Hawaii shows soccer
skills Down Under
Two groups of Hawaii's veteran soccer players took their talents on the road recently.
The Aloha United Soccer Club participated in the Supa Oldies Sports International Fun Cup, an event for players over 35, at Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, last week and compiled a 0-2-1 record, with their final match not yet reported.
Aloha United was the only coed team and only team from the United States in the tournament. The team was 1-2-1 in the same tournament in New Zealand a year ago.
The Aloha United players were Gary Bilyk, Ken Bogowitz, Dimitri Economou, Manny Fernandes, Yuji Ikeda, Frank Lee, Vic Peters, Joe Turban, Nan Alota, Manu Anana-Okamura, Pilahi Gregg, May Lapa and Pauline Lapa.
They tied Koala Green (Australia) 0-0, lost to Hungarian Budapest Old Guys 3-1, with Bogowitz scoring for United, and lost to Avoca Beach ParaAnimals (Australia) 2-1, with Gregg converting a penalty kick for United's goal.
The oldest and youngest Aloha United players, Lee and Turban, were chosen to play on the Pacific Team in an exhibition match vs. Team Europe. That match was a 3-3 draw.
Playing on the mainland, Hawaii Gold, an over-52 women's team, reached the championship match of the Friendship Tournament in Las Vegas last weekend before losing to San Diego 1-0.
Coached by Holly Lau and Cheryl Shimizu, Hawaii Gold compiled a 3-1-1 record heading into the title match.
Megan Omura switched sports at Texas last fall after tearing her left meniscus during spring practice last year. She gave up soccer and joined the Longhorns' rowing program.
"I did not like being injured all the time and I figured my body couldn't handle that. Soccer turned into more like a job and it wasn't making my college experience fun," said Omura. "I definitely like the school and made a lot of friends there.
"I found that with rowing I could have the best of both worlds. I'm on the novice team and we travel with the varsity."
The Iolani graduate hopes to prove she is worthy of a rowing scholarship this fall.
Noe Kamelamela also made a switch, according to information sent by Kamehameha goalkeeper coach Bruce Omura.
Kamelamela was slated to be the starting goalkeeper at Massachusetts Institute of Technology last fall, but decided not to play soccer. Her decision was the result of the time demands of the sport and how that factor related to her academic pursuits. She also spent an eye-opening summer in Sweden.
In an e-mail, Omura wrote:
"Noe had a summer research internship at the Royal Institute of Technology for 10 weeks in Stockholm, Sweden, fending for herself and working on a research paper with a professor at the Royal Institute. It was a great experience for her as she had to learn to use the subway, shop, etc.
"She has become a mature worldly young lady. She plans to return to Sweden to get a PhD. She was impressed with their National Health Insurance, free public education thru college, the fact that all the people speak at least two and usually three or more languages, that there are no homeless people, and the open mindedness/tolerance of differences in people."
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Just for Kicks runs every other Sunday in the Star-Bulletin.
Al Chase can be reached at email@example.com