Na Alii open with win
WAILUKU — Franco Melgar-Martich had never scored in a high school soccer match until his goal in the 29th minute of the Maui Interscholastic League opener on Wednesday night at War Memorial Stadium.
Less than a minute later, he added another score to give King Kekaulike High School a four-goal lead on the way to a 7-0 win over Seabury Hall.
Melgar-Martich was the only scorer with more than one goal for Na Alii, who fell in double overtime in the opening round of the state tournament last season to Pearl City.
His first goal came on a through pass from Cade Taniguchi and the second came moments later on a throw-in from Dylan Gomes.
“He put it right there, that was beautiful, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a better pass than that — that was just absolutely stunning,” Melgar-Martich said of the pass from Taniguchi.
He surprised himself by scoring again so quickly.
“Honestly, yes, I was completely flabbergasted by that because I didn’t know it was in me to be able to score like that,” Melgar-Martich said. “Just to be able to score in general at such a high playing level, high school soccer. I didn’t know what was going on at the time.”
With lightning quickness, the match turned from a hard-fought 2-0 contest to a blowout for Na Alii.
King Kekaulike took its two-goal lead in the first two minutes — Jerycho Medeiros scored off an assist from Joey Musto in the first minute and then Medeiros assisted on a goal by Moziah Gonzalez-Loung.
Finn Bediamol made it 5-0 in the first minute of the second half off an assist from Rhys Bridge, Zakariya Woolley pushed the lead to 6-0 on a penalty kick in the 48th minute and Taniguchi scored off an assist from Connor Prados in the 76th minute.
“It was a good finish, but definitely room for improvement still,” King Kekaulike co-head coach Tye Perdido said. “It’s early in the season still.”
Seabury Hall had just 11 players available — seven players are off-island for family trips.
“We lost a few guys as well,” Perdido said. “Our team was gone here and there throughout the entire Christmas break. It was hard to get a full squad at practice let alone at games, so it was nice to have this showing we had.”
Perdido expects a tougher Seabury Hall team as the season develops — the Spartans have no seniors and just three juniors on their roster.
“Definitely good to spread the board, we were hoping that this year we could get more guys scoring goals, so looks like we’re on a good start to that,” Perdido said. “That’s my alma mater, so I know exactly the fight they have in them. We just had to stay focused and organized defensively.”
Seabury Hall coach John Guarin said he was impressed by King Kekaulike.
“They’re a good team — they are certainly one of the top three, they might be top two, top one in the state, who knows?” Guarin said. “We’re happy to see them first off. They deserve a lot of credit.”
* Robert Collias is at firstname.lastname@example.org
…………………….. W …. L ….. T ….. Pts
King Kekaulike …… 1 …. 0 ….. 0 …… 3
Baldwin …………… 0 …. 0 ….. 0 …… 0
Kamehameha Maui 0 …. 0 ….. 0 …… 0
Lahainaluna ……… 0 …. 0 ….. 0 …… 0
Maui High ………… 0 …. 0 ….. 0 …… 0
…………………….. W …. L ….. T ….. Pts
Seabury Hall …….. 0 ….. 1 ….. 0 …… 0
King Kekaulike 7, Seabury Hall 0
Baldwin vs. Lahainaluna at War Memorial Stadium, 5 p.m.
Lahainaluna at Maui High, noon
Kamehameha Maui at Seabury Hall, 2:30 p.m.
Baldwin vs. King Kekaulike at War Memorial Stadium, 5 p.m.