Just For Kicks
THREE HAWAII PLAYERS selected to their respective Olympic Development Program Region IV team pools last summer recently made foreign tours.
score for U.S.A.
Brent Murakami and David Gualdarama spent 10 days in Costa Rica at the end of March. Kara Ishikawa traveled to Italy and Switzerland earlier this month.
The Americans came back from Costa Rica with a 4-1 record.
Murakami, playing right midfield, assisted on the goal in the first match, a 1-0 win. Gualdarama, also playing right midfield, scored the first goal in a 2-0 victory in the second match. In the final match, Murakami scored after pouncing on a loose ball in the box. That tied the match at 1-1 and the Americans went on to win, 2-1.
After each match, head coach Tim Schultz made brief comments on the Region IV Web site about each player.
For Gualdarama, Schultz said "good endurance on the flank, shut down the right side, got behind the defense two or three times in the five minutes he played, and great speed and presence at left back."
On Murakami's performances, Schultz noted "played tough second half, solid defense on the left flank" and after the final said, "best match of the tour."
"We got to stay in a nice hotel, did some shopping and drove three hours to get to a beach one day," said Gualdarama, a freshman at Kamehameha. "The best time was the parade we marched in before the final match. We got to carry the American flag into the stadium and there were a lot of people there."
Murakami, a freshman at Mililani High School, also mentioned how good it was to represent the United States.
The last match was at Estadio Grescia and the match was part of the city's Olympic Festival.
"The Costa Ricans came out and cheered us on as well as their own team. The kids wanted our autographs, on their hands, shirts, anything," Murakami said. "It was so much fun.
"They scored and I tied the game with 20 minutes left. That was the best feeling in the world. Then, the person who subbed in for me scored the winning goal."
The purpose of the tours for the Under-14 players is to introduce them to the international environment. The coaches expect the players to take in all the international game has to offer and to learn from it quickly. While that is the main theme, the coaches also expect the players to learn to get positive results on foreign soil.
Sanchez to grad schoolUniversity of Hawaii Wahine goalkeeper Demarre Sanchez, who graduates next month, will continue her education as a graduate student in speech pathology at the University of New Mexico in her hometown of Albuquerque, N.M., this fall.
Honors for SuzukiShelly Suzuki (Punahou), a freshman defender for San Diego State, earned academic All-Mountain West Conference honors. The business major has a 3.79 grade point average.
Shimamura to UNLVShawna Shimamura, a striker for the state champion Baldwin Bears, will attend the University of Nevada-Las Vegas where she plans to study sports medicine with a goal of becoming a trainer.
"They aren't giving me anything, so I'll be a walk on. When I was accepted, I called the coach, said I was coming and would be trying out," Shimamura said.