Sakai goes big
Lori Sakai wanted a change after being a second-team California-Pacific Conference selection and earning rookie player of the year as a freshman at Notre Dame de Namur.
The NAIA school in Belmont, Calif., wasn't big enough for the Iolani graduate. So she transferred to Nevada-Las Vegas and walked on with the Rebels' women's team.
"I wanted a bigger environment. A lot of people from Hawaii live there, families are always visiting and my brother Reid is there," said Sakai.
She credits the Notre Dame de Namur experience with building her confidence. She got used to playing the center-midfield role after being a defender in high school.
"The transition was not that drastic. It was a lot easier playing center mid, quite different from being a defender," said Sakai. "I'm more of an attacking midfielder and I felt comfortable at that position."
As a UNLV sophomore, Sakai scored once in 11 matches. This past fall she started seven of 16 matches for the 12-5-2 Rebels and doubled her goal output. She put 11 of 13 shots on goal, a team-best .846 percentage.
UNLV made its first-ever trip to the NCAA tournament, but lost to the University of San Diego 1-0 in double overtime.
Sakai, a business management major, will graduate in May 2006.
Carmen Calpo scored three goals and had four assists to finish in a tie for third with 10 points for the East Carolina Pirates (8-9-2) of Conference USA. Calpo, a junior midfielder from Pearl City, assisted on ECU's goal in the quarterfinal round of the conference tournament, but it wasn't enough as Louisville won 2-1.
She played in all 19 matches, with 18 starts. Two of her goals were game-winners.
Audrey Ehrhorn started 19 consecutive matches for the George Washington University Colonials (6-8-5), who just missed the Atlantic 10 Conference playoffs with a 4-4-3 league record.
Ehrhorn, a junior midfielder from Iolani, placed three of her seven shots on goal, but was denied a score. She is majoring in political science and environmental studies.
Patrick Boltz overcame a rough start to experience a solid season for the Montana State-Billings Yellowjackets.
Boltz, a junior from Punahou, did take two shots without hitting the net.
Charlene Lui played in all 22 matches for the 7-11-4 Brigham Young Cougars. The junior midfielder from Punahou did not score despite putting 10 of her 15 shots on goal.
Zachary Chinn did not play soccer his first two years at Occidental College in Los Angeles, but changed his mind this past fall and participated in 11 matches for the NCAA Division III Tigers (6-10).
The striker, who played at Mid-Pacific, scored once in a 9-0 rout of Whittier in a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference match Oct. 2.
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