Al Chase

Just For Kicks

By Al Chase

Sunday, September 9, 2001

Marti goes pro with
soccer team in Spain

CRISSY MARTI became the first female soccer player from Hawaii to join the professional ranks when she signed a contract last month to play for Levante in Valencia, Spain.

Levante is the defending Spanish champion, competing in the 12-team Honors Division.

Marti, a center midfielder or striker on the left side because she is naturally left footed, helped Kapaa High School to a runner-up finish in the 1998 Hawaii High School Athletic Association State tournament.

She went on to the University of Portland, annually a top 10 team, redshirted a season and played the last two years.

Her father Sal, a native of Spain, was in that country last March and had a conversation with Spain's national women's coach, who was looking for American players.

When Sal returned to Kauai, he worked up Crissy's resume. Two weeks later, the coach called and said he was interested, but Crissy had to play for a club team.

Sal's father and grandfather were members of Levante and he has a lot of family in Valencia, so that matchup was a natural.

The only hitch was Crissy would have to pay her way to Spain.

Levante wouldn't pay her way until she signed a contract and she could only do that once she arrived in Spain. So she worked all summer to raise the $2,000.

Crissy and Sal arrived Aug. 17. She played five exhibition matches before Sal returned home, scoring three goals and adding two assists.

"We're real proud of her," said Crissy's mother, Aggie. "She will try it for a year and see how it works out. She is applying for dual citizenship. That could take six months, a year or a week, depending on how soon they want her for the national team."

"She has my complete support," said Sal. "And, in two weeks there, her Spanish improved 100 percent."

The college scene

Kenji Treschuk has joined the Penn State men's team as an invited walk-on.

He delayed entering a four-year college for a year to work on his game with the Honolulu Bulls Soccer Club while coaching a Bulls youth team.

Treschuk met Barry Gorman, PSU coach, during a National Soccer Coaches Association-sponsored coaching clinic here earlier this year, then visited the Penn State campus in April.

Santa Clara and Wake Forest also were interested in the 5-foot-11 midfielder from Moanalua High School.

Moani Lau (Kamehameha), who played for the University of Nevada last year, has transferred to Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore.

Kerry Miike (Mililani), who saw extensive playing time as a defender for NCAA Division II Southern Colorado last year has transferred to Gonzaga.

Natalie Ah Sam scored the winning goal as St. Andrews Presbyterian College (1-3-1) in Laurenburg, N.C., won its first match of the season last Sunday, 2-1 over Baldwin-Wallace.

Ah Sam, a graduate of Mililani High School, is a junior and a striker for the NCAA Division II Knights.

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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