Richard Braithwaite wants the ball to move quickly from man to man across the field.
So the Hawaii Prep boys soccer coach becomes frustrated at times when Kepa Police holds on to the ball too long and tries to beat multiple defenders on his own.
At the same, Braithwaite admits the senior’s tactics often lead to scoring chances — for others and himself — and that’s exactly what happened Wednesday at Honokaa.
Police collected two goals and two assists, and freshman Justin Perry also scored twice as Ka Makani beat the Dragons 5-3 in a Big Island Interscholastic Federation match between two undefeated teams.
“He really has the ability to turn drop his head and beat four excellent defenders,” Braithwaite said of Police, who has scored 21 goals and leads the team in assists. “He’s quicker and has a better touch than anybody I’ve ever worked with.”
Honokaa coach Maurice Miranda bemoaned his defense allowing what he considered “three easy goals.”
However, Miranda came away impressed with Police, saying the senior dribbled around “five defenders” before putting a ball into the box that deflected off a player to Perry, who converted for one of his 10 goals this season.
“If five guys can’t stop him, an army can’t stop him,” Miranda said of Police.
Junior Lii Purdy, who hadn’t ever played soccer before this season, scored the other goal for HPA (9-0), which led 4-1 in the second half.
The Dragons (7-1), getting goals from Pedro Sanches, Kyle Ohta and Justin Warren, clawed their way back into the match late.
Braithwaite praised midfielders Keisuke Ohtaka and Jack Austin for slowing down Honokaa’s offensive attack, but he also credited the Dragons for the effort they put forth after facing a three-goal deficit.
“They were the more dangerous team those (last) 20 minutes,” Braithwaite said.
Ka Makani suffered a heartbreaking loss to Makua Lani in last year’s BIIF tournament third-place match, and Braithwaite said the team had been looking forward to its match against Honokaa since last February.
“It’s the one we’ve been preparing for,” Braithwaite said. “It meant a lot to us in terms of confidence.”
c Konawaena 2, Makua Lani 1: Senior J.G. Replogle scored his 14th and 15th goals of the season in the first half, and the Wildcats (5-3-1) hung on to beat the Lions at Julian Yates Field.
Senior forward Elijah Lingenfelder bagged his team-high 13th goal in the second half for the Lions (6-4-1)
c Kealakehe 10, Kohala 1: Senior forward Avery Hardie-Jordan tallied four goals in Kapaau, giving him 14 for the season as the Waveriders remained undefeated at 8-0.
Senior defender Connor Keale scored three goals while senior midfielder Keoni Yates added his eighth goal. Ariel Lima and
Nick Joersz also scored for the Waveriders.
The home team of Kohala (0-10) did not report information on the game, and West Hawaii Today could not identify the Cowboys’ goal-scorer.
c Keaau 2, Hawaii Academy of Arts & Science 0: Matt Shimabukuro scored his 10th and 11th goals of the season for host Keaau in a match officials stopped at halftime because of poor field conditions.
The Cougars improved to 3-5-2, and Na Naia dropped to 0-10.
c Konawaena 3, Makua Lani 1: Trailing 1-0 in the first half at Julian Yates Field, the Wildcats responded with three unanswered goals to improve to 8-1-1.
Sophomore Kaulani Ruedy and senior Ua Ruedy scored their 12th and ninth goals, respectively, to make it 2-1 at halftime, and junior Makani Wall collected her fourth goal off a corner kick in the second half.
Senior forward Tiffany Nakamura scored her team-high 11th goal for Makua Lani (2-7).
c Hawaii Prep 6, Honokaa 1: Senior Emily Evans and freshman Marlie Mandaguit both scored their sixth goals of the season, and sophomore Bri Vallente tacked on two goals in wet and windy conditions at Honokaa.
Playing against the wind in a 1-1 game, sophomore Gabbie Ewing and Vallente tallied goals that gave Ka Makani (7-0-1) a 3-1 halftime advantage.
“I give the girls a lot of credit for going at it and getting two goals before the half,” HPA coach Steve Perry said.
Kelly Greenwell scored her 10th goal of the season for Honokaa (5-2-1).
c Kealakehe 13, Kohala 0: Ana Tuppein scored three goals, while Logan Harris, Jade Richmond and Kailii Smith added two apiece in Kapaau as the Division I Waveriders improved to 6-0-2.
Lexi Cuaresma, Mika Bettencourt, Gabby Cifuentes and Tiara Conn also found the back of the net for Kealakehe.
Goalkeeper Sulley Schuster blanked the Cowgirls (1-8).