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Al Chase

Just For Kicks

By Al Chase

Thursday, December 7, 2000

SMU hosting women’s
final next year

Southern Methodist University has been named host of the 2001 NCAA Division I women's soccer championship, known as the College Cup.

"We continue to see record-breaking crowds the last four years at this event," said Debbie Warren, Division I Women's Soccer Committee chairwoman.

"We are committed to taking the championship to communities who not only have the facilities necessary, but also the passion and commitment to the sport."

San Jose State hosted this year's final four, but the chance of a Western Athletic Conference team actually playing in the College Cup is slim.

SMU (13-5-1) was ranked all year, but did not receive one of the 24 at-large bids to the 48-team women's tournament after losing in the semifinal-round of the WAC playoffs.

When asked why the Lady Mustangs were left out, Warren said, "They were on the bubble because their results against teams under consideration and against teams selected to the tournament were not as strong as the at-large teams that went in ahead of them."

In short, the Lady Mustang's strength of schedule didn't justify an at-large bid. SMU played one tournament team in 2000, losing to North Carolina, 2-0.

The eight WAC teams played 92 nonconference matches, 13 against tournament teams. San Jose State led the way with six matches while Fresno State, Texas Christian and Tulsa each played two. Hawaii, Nevada and UTEP played no matches against NCAA tourney teams.

The combined WAC record in matches against NCAA tournament teams was 3-10.

If the level of WAC women's soccer is to improve so conference teams receive at-large bids on a regular basis, schedules have to be upgraded.

Seven Pacific-10 women's teams went to the NCAA tournament, but WAC teams played just four matches against those seven, three by San Jose State.


KJ Nishikawa (Iolani) has been named to the All-Big West Conference second team, the third consecutive season she has been so honored.

Nishikawa, a senior midfielder, scored two goals and had an assist in 17 matches for the 8-8-2 Tigers this season.


Megan Inouye (Mililani), a senior defender, has been named to the North Central Conference all-Academic Team. She maintains a 3.61 grade point average while majoring in communications. She also was honorable mention all-NCC for the second consecutive year.

Inouye played 71 matches (60 starts) and scored two goals in four seasons for the University of Northern Colorado Bears.


Seth Lee-Yee (Iolani), a freshman defender, started 18 matches, and sophomore defender Kevin Arizo (Mililani), started 17 of 18 matches for the Pacific University men's team.

Kurtis Higaki (Leilehua), a freshman striker, and sophomore defender Kaleo Ticomb (Kamehameha), saw limited action for the 4-13-1 Boxers.

Kelli Ann Miller, a senior midfielder from Kamehameha, scored and assisted twice for the 5-11-1 women's team.

Jean Kasamoto (Mid-Pacific), started 16 of 17 matches as a freshman defender. Malia Ho (Maui), a freshman midfielder scored twice and had an assist.

Striker Joely Gutierrez (Waiakea) recorded one goal in her freshman season and midfielder Shanell Kawasaki (Kamehameha) played in 14 matches.

Both were regular contributors off the bench.

Molokai's Seanelle Luafalemana, a freshman defender, played in three matches, but freshman striker Kailana Sato (Waimea) missed most of the season with an injury.

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.
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