Head coach Pinsoom Tenzing anxiously stood at the University of Hawaii soccer field Thursday minutes before the first training session was scheduled to start, cellular telephone in hand, waiting for a call letting him know all the Wahine players were cleared to practice.
Wahine loosen up for
start of fall soccer
By Al Chase
Not only did he receive the call, but athletic department compliance coordinator Daniel Arakaki showed up with some paperwork several Wahine players needed to complete.
Finally the players took off on the first of many jogs around the field to loosen up for their initial workout. Conditioning will be a priority during the two-a-day sessions that continue until classes start Aug. 27.
All the returning players were in camp and all but two recruits were on hand.
Natalie Groenwoud, a midfielder/striker, played for the British Columbia provincial team in the Canada Games being held in Toronto and will arrive next week.
Groenwoud attempted five shots without denting the net in four matches for the BC team which advanced to the championship match, but settled for the Silver Medal after a 4-1 loss to Ontario Friday.
Natasha Kai, a multi-sport standout at Kahuku High School, has decided to postpone enrolling at UH until the spring semester. A striker, she will redshirt this year. Kai was the Oahu Interscholastic League Player of the Year and a Star-Bulletin first-team All-State selection.
Walk-ons Nicole Yoshimura, a goalkeeper who transferred from Cypress (Calif.) Junior College, and Estrella Barnett, a freshman striker from Kapaa High School, have joined the team.
Summer fun: Several Wahine players were joined by mainland players home for the summer on two teams that participated in the Women's Island Soccer Association tournament last month. NCAA rules limited each team to no more than five UH players.
Playing for Mixed Nuts No. 1, which finished second, were Carmel Hurley, Liz Lusk, Veronica Flores and Noelle Takemoto.
The third-place team, Mixed Nuts No. 2, included Erin Schremser, Arlene Devitt, Pam Fong, Wanette Miyashiro and Taryn Murata. Incoming freshman Joelle Sugai also played for this team.
New assignments: Former Wahine four-year letter winner and two-time captain Wendy Miyashiro has joined the staff as an assistant coach this year. She graduated recently with her bachelor's degree in secondary education. Jayson Goo will serve as the Wahine trainer this season.
First look: The Wahine will hold an intrasquad scrimmage at the Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park stadium Saturday at 5 p.m. Tenzing wants the players to get used to the stadium field because it is a little harder than the UH practice field, which the coach calls "heavenly." The Waipio stadium remains the best fan-friendly site to watch a match.
The scrimmage and all Wahine matches this season will be free, just like a year ago when Hawaii finished ninth in the nation with a total attendance of 12,892 for its 12 home matches.