RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Wahine soccer players Jodie Toyama, Kelsie Look and Dayna Omiya transferred back from mainland schools this season.
Wahine bring talent home
Kelsie Look and Dayna Omiya spent one year on the mainland and Jodie Toyama was there for two pursuing a college education. Soccer was pretty much on the back burner for all three until they decided to continue their education at Hawaii.
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Schedule: Today, Hawaii vs. Washington, 7 p.m.; tomorrow, Oklahoma vs. Washington, 7 p.m.; Monday, Hawaii vs. Oklahoma, 5 p.m.
Where: Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park Stadium
The trio will get their first taste of collegiate soccer this year with the Rainbow Wahine.
Toyama, an Aiea graduate, went to the University of Portland with thoughts of trying out as a walk-on with nationally ranked Pilots, but decided to focus on her studies in the nursing school.
She did play club soccer with a university women's team, enjoyed the school's small classes and loved the city, but there was a hitch.
"I wasn't doing too well with my science courses, so I decided to come home, regroup and decide what I want to do," said Toyama.
"I know I want to continue in nursing in graduate school after I get my bachelor's degree, perhaps I can get in an accelerated program."
Toyama, who made her decision last Christmas, had help from former Wahine Joelle Sugai in contacting the UH coaches, completing the paper work and summer workouts.
"The hardest part was getting back in shape, losing weight and working on my touches," Toyama said.
Omiya, who severely injured her right knee during her junior year at Iolani and did not play as a senior, redshirted her freshman season at Gonzaga this past year.
She practiced with the team but was homesick the whole first semester.
"I really didn't like the city (Spokane, Wash.) and it was very cold. I knew when I came home for Christmas break I was going to transfer," said Omiya who is completely recovered from her injury.
"I thought of other mainland schools but decided to come home. Part of my thinking was that I could play soccer."
Look did not try out for the varsity at Loyola Marymount last year by design, but practiced with the team in the spring.
"I just wanted to go and get used to going to college," Look said. "I like the school, but I didn't have a car, was stuck on campus and there is not much to do. That was kind of junk. And, I just missed home."
Look tried to keep an open mind about staying on the mainland, but right after Christmas break she decided to come back after the spring semester.