Al Chase

Just For Kicks

By Al Chase

Sunday, December 16, 2001

Dydasco was pioneer for
Hawaii in pros

Millie Dydasco holds a distinction I unknowingly attributed to another female soccer player a few columns ago.

The 1982 Castle High School graduate was the first woman from Hawaii to play professional soccer, first in Japan and later in Brazil.

Dydasco played four years for San Francisco State University, returned home for several years and returned to San Francisco in 1991. She played club soccer and became quite involved in coaching elite youth teams.

A club teammate had played in Japan, so Dydasco inquired about the possibilities and was intrigued when she received a positive answer.

"I paid my own way to Japan, tried out, then returned to California and waited for a telephone call," Dydasco said.

Shiroki Serena called and Dydasco spent a season playing for a first division team.

"They paid my way over and reimbursed me for my ticket when I tried out," Dydasco said. "My year there truly was an experience for me at age 30.

"They asked me to play another year. But, we lived in the team clubhouse, a lot of things were repetitious and I knew when I started looking at my watch, it wasn't fun anymore."

Knowing she could make a living coaching in California, she returned. A couple years later she was spotted by a Brazilian scout while practicing with her club team.

The University of Sao Paulo needed someone to play the second half of the season because of injuries.

"I told myself, 'why not,'" Dydasco said. "Brazilian soccer is the most appealing style of soccer and it was my opportunity to be a part of it. It was day and night compared to Japan. If practice was supposed to start at 1 p.m., it could be anywhere from 1 to 3 p.m.

"There were a lot of unwritten rules. It was an eye opener, but a lot of fun. I loved it."

She played against some Brazilian National Team members, including Sisi. One of her teammates was Nene.

Dydasco still coaches select and Olympic Development Program teams in California.

"I enjoy giving back. I'll never forget what (Castle coach) Mark Kane has done for me," Dydasco said.

College booters

Striker Dana Dydasco, Millie's niece, overcame nagging foot injuries to play in every match her senior year for the 5-11-2 Cal State Sacramento Hornets. The Mililani graduate scored twice and put 10 of her 18 shots on goal.

Redshirt freshman Karalee Narimatsu and true freshman Jennifer Iha, both former Trojan midfielders, performed well in 16 and 18 matches, respectively, for the Hornets.

Noelani Kamelamela was a backup to Massachusetts Institute of Technology starting goalkeeper Connie Yang this season. Kamelamela, a Kamehameha graduate, saw 120 minutes of action over several matches, allowing just one goal for the 16-6 Engineers.

"She has been a tremendous addition, improved in her first season with the team, and my guess is she has a good chance of challenging the starting goalkeeper for the job next year," coach Melissa Hart said.

Alisa Sato, who sat out her freshman year with injuries, got into eight matches for Harvard. The sophomore striker from Iolani took three shots without scoring for the 11-5 Crimson.

Al Chase has been covering sports in Hawaii
since 1968. From the local ranks to the World Cup,
Al Chase will help keep you up to date on futbol.
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