[ UH SOCCER ]
at home at UH
Tia Medeiros was born and raised on Maui. When she graduates with a degree in family resources from Hawaii, the Valley Isle is where she wants to start her professional career.
A product of Baldwin High School's highly successful soccer program that claimed its first state title her senior season, Medeiros had interest from Dana College in Nebraska and Hawaii Pacific. Although she played in mainland soccer tournaments, the idea of continuing her education there was not appealing.
She did not make any recruiting trips, but decided to join the Rainbow Wahine program as a walk-on.
"I just wanted to come to Hawaii. I couldn't picture myself on the mainland. I guess you could say I was scared," said Medeiros, one of eight midfielders on the UH roster. "The mainland is so far away from home, not a short flight from Maui."
Medeiros called the UH coaches and told them she was going to come out for the preseason camp. She received the OK and was informed about how to prepare to meet the requirements of the camp. At the end of the two-a-day sessions, UH coach Pinsoom Tenzing asked her to make an important decision.
"Pinsoom asked me to redshirt. I figured I was going to be here for five years, so I might as well redshirt," said Medeiros. "I knew I wasn't going to get any playing time then, so it seemed like the best decision. I'm very happy with that decision."
Medeiros spent the 2000 season practicing and learning about Wahine soccer. The redshirt year gave her a chance to deal with the transition to university academic life, a transition that was not easy for the 2000 Baldwin senior class valedictorian.
Sitting out her first year also prepared Medeiros for the role she has accepted and handled well once she started seeing action on the field in 2001.
In two-plus seasons, she has started 13 of 47 matches. Medeiros is in a four-player rotation with Kalena Eaton, Seline Williams and Sasha Araya-Schraner at center midfield while Mia Moe recovers from an injury.
"I got used to sitting on the bench my redshirt year. So it's OK when I'm able to play and I'm happy with the playing time I get," said Medeiros, who earned a partial scholarship following her redshirt season.
"When Mia was hurt we knew we just had to step it up until she was able to come back. We had big shoes to fill and you just have to be ready for that kind of situation."
Medeiros is part of that bench depth that Tenzing has talked about and counted on this year. She possesses excellent field vision and can spot open teammates.
"Tia is a phenomenal passer and passing is the lifeline of the game," said Tenzing. "She is very stingy with the ball and rarely gives it away. Her passes are something other players can use instantly rather than taking time to control."
Medeiros is on schedule to graduate in the spring of 2005. Here first choice of a career is to teach at the elementary-school level or go into counseling.
"I love kids and I'm going to do everything I can to graduate on time," said Medeiros.
SMU at Hawaii
When: Today, 7 p.m.
Where: Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park Stadium
TV: Live on KFVE (Channel 5)
Series record: SMU leads, 5-0-1.
Last meeting: The Mustangs dominated the Wahine 4-0, Oct. 20, 2002.
Notes: UH goalkeeper Mahie Atay has blanked three opponents and shared two other shutouts while posting a 0.97 goals against average. ... SMU goalkeeper Amanda Clark has four shutouts and sports a 1.01 goals against average. ... With eight midfielders on the roster, UH will redshirt freshman Koren Takeyama, a Baldwin graduate.