Christian Liberty was down its leading scorer and seemingly on its heels. Luckily for the Canefire, Louis Moylan was one step ahead against Hilo all day.
In a match marred by a fight that partially emptied both benches, Moylan gave his team ample reason to celebrate.
The junior scored twice and the Canefire beat the Vikings for the first time in school history, winning 2-0 in Big Island Interscholastic Federation boys soccer at Hilo Bayfront.
Christian Liberty (8-1) also moved into a first-place tie with Hawaii Prep atop Division II, but coach Troy Rimel’s enthusiasm was dampened by a fight midway through the second half that delayed the match for about 10 minutes as order was restored.
On the play, Christian Liberty’s Nakaiya Kerr threw several punches at an unidentified Hilo player after he was taken down near the penalty box. Both players were kicked out of the match with red cards. Rimel also held out sophomore Sequoya Kerr for the rest of the match after he entered the fray to help his brother.
“It was a terrible incident,” said Rimel, who declined to discuss both the officiating and the play in question. “Dealing with character issues is my first and foremost (concern).”
The Division I Vikings (5-2-2) are winless in their past three matches.
Rimel wasn’t happy with how his team responded to the fight, at least initially.
Trailing 1-0 and getting outplayed for most of the match, Hilo started to put forth its best sustained offensive effort behind the play of Justin Shiigi and Dane Miyata.
“We were backed against the wall,” Rimel said. “Hilo attacked us and exploited us.
“We were dead and emotionally out of it.”
But whether play was 11 on 11 or 10 on 10, Moylan had his way.
He got the Canefire back on track, collecting a pass from Zach Wolfe and zooming down the left flank before burying his 13th goal of the season to give Christian Liberty a 2-0 lead.
In the first half, Moylan made a similar charge down the left side for a breakaway goal off an assist from Caedan Cambra.
Both goals touched off colorful celebrations by Moylan.
“Louis came and rose to the occasion,” Rimel said.
Keanu Bergfeld earned the shutout for Christian Liberty. Because of the red card, the Canefire will be without the services of Nakaiya Kerr in their next match Saturday against Makua Lani.
Kamehameha 7, Ka’u 0: Logan Uyetake bagged his first two goals of the season in Keaau for the Warriors, who improved to 3-4-1.
Pono Brown and Kam Kawamoto also scored for the first time this season while Colton Hill, Preston Branco and Calden Kaeo all tallied their second goals.
Goalkeepers Joyden Madriaga and Sean Miday combined to shut out the Trojans (2-8) in goal.
Hilo 9, Christian Liberty 0: Junior Serena Nasworthy scored two goals against her former team and senior Kiana Heaukulani also found the back of the net for the Vikings at Hilo Bayfront.
Senior Taylor Pacheco added her team-leading fifth goal of the season for Hilo (5-2-1), and Rose Nakamura, Mehana Sabado-Halpern, Jasmine Smeraglia and Michelle Martinez also scored.
Edwina DeGrood and Lolly Higa shut out the Canefire (0-8).
Kamehameha 8, Ka’u 0: Senior Kera Akiyama netted a hat trick and the host Warriors got goals from five other players to improve to 6-2.
Senior Tiffany Pacheco, juniors Harper Hottendorf and Caitlyn DeSilva, and freshmen Kahala Huddleston and Kalehua Hayashida also scored for Kamehameha.
Lehua McGuire, Elizabeth Kia and Cyrene Andaya shared the shutout in the goal.
Akiyama improved her team-leading goal total to 13.