Kealakehe wins battle of unbeatens
Kealakehe boys soccer coach Urs Leuenberger called the conditions perfect. No rain. No wind.
“It’s not every day you get that in Waimea,” he said. “When you get that, it’s fabulous.”
The favorable weather allowed Kealakehe to do what it does best: collect goals off set pieces.
The Waveriders scored three times in the first 10 minutes before cruising to a 4-1 win over Hawaii Prep Wednesday in a Big Island Interscholastic Federation game between two undefeated soccer teams.
Senior defender Connor Keale bagged his seventh goal, heading in junior Keoni Yates’ corner kick. Yates followed with his 10th goal, bending in a beautifully placed free kick into the upper left corner, and senior forward Avery Hardie-Jordan scored his team-leading 16th goal off an assist from Scott Henderson as Kealakehe improved to 10-0.
“(The good weather) made it possible to execute what we do well, and that was to put a ton of pressure (on HPA) and capitalize on the chances we have,” Leuenberger said.
Nick Joersz scored Kealakehe’s other goal, and Keisuke Ohtaka found the net for Ka Makani (10-1).
HPA coach Richard Braithwaite said his team enjoyed an edge in possession for the next “50 minutes” after Kealakehe bolted out to a 3-0 lead. However, he said the Waveriders’ organization on the back line made it difficult to score.
“They’re really good in the back, they’re really organized,” Braithwaite said. “Even when we had possession, we weren’t very dangerous.”
Leuenberger credited Keale and senior Jason Kuwada for containing Ka Makani.
“They really didn’t let them have anything in front of the goal,” he said.
Honokaa 6, Kohala 0: Tony Connors and Clayton Robinson each scored twice in Kapaau for the two-time defending Hawaii High School Athletic Association Division II state champion Dragons.
Pedro Sanches and Justin Warren also found the back of the net for Honokaa (8-1-1).
Cassidy Dixon and Elzer Maltezo combined to shut out against the Cowboys (1-11) in goal.
Kealakehe 2, HPA 1: Mika Bettencourt collected a rebound in front of the net in the 67th minute and scored the go-ahead goal in Waimea as the Waveriders (8-0-2) rallied from a 1-0 deficit to claim a battle of undefeated teams.
In the 55th minute, Lexie Cuaresma scored her team-high 12th goal to tie the match. Both Cuaresma and Bettencourt have scored in Kealakehe’s past three matches. The Waveriders can clinch the BIIF Division I regular-season title with a home win over Kamehameha-Hawaii on Saturday.
Emily Evans scored her seventh goal for Ka Makani (7-1-2), which sits one point behind Kamehameha in the BIIF Division II standings. HPA needs a win over Christian Liberty on Saturday and a Kamehameha loss to grab the No. 1 seed in the four-team BIIF Division II playoffs.
Honokaa 10, Kohala 1: Kelly Greenwell and Allie Shiraki each scored twice in Kapaau as the Dragons improved to 6-3-1.
Daisha Acorda, Tia Agdeppa, Hia Kapu, Cydne Correa, Mia Nakachi and Moana Odell added a goal apiece.
The home team of Kohala (1-9) did not report information on the Cowgirls’ goal-scorer.