Just For Kicks
NCAA soccer tourney has taste of aloha
FIVE Hawaii players are on teams that will participate in the NCAA Division I women's soccer tournament that began today.
Three, Charlene Lui at Brigham Young, Allison Lipsher at Duke and Lori Sakai at Nevada-Las Vegas, have seen considerable playing time this year.
Lui has started all 20 matches for the 15-2-3 Cougars who met Weber St. (14-4-1) today. The senior midfielder from Punahou scored two goals this year, giving her six in her career.
Lipsher, a sophomore goalkeeper from Punahou, allowed eight goals in 18 matches for a 0.46 goals against average. She had 35 saves and shut out nine opponents, one more than she did as a freshman. The 13-5-1 Blue Devils play Fairfield (10-6-3) at Yale tomorrow.
Sakai (Iolani) started seven of 18 matches for the Rebels. The senior defender/midfielder had one assist, but did not score with her seven shots. UNLV (13-6-3) plays at Cal State-Fullerton (17-3) tomorrow.
FRESHMAN defender Kelsey Baker, the Star-Bulletin Player of the Year in 2004 and 2005, played in five matches for 13-3-3 Pepperdine Waves who open tomorrow against Mississippi at Nashville, Tenn. The Punahou grad started once.
Tiffany Taylor (Punahou) appeared in six matches for the Boston University Terriers (13-4-4) who play Connecticut (15-4-2) today. She had one start, took two shots, but did not score.
Taylor has been bothered by a bad back and knees and was not sure she would play this year.
"It was an issue, but I love the girls too much and decided to come back," Taylor from the team hotel in Hartford, Conn.
"It's nice to be going back to the NCAA Tournament. There have been days where I couldn't train and some where I could with pain, but I'm used to it. It has been and incredible year."
Taylor will graduate next month but take one more necessary class in the spring while working full-time for a private equity accounting firm in Boston.
CONGRATULATIONS to the Hawaii Youth Soccer Association for being selected to host the 2008 US Youth Soccer Region IV Championships at the Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park.
"Interestingly, we were the only state to bid," said HYSA president Scott Keopuhiwa. "We bid for 2007 and did not get it in a runoff with Las Vegas. When we went to the fall regional meeting in Alaska last month and were the only ones submitting a bid. We were awarded 2008 on the spot, by consensus."
Hawaii hosted the 2003 event. Some 8,000 players, coaches, managers, administrators, referees and family members visited Honolulu during the six-day tourney.
The region championships are the second stage in the national tournament that begins with approximately 129,000 players on 7,200 teams playing for titles in 55 state cup events in boys and girls under-11 through under-19 divisions.