Hawaii Grown Report:
PHOTO COURTESY MAX TURNER
Allison Lipsher has not missed a game for the Duke Blue Devils since her freshman season.
Lipsher still leading
While Allison Lipsher is up to her old tricks, leading this time around has a different flavor to it for the Duke goalkeeper and Punahou alum.
As a captain on the 2004 Buffanblu state champions, she was key in preserving a season-long, 13-game shutout of their opponents. Now, Lipsher ranks among the career leaders at Duke in several categories, most notably -- surprise -- shutouts.
Somehow, being a leader of a top-notch Atlantic Coast Conference program is "easier" for the 5-foot-9 senior than high school.
"I think it's totally different," said Lipsher, who also won the Hawaii state title in 2003, and was a Star-Bulletin first-team All-State selection both years. "I'm not really sure how to explain it, but I think being a captain at Duke has really helped me because I don't have the most natural leadership. So, for me being out there on the team has been working as hard as I can, trying to lead by example.
"That's obviously helped me push myself probably harder than I pushed myself before," she added. "Which has hopefully been beneficial for the team and definitely been beneficial for me."
So far this season, she's done nothing to suggest otherwise.
The Blue Devils' defense has been superb, giving up just two goals in its first five games (2-1-2). All of those games, except the loss to Texas A&M, were Lipsher shutouts. But the Duke offense had been stagnant up until yesterday, when it exploded for six scores in a -- surprise -- blanking of Elon.
Lipsher's one save yesterday put her at 24 this season. She now has 30 career shutouts, second all time at Duke and fifth in the ACC. Lipsher is also near the career mark in goals-allowed average, at 0.88 per game going into the season, and saves, at 198.
Those marks are undoubtedly nice, but it's not what she had in mind when she got there. She's been consumed by the East Coast lifestyle, the heated Duke-North Carolina rivalry, and the idea of traveling the world after graduation.
"I definitely wasn't setting out to break any records," said Lipsher, who will graduate in May with degrees in history and marketing. "Regardless of it, absolutely, (I'll cherish my time here). I think I've grown up so much in the last four years, and soccer's been so much a part of that. It's something that will always be with me and wherever I go from here, this is totally going to be the best memories of my life."
Making the transition from a captain on that 2004 Buffanblu team who shut out all comers to a starting freshman for a powerhouse was not an easy task. But her coaches were able to help make light of it.
"Yeah, I got a little bit of grief about it (the expectations), but it didn't last too long," Lipsher said with a laugh. "I got nine goals scored on me (in my first four games) when I first got here."
A left knee injury her freshman year complicated things, but she responded by proving herself absolutely dominant in her following seasons.
Last year's team went 9-8-2, before losing the second of two penalty-kick shootout games in the NCAA tournament, to Tennessee. Amazingly, she was perfectly calm in both games, having the confidence that her teammates' kicks would find home. But when the season ended, Duke lost nine seniors.
In contrast, this year, Lipsher and teammate Andrea Crane are the lone upperclassmen. However, she sees that as a boon, instead of a burden.
"It's been great. Andrea is probably one of my favorite people in the whole world," she said. "So, if I could choose one other person to be a senior with me, it would definitely be her. But it's definitely changed things; there's so many people on the team you have to sort of look younger, and it's forced some of our juniors to step up."
If she has to blank a few more opponents while that happens, so be it.
Profile: Allison Lipsher
» Prep: Won two state titles with Punahou
» Freshman: Started 19 games for Duke, recording eight shutouts
» Sophomore: Played in all 21 matches for Duke with nine shutouts
» Junior: Played in all 21 matches for Duke with nine shutouts
» Senior: Three shutouts in four games for the Blue Devils
Kaheaku-Enhada has tough time on TV
After winning the starting quarterback job midway through last season, Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada (Kapolei '04) has been an integral part of the Midshipmen's success.
Kaheaku-Enhada had won five of his seven games as a starter, but ran into a tough Rutgers team last Friday.
Playing in front of a nationally televised audience on ESPN, Kaheaku-Enhada threw for a touchdown and rushed for another, but struggled with his passing game.
He finished 5-for-12 through the air with three interceptions as Navy lost to the No. 15 Scarlet Knights 41-24.
He had thrown only one pick in his previous 56 attempts. Two of his interceptions came in the end zone after lengthy Navy drives.
"I made some poor decisions today," he said after the game. "We got the ball moving a little bit here and there, but turnovers shut us down."
Despite the turnovers, Rutgers coach Greg Schiano noticed the improvement from a year ago in the Navy quarterback.
"He's considerably better," Schiano said at his postgame press conference. "He's a tremendous runner, but I think a better passer than I remember."
Kaheaku-Enhada also had 35 rushing yards on 13 carries. He has managed 250 total yards of offense in two games.
» Gabe Tuata (Kealakehe '07) scored on a 3-yard touchdown run last weekend to help Pasadena City College win its second straight game to open the season.
Tuata is one of 20 players from Hawaii on the Lancers. He is averaging more than 9 yards a carry and also has a 10-yard touchdown catch this season.
» Jordon Dizon (Waimea '04) leads the nation in tackles after a 16-tackle performance against Arizona State.
Dizon has 31 solo tackles and eight assisted tackles in two games for Colorado. His performance against the Sun Devils earned him the Colorado athlete of the week award for the second consecutive week.
» Mike Hirokawa (Iolani '06) scored on a 5-yard touchdown run to lead Claremont-McKenna to a victory in its opener.
Hirokawa's high school classmates Travis Nishioka and Landon Patoc also play for the Stags.
» Ray Stowers (Iolani '04) had 21 rushing yards on six carries for Utah in a 20-12 loss against Air Force.
Senior Malakai Mokofisi (Kahuku '03) had six tackles and freshman Nai Fotu (Kahuku '07) had 1 1/2 tackles.
» San Jose State freshman Brianna Amian
(Moanalua '07) tied the school block assist and total blocks records in a five-game loss to San Francisco on Wednesday.
Amian had 14 block assists, tying the mark set by Liz Hudson against Idaho on Nov. 24, 2001.
» Hofstra senior Shellane Ogoshi (Roosevelt '04) had 18 assists and 13 digs in a three-set loss to No. 23 St. John's.
Ogoshi has played in all 10 matches for the Pride. She leads the team with 12 aces and 5.21 digs per game.
» South Dakota State freshman Melia Iwamoto (Kalani '07) made the Jackrabbit Invitational all-tournament team last weekend.
Iwamoto finished with 46 assists against Long Island to help the Jackrabbits win their seventh consecutive match.
» Kaena Apana (Nanakuli '04) had 25 digs to help East Tennessee State sweep Furman on Wednesday night.
Her 251 digs for the season leads the team.
» Tye Perdidio
(Seabury Hall '06) assisted on the game-winning goal to help Gonzaga defeat No. 15 Washington for the first time in their last 19 meetings.
The win helped Gonzaga earn a No. 19 ranking in the SoccerTimes.com poll . They are ranked 20th in the NSCAA/adidas poll.
» Senior Luke Oda
(Iolani '04) scored a goal in the Broncos 15-7 victory over Gannon University.