Thursday, October 7, 2004

Hawaii Grown Report

Sophomore wide receiver Caleb Spencer scored for Nevada in the season opener against Louisiana Tech.

Caleb catching on
at Nevada

A year ago, Caleb Spencer wanted in the worst way to come home and play football for the University of Hawaii.

He came home today and on Saturday night he will play against the University of Hawaii.


By the numbers
Caleb Spencer's stats
G C Yds TD
5 31 279 2

Spencer, a 2003 graduate of the Kamehameha Schools from Kaneohe, starts at wide receiver for the University of Nevada, which will play Hawaii on Saturday night at Aloha Stadium.

"I'm looking forward to it a lot," Spencer said in a telephone interview from Reno on Monday.

"I can't wait to play against UH and some of my friends from Kamehameha, like Micah Lau and Karl Noa."

Spencer is Nevada's top receiver and ranks third in the WAC with 6.2 catches per game. He is fifth in the conference in receiving yards per game at 55.8.

Spencer was an honorable mention All-State quarterback for Kamehameha in 2002, but he suffered a severely separated shoulder in his senior season and he says only San Diego State continued to recruit him. He had shoulder surgery in March 2003

"I remember him," UH coach June Jones said this week. "We talked about him. ... productive kid, quick. We were looking at him as a receiver or defensive back."

Although Spencer had the grades to play in Division I immediately, he went to Palomar Community College near San Diego, where he intended to rehabilitate his shoulder and return to quarterbacking this season.

"But I got bored just tossing the ball to the quarterbacks and I switched to receiver so I could play," he said.

Spencer played his way to all-conference honors, leading Palomar in receiving with 42 catches for 772 yards (18.4 per catch) and in scoring (seven touchdowns).

But he wanted to be in a green uniform.

"You don't realize how much you miss Hawaii until you leave it," Spencer said. "At Palomar, I had my mind set to come back and play at UH. I really wanted to (play for UH)."

Spencer said he came home during winter break last year intent on convincing UH to take him as a receiver, "but they didn't show much interest," he said. "They wanted me to walk on."

San Diego State urged him to stay another year at Palomar, Spencer said, but "I thought I was ready (for) Division I."

Nevada thought so, too. "Nevada offered right there and then to come in the spring," Spencer said.

He took it and won a starting job with an impressive spring practice.

Spencer is the only player from Hawaii on a WAC football team outside of Hawaii.

His father, Jody, who coached Caleb on youth teams before high school; his mother, Atu; a grandmother and auntie went to the mainland to watch his last two games.

"He surprises us with the determination that he has," Jody Spencer said. "He hates to lose."

Aloha Stadium crowds have sometimes been rude to players from Hawaii coming home with other teams (remember BYU's Micah Matsuzaki in 1989-90?).

Caleb Spencer said he can handle it. "I'm prepared. It's cool," he said.

Jody Spencer said, "I hope they will show him the aloha spirit, a local boy coming home."

Extra points: Caleb Spencer played at Aloha Stadium many times during three years on the Kamehameha varsity, but he says he has never played on FieldTurf and he is looking forward to it. "I'm really excited to come home, but I've got to keep my focus," he said. "They (UH) look good, they put on a lot of pressure." ... Nevada will play at Aloha Stadium again in 2006.

For more news about Hawaii athletes at mainland colleges, visit www.hhsaa.org


Lipsher sets marks
at Duke

Halfway through her first college season, goalkeeper Allison "Alli" Lipsher already has broken two Duke University soccer records.

Lipsher, a 2004 Punahou graduate from Hawaii Kai, has set new Duke records of four consecutive shutouts and 494.14 consecutive scoreless minutes.

Lipsher did not give up a goal in her senior year at Punahou, but she received a rude welcome to college soccer, surrendering nine goals in her first three games.

Since then, Lipsher and Duke tightened down and she has not been scored on.

"We've really just been working very hard in practice because we had a couple of rough games at the start," Lipsher said.

"The goalkeeper and the defense really weren't communicating well at the beginning of the season, but we've worked on it a lot in practice and apparently it's just all coming together," she said.

Lipsher might have six consecutive shutouts, but she was removed from two games after victory was assured to give experience to her backups.

Two of her shutouts were scored at Waipio Peninsula Park last month, when Duke beat Hawaii 2-0 and Long Beach State 3-0 in the Outrigger Hotels & Resorts Classic.

Duke has a 10-2 record (the losses were to Tennessee and Florida during Lipsher's on-the-job training) and is ranked No. 9 in the coaches poll. The Blue Devils play at No. 6 Virginia on Saturday.

"That will be a big test for her," Duke spokesman Lindy Brown said.

In Lipsher's record-breaking fourth straight shutout on Friday, a Florida State player beat Duke defenders and had a one-on-one break against her, but she stopped a blast from 15 yards out, Brown said.

She surpassed the old record of 460.37 consecutive scoreless minutes during that game. It was set in 1988.

Lipsher has five official shutouts all told; she sandwiched her first one between the two shellings she absorbed early. The school record is nine, set in 1993 and tied in 1995.


Hashimoto, Brown hit
by injuries

Two of Hawaii's premier men's college soccer players went down -- probably for the season -- in the same game last Friday night.

SMU junior forward Duke Hashimoto (Iolani '02 of Kapolei) apparently tore his left anterior cruciate ligament and Creighton senior goalkeeper Andrew Brown (Mililani '00) suffered a deep groin pull.

SMU won the game in Omaha, Neb., 1-0 and jumped 10 places to No. 7 in the national coaches poll, while Creighton tumbled from No. 4 to No. 11. They are 1-2 in the Midwest Region.

"They took an MRI Tuesday and we'll get the results (today)," SMU coach Schellas Hindman said, "but the doctor thinks the ACL is torn."

"He was off to a great year, an active, dangerous player, scoring goals. It's a shame," Hindman added.

Although he comes off the bench in most games, Hashimoto is SMU's leading scorer, with five goals and 13 points.

Hindman said that Hashimoto's left cleat apparently caught in the artificial turf (similar to FieldTurf) at Creighton's new stadium.

Hashimoto tore his right medial collateral ligament during his junior year at Iolani.

"Brown is out indefinitely because of the groin injury," Creighton spokesman Robb Simms said, "not the way he'd like his senior year to go, I'm sure."

Brown's replacement, redshirt freshman Zac Gibbens, made five saves and shut out high-scoring Tulsa in his first career start on Sunday.

» Pacific (Ore.) senior Bobby Shinn (Pearl City '01 of Waipio Gentry) scored two goals and made two assists last week. He had both assists in a 2-1 victory over George Fox on Sept. 29 and both goals in a 3-2 loss to Linfield on Saturday.

» Western Washington junior Chela Gray (Iolani '00 of Kaneohe) scored her fourth goal in the last five games, tapping the ball in after a bobble by the Evergreen State goalkeeper. Western Washington won 4-0.

» Coming off the bench in every game, Wellesley (Mass.) freshman Jen Lau (Punahou '04 of Maikiki) is the third-leading goal scorer with four goals for 5-5 Wellesley. Nine of her 12 shots have been on goal.

» Fresno State freshman outside hitter Mounia Nihipali (Kamehameha '04 of Moanalua) is beginning to blossom as anticipated for the Bulldogs volleyball team. Nihipali had her second double-figure dig match with 12 and hit .364 in a sweep of San Jose State on Saturday.



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