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Menehune faces a must win against Voyagers

LIHUE — The cancellation of one game, Wednesday sets the stage for Saturday games in the Kauai Interscholastic Federation boys soccer season.

Island School will visit Waimea High School in a single contest starting at 10 a.m. at the Hanapepe Stadium, and Kauai High School boys will face off against Kapaa High School at Vidinha Stadium when the junior varsity match kicks off at 10 a.m. followed by the varsity match starting at 11:45 a.m.

“Waimea must win (Saturday),” said Island School coach Sean Magoun following the Voyagers’ 3-0 shutout over Kauai High School, Wednesday night at the Island School fields. “No ties, no losses — Waimea needs to win.”

Kalei Kanehe led the Voyager win Wednesday with an assist in the first half, then following that, notched his own goal, and another assist in the second half against the Red Raiders whose ranks were bolstered by upgrades from its JV team.

“This is a young team,” said Kauai coach Guga Tosi, directing his defensive forces to have at least two defenders against the hot foot of Voyager Carlos Lang. “We’ve got injured players.”

Despite that, the Red Raiders put up a dominant defensive showing through the first 40 minutes of play, highlighted by the numerous saves from its goalkeeper Tai Panit, defender Nathan Sullivan, and position movements of the Bautista brothers, Mosiah and Jaffi.

Kanehe took his position on a corner kick by Kanehe late in the first half, and after pulling the trigger, Hanalei Wann headed the ball in traffic to give the Voyagers a 1-0 bulge in the 41st minue — just two plays before the break.

Halftime adjustments saw the young Raider team return with surges of offense in the clean (no infraction cards issued) contest played out before spectators building from pau hana time.

The Voyagers capitalized on the Raider adjustments early in the second half when Kanehe fired off from the left corner and found the goal in the 50th minute.

Lang iced the win in the 60th minute after outrunning his defender and firing nearly point-blank after getting the Kanehe assist at the defending Panit and the goal.

“We made mistakes and Island School capitalized,” Tosi said. “Two mistakes, and two goals. We need to correct that — not make those mistakes.”

Tosi and the Red Raiders will face Kapaa High School, previously unbeaten in the season, during the Saturday showdown on the final scheduled KIF season calendar. Pending on the calendar are a pair of contests that were not played due to safety concerns because of weather conditions.

The Kapaa JV had a workout ahead of its Saturday 10 a.m. opener, battling to a 2-2 stalemate against the Menehune JV in a single contest that was rescheduled to a 6 p.m. start time due to the cancellation of the varsity matchup at Vidinha Stadium.

Waimea tested the Kapaa defense in the 12th minute when Makai Walker found the net on an assist from his wing man Jaymen Niheu-Kamaka who outran his Warrior JV check.

Nick Blum answered the deficit for Kapaa in the 31st minute for the 1-1 tie at the break in the Vidinha Stadium chill brought on by the colorful setting of the sun.

Playing under the lights, Waimea’s Joey Sams went up the middle in the 48th minute to put the Menehune JV up, 2-1 before Kapaa answered when Kala Rall shouldered the ball in traffic off a corner kick in the 66th minute for the stalemate.

The Kapaa JV will open Saturday against the Kauai JV boys starting at 10 a.m.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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