LIHU‘E — Kaua‘i High School took a 3-2 edge over Waimea, and the Island School Voyagers came away with a 3-1 win over in Kapa‘a, as the Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation inaugurated its 2023 boys soccer season in occasional showers that peppered both Vidinha Stadium and Bryan J. Baptiste (BJB) Sports Complex on Tuesday afternoon.
The Red Raiders, rebounding with a full roster following last season when the team struggled to keep a full set of players throughout the season, struck first in the 10th minute of play when Menehune goalkeeper Edward Pinkston misjudged the action and came out of the box on a defensive charge only to have the ball get past him for the sole score in the first half.
Waimea answered in the second half with two goals, both off the leg of Shayden Ranis-Alameda Dela Cruz whose prowess was demonstrated during the final games of the Waimea football season.
With less than two minutes peeled off in the second half, Ranis-Alamedia Dela Cruz capitalized on a penalty kick. He followed that score on a corner kick score with about 15 minutes remaining in the contest.
The Red Raiders broke the 1-1 deadlock in the second half by going to the long ball.
After being squirreled around near the goal box, the ball broke free toward midfield where Kaua‘i’s Andy Pham was there to receive the sphere and send it into the back of the net from about 40 yards out in the 55th minute.
Kaua‘i’s Kai Potts, struggling through cramping in the midfield during the second half, recovered sufficiently to send another long ball, this one from about 30 yards out, through traffic and into the back of the net for the 3-1 go-ahead before Ranis-Alameda Dela Cruz’s corner kick goal.
Kaua‘i coach Allan Duldulao said Waimea played “real tough,” but smiled through his team’s attitude change from worrying about attendance to playing soccer.
Waimea had its opportunities to swing the tide, but were unable to capitalize on opportunities as the team explored ground in the fledgling season.
Following some back and forth play at BJB sports complex, Voyager Eddie Silliman saw the break and scored in the 33rd minute only to have Kapa‘a answer in the following minute when Bear Miller found the net in the 34th minute to announce the 1-1 stalemate at the break.
Island School came off the half with renewed effort, and Kerry Hunter found the net in the 48th minute, followed by Ignacio Elardia scoring the final goal in the last minute of play.
KIF soccer goes co-ed on Saturday when Waimea visits Island School in Puhi, and Kapa‘a goes to Vidinha Stadium to face Kaua‘i. The varsity boys game at both sites start at 10 a.m., followed by the varsity girls playing at noon.
Source: The Garden Island