Rough Riders overtake Red Raiders, 7-6
WAIPIO — It was a battle of the unbeaten atop the Oahu Interscholastic Association.
In the end, Roosevelt (12-0) outlasted Kahuku (10-1), 7-6, in both team's regular season finale Saturday afternoon at the Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center in the Patsy T. Mink Central Oahu Regional Park.
Kahuku is unquestionably the perennial power in the OIA, having won 13 of the last 14 league titles including the last seven in a row. The lone other team to win is Roosevelt in 2009.
Both teams have locked arms many times over the years, but perhaps the most notably recent matchup came in last year's OIA Championship game. Much like the current year has started to turn out to be, last year's title game featured an undefeated Roosevelt team and a one-loss Kahuku squad whose loss came courtesy of the Rough Riders.
Now to the current year where the Red Raiders and Rough Riders have both gone undefeated up until this game to set up a huge regular-season finale showdown in a battle of the unbeaten.
With first place in the OIA on the line, the game came down to the wire as it was tied 6-6 going into the final seven minutes of play.
About a minute and seconds later, it was Tristyn Oki placing a shot just past the outreached arms of Kahuku goalkeeper Noa Cravens to find the top left corner of the net. It was her second score of the game, and her ninth goal on the year.
On the ensuing possession, Red Raiders' top statistical scorer Ava Countryman got just inside the five-meter line but launched just a little too high to hit the top of the crossbar.
It was back and forth and with Roosevelt not budging on defense, something had to give in the final two minutes of the game. The Red Raiders got three chances to break their one-point deficit, but each possession ended in a turnover — two of them shot clock violations.
Scoring earlier in the game Kahuku was Countryman, Grace Rittenhouse and Sophie Wilson, each with two goals apiece.
For the winning Rough Riders, Sarah Yasuda also scored a pair in addition to Oki's two goals. Taylor Brooks, Hailey Oyadomari and April Gomes each contributed an individual goal as well.
Roosevelt remains undefeated and takes first place atop the OIA second round winner's bracket before heading to the playoffs.
Kahuku will also be joining the Rough Riders in the postseason tournament, as well as Kapolei (9-2), Kalani (8-3), Kaiser (7-3) and Waialua (6-4). The remaining two spots will be given to the winners of the play-in games between the bottom two teams of the winner's bracket — Kalaheo (5-6) and Leilehua (4-6) — and the top two teams of the loser's bracket — Campbell (7-5) and Moanalua (7-4).
Those two games will happen Monday with the winners playing again the following day to determine the No. 7 and No. 8 seeds. Playoffs begin Thursday and end with the OIA Championship on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
All but two teams will earn berths in the 12-school HHSAA State Tournament.