Just For Kicks
BRIAN Ching topped off a stellar career at Gonzaga University by being named to the all-West Coast Conference first team for the second consecutive season.
Ching waits for call
from pro ranks
A 6-foot striker from Kamehameha, Ching scored eight goals this season for the 11-6-0 Bulldogs despite missing three matches due to injury.
Ching redshirted his junior year after having arthroscopic surgery to repair the meniscus in his right knee.
Two years before and the two years after he was a constant scoring threat. He finished his collegiate career with 34 goals and a school record 23 assists.
He graduated with a degree in accounting last May and has been taking courses for his masters in business administration this fall.
But a professional career is a strong possibility. He has invitations from two A-League teams and trained with a Major League Soccer team last summer. He will be watching the MLS draft in February with great interest.
"It's kind of been a goal of mine from the start. It's a good boost to have teams express an interest," Ching said.
"Brian is as talented as any player you'll see in Division I," Gonzaga head coach Einar Thorainson said. "His physical presence, his skills and his performance with the ball are beyond his years."
Ching said the highlight of his time in Spokane, Wash. was "basically being with a team that only won two games the year before I came to one that was constantly in the hunt for the WCC crown."
There is more to Gonzaga's Hawaii connection.
Midfielder Alika Cosner (Kamehameha) redshirted after aggravating a back injury and plans to be back for a second senior year in 2001.
Owen Omiya (Iolani), a senior defender who had used his redshirt year, battled back from a second knee injury to play in the final two matches.
Mike McCarthy, a sophomore from Kalaheo, won, lost, then won the starting goalkeeper's job again. He was named honorable mention WCC.
McCarthy posted an 8-3 record with four shutouts and a 1.06 goals allowed average.
The Bulldogs finished second in the WCC, one point behind the University of San Diego, and did not receive an at-large invitation to the 32-team NCAA Division I tournament.
In NCAA Division I playoff action, the University of Portland upset the No. 2 seeded University of Washington women, 1-0, Sunday ending junior Erin Otagaki's (Punahou) season.
Later that day, the Huskies men beat Alabama-Birmingham, 1-0, in four overtimes, but sophomore midfielder Kyle Fukuchi (Mililani) did not play.
UW (14-5-0) hosts Indiana (14-6-0) in a second-round match Saturday.
Andrew Brown (Mililani) is the backup goalkeeper for the Creighton University Bluejays (19-3) who play at the University of San Diego (16-1-2) in a second-round match Saturday.
Linfield advanced to the NCAA Division III men's soccer semifinal round with a four-overtime, 1-0 victory over previously undefeated Ohio Wesleyan last Saturday.
Unfortunately, Shanon Hopkins' (Hilo) left ankle injury has sidelined him for the remainder of the season.
Dana Dydasco (Mililani), a junior striker, saw action in 16 of Cal State Sacramento's 17 matches this season. She got off 12 shots, five on goal, but couldn't find the back of the net.
The Hornets finished 9-6-2. Their season ended with a 5-0, first-round loss to defending champion Montana in the Big Sky Conference tournament.