LIHU‘E — The Kaua‘i High School Junior Varsity Girls and the Kapa‘a JV Boys strengthened its standings in the Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation soccer season by picking up wins Thursday night.
Playing at the Island School fields, the Red Raider JV girls notched a 2-0 win over the Voyagers in an exhibition game while a flurry of late-game scores gave the Kapa‘a JV boys its 4-0 win over Waimea at Vidinha Stadium.
Earlier in the day, the Kapa‘a JV girls got scores from Cali MacMillian and team captain Stephanie Cram for its 2-0 win over the Waimea JV girls.
With the win, the Kaua‘i JV girls, under coach Kevin Devitt and Karl Ubongen, preserve its undefeated season while the Kapa‘a JV boys, under coach Gary Hudson, retains its lead in the standings.
Kapa‘a faces a critical match Saturday when its varsity boys travel to the Island School fields, starting at 10 a.m.
“We need this win to clinch the KIF title,” said Calvin Paleka, the Kapa‘a assistant athletic director. “If we win, mathematically, it gives the Warriors the KIF title.”
The scenario was set up Wednesday night when the Kapa‘a boys clinched a 4-1 victory over Waimea.
Waimea could have helped Kaua‘i’s varsity boys with a win, and for a short time, it appeared to be playing out after the Menehune’s Byron Freitas Jr. found the net in the 20th minute for the 1-0 lead.
But Kapa‘a answered with a Joshua Cram goal for the 1-1 halftime deadlock.
Kapa‘a broke open the stalemate in the second half, getting goals from Michael Alonzo in the 49th minute, followed two minutes later with a goal from Ian Souza and capping the win on a Keaton Schneider goal in the 68th minute.
Kekai “Kiki” Gonsalves netted a hat trick, or three goals scored, to lead the Kapa‘a varsity girls to its 4-0 win over Waimea, the insurance goal coming off Chloe Fredricksen.
Ross Shimabukuro, the Kaua‘i athletic director, said if Waimea had won the Wednesday afternoon match, things would have turned very interesting.
But with Wednesday’s results, Kaua‘i needs to win its match against Waimea Saturday at Vidinha Stadium to pretty much lock up the KIF title.
“We still need to fight for the play-in spot,” Paleka said. “If the KIF is approved for the play-in, we will have a game later this month.”
In the absence of Keana Green, Madison Moore, one of the strongest scorers for Island School, was planted in midfield-center, being positioned for play on both sides of the ball.
After playing to a 0-0 halftime deadlock, Kaua‘i got in the books on a Mahina Tangonan goal from the right pocket, followed by Caley Caires icing the victory.
The Kapa‘a JV boys opened the scorebooks midway through the first half when its team captain Keale Lee outran the Menehune defender to score past the efforts of the Waimea goalkeeper for the 1-0 halftime lead.
Ezekiel Bagano upped the Warriors’ score about midway through the second half for the 2-0 bulge and it appeared Kapa‘a would settle for that win, but Kai Harrison had other ideas, firing a goal from about 30 yards out for the third score.
Braden Andrews, playing in a crowd, took the brunt of a defensive kick by Waimea, the ball ricocheting off his body and dribbling past the Menehune goalkeeper for the final score.
The Kapa‘a JV boys get a bye Saturday when its varsity meets up with Island School at the Puhi campus starting at 10 a.m. followed by the JV Warrior girls meeting Island School in an exhibition match starting at noon.
Waimea will be in action at Vidinha Stadium when the JV girls open against Kaua‘i at 10 a.m. followed by the JV boys meeting at 11:45 a.m.
The varsity Red Raider girls will host the Menehune in a 1:30 p.m. match followed by the varsity boys kicking off at 3:30 p.m.
• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.