Kahuku cruises past Kaimuki, 7-0
Kahuku's Jean Paul Kefu scored on a through ball late in the match against Kaimuki in the Red Raiders' blowout win. CJ Caraang | SL
KAHUKU — The Kahuku boys soccer team spread the wealth around in its 7-0 win over undermanned Kaimuki at Carleton E. Weimer Field Wednesday night.
Six different players registered goals in the Red Raiders' highest-scoring match of the season as they improved to 3-0-1 in the Oahu Interscholastic Association Eastern Division standings.
Senior forward Truman Spring, the Red Raiders' leading goal scorer, had two goals to lead the way in Kahuku's first shutout of the season. Nathen Fuluvaka scored his second goal of the season off a corner kick while Chaz Watanabe, Kazu Kojima, Royce Pao and Jean Paul Kefu found the back of the net for the first time this year.
"I liked the fact that our team was able to utilize the pass a lot more than we did in previous games," said Pao, one of the team's two captains. "Being that the Kaimuki defense was a little more open, we were able to cross the ball a lot more, and that open up a lot of opportunities."
The Red Raiders were coming off a 0-0 tie to defending OIA Division I champion Kalani last Saturday. With how well his team has played throughout the early stages of the season, fourth-year Kahuku coach Robert Ah Puck said he is proud of how far the program has come, and has high hopes for the season.
"We've heard some comments from our officials saying ‘Kahuku actually can play soccer.' We appreciate those comments and recognize that it's not something that can change overnight. We definitely want to make a statement to the OIA that Kahuku does have soccer players and can compete."
While Kahuku completed its best performance of the season, Kaimuki was playing in its first-ever match on the field this year. The Bulldogs (0-4) forfeited their first three matches of the season with some of their players on academic probation.
Kaimuki entered the match with just 12 eligible players, one more than what's needed to field a team. That number dropped to 11 after one of the Bulldogs' players was taken to the hospital for a potential spine injury after a mid-air collision. Two players also went down with cramps in the second half, but the Bulldogs played on and finished the match with just nine players on the field.
CJ Caraang | SL
Third-year Kaimuki coach Michael Vo was proud of his players' resiliency in the contest.
"Even with everything happening, the boys still wanted to fight it out till the end," he said. "They said ‘coach, no we're going to finish it.' All year that's what I want to preach to the boys. We fight to the end no matter what. No matter what adversity comes, we're going to fight through it and keep going."
Vo added that the injured player that had to go to the hospital, Kartier Ragodos is doing OK after the preliminary checkups.
Sharing was the theme from the get go for the Red Raiders. Kojima had a chance at the goal from the right wing in the 6th minute, but passed it on ahead to Spring for the first goal of the match.
Watanabe added to the lead in the 11th minute with a right-footed shot from 25 yards out that went into the upper right corner of the Kaimuki goal.
The match was suspended in the 14th minute when Ragodos suffered an injury. The match incurred a 45 minute delay as the teams and spectators waited for an ambulance to come.
Fuluvaka, the Red Raiders' other captain, scored on a header off a corner kick by Jeremiah Channels in the 19th minute to give Kahuku a 3-0 lead at the half.
Kojima booted a 35-yard free kick into the upper left corner of the Kaimuki net to give Kahuku a 4-0 lead in the 45th minute.
Pao added another goal in the 50th minute, Spring found the back of the net for a second time in the 66th minute and Kefu chipped in one more goal in the 77th minute to round out the Red Raiders' scoring.