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Al Chase

Just For Kicks

By Al Chase

Thursday, January 18, 2001

HPU deals with
change to club level

THE dropping of soccer to the club level at Hawaii Pacific University has not resulted in an exodus of players from the men's and women's programs.

The change of status does allow HPU players to transfer to another NCAA or NAIA school immediately without having to sit out a year.

"None have come out yet and said so, but a couple have asked if they should get a release form," said HPU men's coach Frank Doyle. "I told them it would be a good idea and I suspect we might get two or three."

Sea Warriors women's coach Mark Kane has had one player ask for a release and another inquire about transferring.

Amanda Rodrigues, a 1997 Maui High School graduate, plans to transfer to the University of Hawaii next year.

"She came to me a week after we announced we were dropping to the club level," Kane said. "She wants to play collegiate soccer and her clock is ticking. She has her release."

Rodrigues, a 5-foot-3 midfielder, played in all 16 matches for the Sea Warriors last season. She scored three goals on 36 shots (17 on goal) and had two assists.

Rodrigues started her collegiate career at Cal State Sacramento before transferring to HPU.

Sea Warrior freshman midfielder Lucia Lainez, who is from San Francisco, is interested in transferring to San Diego State, according to Kane.

HPU and Brigham Young-Hawaii were forced to drop their soccer programs last month because the break-up of the NCAA Division II Pacific West Conference left the league short in soccer of the six schools needed to be considered a conference.

HPU and BYUH decided that it would be too difficult to operate independent varsity teams. Scheduling would be extremely difficult without a conference, and a minimum of 16 matches would be necessary to be considered for post-season play.

Both programs will continue to operate and compete in local leagues.

The women will play in the Women's Island Soccer Association that begins its spring season in March. The men will field one team in the Men's Island Soccer Organization's spring league and two next fall.

"The key to all of this is what we do in between. It's important for us to keep our level of play up," Doyle said.

"We're still going to try and attract mainland teams to come here and play. We're also looking at other colleges with club teams. If we can get them to come, maybe we can generate a tournament.

"We're still offering scholarships if someone wants to stay in Hawaii and play soccer year round," Kane said.

Kane says there is hope the programs will return to varsity status.

"The other Pacific West Conference schools have to join in. (HPU athletic director) Tony (Sellitto) wants to maintain a program and he is encouraging other people to come on board," Kane said.

"Hopefully, with the interest in girls' soccer in the state, the other schools will jump in."


There is little change in FIFA's latest world soccer rankings, with most national teams inactive the past month.

Brazil, France, Argentina, the Czech Republic and Italy remain the top five.

They are followed by Portugal, Spain, the Netherlands, Yugoslavia, Paraguay, Germany, Mexico, Romania, Norway, Colombia, USA, England, Croatia, South Africa and Russia.

Here are the rankings of the teams that join the U.S. and Mexico in the final round of World Cup qualifying next month: 29. Trinidad and Tobago. 46. Honduras and Jamaica. 55. Costa Rica.

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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