Thursday, September 23, 1999
charge for Wahine
The Hawaii midfielder is the
one responsible for initiating
the soccer team's attack
WAHINE PLAYBOOKBy Al Chase
Kammie Aguada returned to Hawaii last year because she wanted to play Division I soccer.
She played in 15 matches for the Hawaii Wahine a year ago, but there was no hint of what the UH coaches had in mind for the 5-foot-3 midfielder in 1999.
The Iolani School graduate was given the responsibility of being the one person to initiate the offensive attack on the opponents goal.
The role was new, the system was new and Aguada readily admits the pressure was new.
"I've always played with four midfielders, never with five. There's usually been another midfielder who also can distribute the ball," Aguada said. "I've never been the one that everyone is looking to pass to. It's a lot of pressure to put on somebody. It's hard because I can't always see everything. I try to look up and see where their (her teammates) runs are going."
In UH head coach Pinsoom Tenzing's system of two strikers, five midfielders and three defenders, the Wahine look to get Aguada the ball, then try to spread out and create open space so she can distribute the ball forward.
Tenzing has stated the UH offense revolves around Aguada and her ability to handle the role is critical. "We live and die with that position," Tenzing said.
A couple of opponents, Weber State and San Francisco, caught on to Aguada's role and double-teamed whenever possible.
When Aguada gets the ball, the strikers are supposed to check back for the ball and the attacking (outside) midfielders are supposed to go towards the sidelines. If Aguada doesn't pass to a striker, her duty is to connect with one of the midfielders or switch the field.
Earlier this season, Tenzing also had Aguada checking back for the ball, but she ended up crowding the defense and had difficulty finding open space. Now she stays up.
"We're all getting used to it. It took a while to connect because we were trying to find the right 11 to put on the field," Aguada said. "I kind of know ahead of time where people are going to run and where they are going to be. I know a lot more but I still have a lot to work on.
"I'm more comfortable, feeling a lot more sure of myself, a little more confident, but I'm not all there yet. Hopefully by the time WAC comes, I'll be there."
Aguada started her collegiate career at New Mexico Highlands, a school that fielded its first women's team her freshman season and included players with no previous experience.
She battled homesickness, wasn't sure she wanted to play soccer, but did and survived with a heavy dose of long distance support from her family.
She was named to the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference first team and earned all-region honors for two years.
"I didn't know anybody at that school. I went there blind. The first month was miserable. I cried every night," said Aguada. But, I have no regrets. Overall, it was a good experience for me to go away. It made me grow up. For the first time I got really good grades in school because I had nothing else to do."
Aguada was pursuing a degree in athletic training, but UH is changing that program from undergraduate to a masters program, leaving her in limbo.
"I want to do something that will make somebody feel good, you know, walk out of the place with a smile on their face," she said.
"Right now my goal is to get through this season successfully. It's my senior year and I want to make the best of it."
Coaches: Portland State, Dana Kusjanovic, 6th season (59-30-8, .649). Hawaii, Pinsoom Tenzing, 6th season (33-54-6, .387).
at Portland State VIKINGS
Season: Portland State (4-2-0). Hawaii, (3-2-1)
Series record: This is the first meeting between the schools.
Top players: Portland State, Joanna Bowns, sophomore forward, is the leading scorer with 4 goals; freshman midfielder Eleshia Miltonberger, 2 goals, 1 assist; sophomore midfielder Summer Douglas, 2 goals; Jamie Harlor (Leilehua), sophomore striker has two assists. Hawaii, junior goalkeeper Demarre Sanchez who has not allowed a goal in the last 260 minutes and the four defenders, Camille Kalama, Carmel Hurley, Tiffany Makue and Leila Wai, who operate in front of Sanchez.
Interesting facts: Kusjanovic starts her first season with the Vikings after coaching Northern Colorado into the NCAA Division II playoffs twice (1996, 1997) in her five years with the Bears ... UH strikers Megan Lytle and Jennifer Starsiak have played together on club teams in Massachusetts since they were 12. Last summer, they played for the Blazers and helped them win the Under 19 state championship with Lytle scoring the game-winning goal in the title match ... The Vikings have four of their last five matches. One of their losses was to future Wahine opponent, Texas-El Paso by a 3-0 score.
Match keys: Lytle, a center or left midfielder most of her career, moved to a striker position three matches ago and is teamed with Starsiak on Tenzing's rotating forward lines. Lytle admits it's been frustrating learning a new position and says she makes too many mistakes, but she has a devastating left foot that can change the complexion of a match quickly. Several Wahine have mentioned the team's habit of starting a match flat. That's much more difficult to overcome on the road. "If we don't get as pumped up for the first half as the second half, it's going to be a long season," said junior striker Dawn Dasher. The crowd shouldn't be a problem as Portland State draws less than UH on the average.
Kickoff: Tomorrow, noon, Strausser Field.
On the air: None.
Ka Leo O Hawaii