Island School gives us a hustle. We had plenty of opportunities, just nail-biting opportunities. We just didn’t put it in today.”
Tosi added: “The positive was that everybody was on point. I told the kids today that they were all hustling for the ball. They were communicating and talking. There were quicker passes. There was the quick one-two versus holding the ball, and then being a (one-on-one). It was more of a team game.”
Island will host Kapaa at noon Saturday. Kauai will next play on the road against Waimea at 1:45 p.m. Saturday at Hanapepe Stadium.
Before Saturday, Kapaa (3-0-0 KIF) will host Waimea (0-2-1 KIF) at 5 p.m. today at Vidinha Stadium.
Nick Celario, sports writer, can be reached at 245-0437 or email@example.com.
Source: The Garden Island