HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER
CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARBULLETIN.COM
Kamehameha-Hawaii's Nainoa Eaton headed the ball as Roosevelt's Keenan Seguancia, back, and Naohito Miura gave chase during yesterday's state tournament game. The Rough Riders won 1-0. CLICK FOR LARGE
Roosevelt gives KS-Hawaii a rough ride
A half's worth of missed opportunities didn't daunt Roosevelt.
The Rough Riders' Keenan Seguancia made good on a cross from Leslie Nwapa in the 44th minute to carry the Oahu Interscholastic Association's fifth-place team over Kamehameha-Hawaii 1-0 in the opening round of the Meadow Gold Dairies/HHSAA Boys State Soccer Championships yesterday at Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park.
Roosevelt earned its first boys soccer state tournament win in its second appearance, according to coach Ed Ota.
The Rough Riders (10-2-2) dominated in time of possession and general aggressiveness in the first 40 minutes, with four shots on goal to the Warriors' one. Several more Roosevelt chances sailed wide and over the goal, and they settled for a scoreless draw at halftime.
"We were hoping, we were hoping," said the exhilarated Ota of his team's numerous attacks before halftime. "They're a good team. I guess they're like us -- even match. We got the breaks, that's it."
The big break came early after the teams switched sides, when the gangly Nwapa looked to shoot from 20 yards out but found himself blocked off.
Instead, he threaded a pass to Seguancia, who had slipped behind the Warriors' defense just after Nwapa's touch for an onside open look. The sophomore shuffled the ball in straight away, and KS-Hawaii's goalkeeper had no chance at it.
"It came right to my feet and I slotted it in," said Seguancia, who admitted he thought he was offside. "That (pass) was perfect."
Nwapa -- born in Sweden to Nigerian parents -- had been feeding his teammates set-up passes throughout the match, and was grateful one of them was placed just right.
"I turned around and saw Keenan," said Nwapa, a junior. "I just laid it up for him, and thanks to God he scored. I wouldn't say it was a 'perfect' pass, but he did the best he could out of it and a goal came out of it."
Nwapa has been enrolled at Roosevelt for the year and a half he's lived in Hawaii.
"I love it there, adapted there, good people, teachers too," Nwapa said.
The Warriors (11-5) were the Big Island Interscholastic Federation's second-place team.
Coach Mario Patino believed his squad was beaten by a legitimately better team, despite the game's tight margin.
"This Roosevelt team had a lot of fight. We couldn't keep up with it ... the better team won today," Patino said. "They won more than half of the balls and we didn't come out with the same intensity."
KS-Hawaii finished with two shots on goal to Roosevelt's eight, and none after the 43rd minute. The Warriors also received two yellow cards in the second half, including a foul that prevented a Rough Rider breakaway.
Asked if he thought his team's slim edge would be enough to carry it through to a win, Ota laughed and shook his head. Then, excited, he said "no" roughly 10 times.
"There's no guarantees in soccer," he explained.
Roosevelt faces OIA champion Kapolei (12-2) in the Waipio park's stadium at 3 p.m. today.
Kalani 3, Kalaheo 1
The Falcons took a 2-0 lead into halftime behind goals from Danny Higa and Carter Kam.
After the Mustangs' Joshua Amoroso scored to bring his team to within a goal at the 47th minute, Kalani's Kenn Kamoto tacked on a goal at 67:00 to ice the win over Kalaheo.
The Falcons (10-4-1), the OIA's second-place team, advanced to play BIIF champion Makua Lani (11-4) at 1 p.m. on the stadium field.
Punahou 1, Kealakehe 0
Caton Smith scored the match-winning goal in the 56th minute to lead the Buffanblu over the Waveriders.
Punahou (12-1-1), the Interscholastic League of Honolulu's second-place team, moved on to face Kamehameha-Maui (15-0-2), the Maui Interscholastic League champion at 5 p.m. on the stadium field.
Leilehua 2, Kapaa 0
Bryant Ortiz and Syd Tom scored a goal apiece early in the second half to lead the Mules in a shutout win over the Warriors.
Kapaa was the Kauai Interscholastic Federation champion and lone representative in the tournament.
Leilehua (12-2-0), the OIA's third-place team, now plays top overall seed and ILH champion Kamehameha (11-0-1) at 7 p.m. on the stadium field.