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HPU women have club soccer too

by Brittany Yap, staff writer

 

Women’s soccer encourages competition, team work, and community service according to Head Coach, Mark Kane, who, in his 11th year, is looking to regain for HPU, the Women’s Island Soccer Association (WISA) Championship. The last time HPU took the gold was two years ago.

“Our goal is to win the first division women’s league,” said Kane.

 

HPU’s rivals are Leahi and the Bulls. Leahi took the league championship in 2003 and 2004.
“ We’re better prepared this year. We have quality players. We have some good additions and strong returning players,” said senior co-captain Miko Hoy.

HPU’s team was in the NCAA Division II league from 1998-2000. It dropped to club status because other schools dropped out of the Pac West Conference. The team is hoping to someday return to playing Division II soccer, but the situation looks grim for the fall.

“ The other schools have to pick it up,” said Kane.

Right now three more teams must commit in order to form a league. Despite repeated disappointment, Kane continues to hope that BYU-Hawai‘i and Chaminade will develop a women’s soccer program.

HPU defeated UH-Hilo 5-0 in a preseason match at the windward campus on March 6. Their next game is against Bulls Black on April 10, 2 p.m. at Waipi‘o Soccer Complex.

The HPU soccer team stands out in the league for various reasons. It is the only school team entered in the league and one of the few teams that have a coach. And all its expenses are paid by the school, and most players are supported with scholarships.

“ The school gives our team a lot of advantages,” said Kane. “We are lucky to have practice facilities. We are also one of the only teams that practice on a regular basis.”

This spring, the HPU women’s soccer program has one team with a roster so full that some players aren’t able to play. Kane hopes that more girls turn out for fall tryouts so two teams can be entered in the league. Kane needs 15 more players to have enough for two teams.

Newly enrolled students selected for the team are offered scholarships that cover 50 percent of tuition each year. Interested students should contact Kane at mkane@hpu.edu prior to coming to the school to make the process easier.

Kane also welcomes players to work out with the team at practices on the windward campus on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 to 7 p.m. The team has 10 games this season and game days are on Sunday.

Jasmine Stevenson enjoys the game and is grateful for the many friends she has made on the team. The players feel they are lucky to have the opportunity to continue playing soccer in college, while many other high school graduates don’t have that choice.

“ I play to stay in shape and because it’s fun. I also get to play soccer with my friends,” said Kori Yasumura.

“ [The scholarship] has helped a lot,” said Kristin Cabebe. “If I didn’t have this scholarship I wouldn’t be going to HPU. My mom really likes it because she doesn’t have to pay as much.”

The team does volunteer work and puts on soccer clinics in the community two to three times a year. They also run a week-long clinic at Seabury Hall on Maui every summer in June for children ages 5-15.

“ I keep going back because of the kids. It’s like I’m being a role model to them and making a difference in their soccer experience,” said senior Desiree Santana. “I love the feeling I get when I’m helping them and knowing that they enjoy it and they want to come back next year.”

 

 

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