Boys soccer ties in heated match against Sabers

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Photo by Kalani Ruidas

Freshman Colton Cabanas drives through Maui High defenders at the varsity boys match up on Tuesday, December 27, 2011, at Kana'iaupuni Stadium. The Warriors and Sabers tied 3-3 in a physical game.

By Kalani Ruidas, Features co-editor

The KSM varsity soccer boys tied with Maui High at Kana’iaupuni Stadium, December 28, 2011. Despite the bone-chilling winter air, this game was heated one.

Both teams showed good hustle and fought for every point. Fans lept from their seats as the two teams battled for possession of the ball, and sat back to discuss the aggression of Tuesday’s game.

Spirited spectator, Kamehameha Schools Maui alumnus Nico Lopes (’11) cheered for the Warriors, so loudly that his voice was hoarse by the end of the night. Lopes was on the Kamehameha soccer team for all four of his high school years.

He said, “The boys have a very young team, and you can see there’s a lot of potential to be developed. I think the game lacked consistency, with some questionable calls by the ref. The calls were slow, and, honestly, there should have been more cards issued to both teams. What should come first is the safety of the players.”

Some fans however, thought that the amount aggression was exactly appropriate.

“The level of intensity was great. As an athlete, you can never be too aggressive,” said senior Kupono Cabanas, former team member and nearly lifelong soccer player. A serious football injury has kept Cabanas off of the soccer field this season.

Coach Paul McGrew said he was satisfied with the referees’ calls and that he was proud of the boys for their efforts in technique.

“The important thing was that the boys kept focus and were able to come back from the 2-0 lag. Overall, they outplayed Maui High with more completed passes and possession of the ball more than 50 percent of the time,” he said.

Junior Stephen Barut concurred with his coach’s analysis of the game. “Overall we dominated. In the points that we scored, Maui High was definitely caught off guard. We kept focused throughout the entire game,” he said.

The game began with a strong Warriors defense. Then the Sabers scored the first goal was scored 13 minutes into the game. The score remained 1-1 until halftime.

About three minutes into the second half, the Sabers scored again after one of their shots careened off a Warrior defender and into the net, bringing the score to 2-0. Within the next minute, sophomore Kailoa Akoi scored on a free kick, giving the Warriors their first point.

Sophomore Avinash Singh scored the Warriors’ second point when he headed the ball into the goal after an assist by freshman Angus Owan.

The two teams battled it out without scoring for the next 15 minutes. Then, Alika Ribao scored on a penalty kick, putting the Warriors in the lead, 3-2, with 18 minutes left in the game.

The Warriors maintained the lead for only a few minutes, when junior goalie Acer Pahukoa fumbled a shot by the Sabers. He was too far out into the goal area to recover fast enough. The Saber quickly regained control of the loose ball and sent it into the goal unopposed, tying the game up for the final score 3-3.

The tie keeps the Warriors in fifth place in the MIL Division 1 with a record so far of 1-1-2.