Star-Bulletin Sports

Wednesday, September 8, 1999

W A H I N E _ S O C C E R

Kalama a surprise
for Wahine

The Kamehameha alumna
has been a find for UH soccer after
taking two years off
after high school

By Al Chase


Camille Kalama needed a break from soccer. So, she took two years off after helping Kamehameha to consecutive state girls' championships in 1995 and 1996.

When she decided to turn out for the Hawaii women's team two weeks before fall practice started last year, UH head coach Pinsoom Tenzing was very surprised.

"I had inquired about her in high school but learned she was going away to Santa Clara," Tenzing said.

Kalama indeed was headed to the West Coast.

"I had attended several clinics run by (Santa Clara women's coach) Jerry Smith," Kalama said. "He said I could be on the team, but he didn't guarantee me any playing time and he didn't offer a scholarship."

Still, Kalama committed to Santa Clara and sent in her deposit. But, before she packed her bags, UH's Regent's Scholarship people talked to her and offered her a scholarship and she accepted.

For two years she concentrated on her studies, did some surfing and worked for the Polynesian Voyaging Society with Nainoa Thompson. There were times she would practice with the boys. Her brother, Walea, and her boyfriend, Iovo Stefanov, play for Hawaii Pacific.

Those two men and a coach Kalama knew kept telling her she should play for the Wahine. And, she kept wondering whether she should be on the field again, playing Division I soccer. She did know a number of the Wahine players, so it wasn't like going in cold, but ...

"It took awhile to get back. Actually, playing with the boys you have to play at high speed all the time. If I hadn't done that, I probably wouldn't have come out," Kalama said.

"The first game, I was all nervous, but it was exciting. We were competitive. Then we won our first six games and when we played UCLA we were keeping up with them. There's the pride thing, too. You're from Hawaii and you want to show you can compete with the rest of the world, the rest of the mainland."

A three-year captain at Kamehameha, Kalama still was surprised when her teammates elected her one of three captains this fall.

"I'm pretty new, but we don't have too many older girls," she said.

She shares the duty with Wendy Miyashiro, one of two seniors, and junior Leila Wai.

Asked if she is the kind of captain that leads by example or is more verbal, Kalama said, "I don't like to scream at people. That's not my way. I like to talk to people on the field or on the side, one on one. I don't like to criticize people. In a game situation I might yell, but I try to keep it positive. Most people say I'm not loud, but I'm trying."

Her return last season saw Kalama play in all 18 Wahine matches, 11 as a starter. A versatile player, she played both as a defensive and an attack midfielder. She displayed composure under pressure, was a sure tackler and distributed the ball well.

She was voted the team's outstanding defender.

"Camille has a gentleness that I like, is a hard worker and everyone admires her because she's so smart, yet humble and unassuming," Tenzing said.

"She's very smart from a soccer point of view, asks very incisive questions and makes very few mistakes on the field."

And to think, when Kalama's mother, Laura, took her and Walea out for AYSO as youngsters, Camille's response was "No way."

A year later, she was playing soccer. There were stints with basketball, volleyball, Pinto baseball (boring) and kayaking, but by the time she entered junior high school she realized if she didn't play soccer year round, she wasn't going to be competitive.

She enjoys the excitement of competitive sports. She understands competition as an individual and as a team member.

"You feel like you're pushing yourself to the limit, to see what you can do, but it's also a team thing. When you're all playing together, there is no better feeling (than) when everything is clicking," the 5-foot-6 junior said.

A member of the National Honor Society at Kamehameha and a National Merit Scholar finalist, Kalama is majoring in geography and maintains a 3.84 grade point average. She is considering law school or another graduate school after graduation.

Her goal is to be involved with environmental issues, land use and policy.

"The classes I have right now are really involved with real life situations. How do you deal with certain problems? What's realistic? It's something I can use. It's reality, not abstract," Kalama said.

She traveled to France to see the 1998 Men's World Cup and to the mainland for this past summer's Women's World Cup.

"There is nothing like seeing it in person," she said.




Bullet Coaches: Stanford, Steve Swanson, 4th season (34-24-3, .582). UH, Pinsoom Tenzing, 6th season (31-53-5, .376).

Bullet Season: Stanford (1-1). Hawaii, (1-1)

Bullet Series record: Stanford leads, 1-0, winning 1-0 in 1996.

Bullet Top players: Ronnie Fair (No. 3), senior midfielder/defender, All-Pac 10 and All Pac-10 Academic. National team experience with Under 20 and Under 21 teams plus two appearances with U.S. National Women's team. Twin sister Lorrie on 1999 World Cup champions. Junior goalkeeper Carly Smolak (24) has matured and Swanson can chose from veteran defenders Christy Arnold (14), Amy Sauer (10), Natalie Kim (2), Whitney Berry (8) or Jen O'Sullivan (4). Top strikers include redshirt senior Kelly Adamson (9) and senior Catherine Bernard (7). Freshman Marcia Wallis (19), an Under 18 national team member, is expected to make an impact. She had 6 goals and 4 assists for the U.S. Pan American gold medal team this summer.

Bullet Interesting facts: Stanford is ranked No. 13 in the latest Soccer America poll and No. 23 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll. The Cardinal opened with a 2-0 victory over Fresno State, then lost to No. 1 ranked Santa Clara, 3-1. Stanford's goal was the first the Broncos had surrendered in 13 regular-season matches. The Cardinal will play San Francisco, here for the No Ka Oi Tournament, in a non-tournament match Sunday. Stanford and UCLA are the co-favorites to win the Pac 10 title. Cardinal freshman midfielder Becky Myers also played for the gold medal winning U.S. Pan American team.

Bullet Match keys: Swanson feels the midfield is where the battle will be won or lost for the Cardinal this season. He has an abundant supply of talent there. "I think we will be more dynamic on the offensive end with the ability to create and score more goals," Swanson said. This will provide a mighty challenge for the Wahine, who lacked strong midfield play in the St. Mary's loss. Tenzing hinted at changes after the last match, but decided on just minor changes in tactics with three matches in the next five days. "I think they are much tougher than their ranking because they had a superb recruiting class," Tenzing said. "They are always a very good team and we've got our work cut out for us."

Bullet Kickoff: Tomorrow, 4 p.m., UH Soccer Field.

Bullet On the air: None.

Bullet Tickets: Free admission. $3 parking charge.
Ka Leo O Hawaii

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