Al Chase

Just For Kicks

By Al Chase

Thursday, November 4, 1999

Wahine have
come a long way

SEVEN and a half years ago in the spring of 1994, the Hawaii Wahine soccer program sprung to life as the Rainbow Wahine Soccer Club.

It was a culmination of a three-year effort by the Rainbow Soccer Hui, with the blessing of Hawaii senior female administrator Marilyn Moniz-Kaho'ohanohano, to add another women's sport to the UH athletic department's stable.

Today, the Wahine make their first postseason appearance, playing Southern Methodist in the first round of the Western Athletic Conference Tournament at Dallas.

The progress reminds me of that wonderful Golden Book by Watty Piper, titled "The Little Engine That Could."

The Little Blue Engine, Tootles, kept saying "I think I can, I think I can," as it labored to pull a train-load of toys up the mountain to waiting children on the other side.

The Wahine program began as a club team, had no on-campus field and, in the early stages, decided to build with local talent until a recruiting budget materialized.

Initially, because of finances, it was thought it would be necessary to hire a part-time coach when the program went to the varsity level.

"The athletic director (Hugh Yoshida) felt we needed a full-time coach. I think that was a very, very wise decision," Moniz-Kaho'ohanohano said.

In that first varsity season, the Wahine played all 11 collegiate matches on the mainland.

Victories were scarce the first three seasons. It took four years to post a winning record.

Eventually, mainland players were recruited and UH head coach Pinsoom Tenzing hasn't shied away from trying to attract top players.

Although unsuccessful, he went after blue-chip players like the Fair twins, Ronnie (now at Stanford) and Lorrie (U.S. Women's National team and North Carolina member), and strikers Anne Remey and Raven McDonald (at UNC).

"We go after the very best and sooner or later we'll get them," Tenzing said. "We need a stadium on campus. That's one of the things the top-echelon players look for, a place to demonstrate their skills."

The Wahine enjoyed their first winning season in 1998. And this year they qualified for the WAC tournament.

Thirty-five letterwinners who have completed their eligibility can smile with satisfaction, knowing they helped set the foundation for this program.

Today's Wahine can feel good about climbing another step up the mountain of success.

No matter what the results are in Dallas, they have contributed to the progress, seemingly slow at times, of establishing a program that aims for national recognition.

Moniz-Kaho'ohanohano is satisfied with the program's steady progress.

"I wish it were a little quicker because I would like Pinsoom to have a winning record. But, the progress has been sustained and I don't see it regressing," she said.


Senior striker Trisha Tateyama (Pearl City) has tied the Seattle University women's soccer career record for points (113). She has two matches left in which to break the record.


Kauai's Alicia Vegas assisted on the first goal for Simpson yesterday as the Storm (20-2) won its first-round NCAA Division III tournament match against Grinnell, 3-0.

Simpson plays defending national champion Macalaster at St. Paul, Minn., Saturday.

There are no Hawaii players on Macalaster's women's team, but Honolulu's Alon Rohter (Waldorf) is the fourth highest scorer (3 goals, 2 assists) for the 13-2-2 men's team. Rohter is a sophomore midfielder.

Al Chase has been covering sports in Hawaii
since 1968. His column appears on Thursdays.
From the local ranks to the World Cup,
Al Chase will help keep you up to date on futbol.

E-mail to Sports Editor

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
[Stylebook] [Feedback]

© 1999 Honolulu Star-Bulletin