Al Chase

Just For Kicks

By Al Chase

Sunday, January 27, 2002

Otagaki hopes to coach
to ‘give back’

ERIN Otagaki relaxes at home now, four years of soccer with the Washington Huskies behind her, a degree in English in hand and planning where to attend graduate school to obtain a master's degree in education.

Recruited by UW coach Lesle Gallimore following graduation from Punahou in 1997, Otagaki tore the ACL in her left knee the first day of practice her freshman season and redshirted. She recovered and slowly became a contributor.

"I was nervous my freshman year, being away from home and the comforts for the first time, but I got to know the players right away and they provided a lot of support," Otagaki said. "It made the transition easy. I can't tell you how much I loved the experience. UW has such a tradition of excellence in academics and athletics."

Coming off her best season as a junior, Otagaki was hit by the injury bug again this season, spraining her right ankle and not getting back into action until the final 12 matches.

Her career totals included 50 matches in which the 5-foot striker took 50 shots, scored 10 goals, including two game winners this past fall, and had six assists. She played on NCAA Tournament teams the last three years.

Otagaki says she wants to get into coaching after completing her education.

"I worked the summer camps at Washington. Coaching is a way to stay in touch with the sport and give back," she said.

Gallimore said, "Erin is a fun player to watch. Her craftiness on the ball, her innovation and creativity is unlike anybody's on our team."

Shaina Nishimoto, Otagaki's cousin and former Punahou teammate, finished four years of varsity competition for the Loyola Marymount Lions.

Nishimoto developed into one of the more solid defenders in the West Coast Conference. She started 46 of the 65 matches she played for LMU.

A psychology major and business minor, Nishimoto plans to pursue a career in law.

LMU sophomore teammates, midfielder Shari Nishimoto and defender Jamie Shona, both Iolani grads, saw action in 15 and 12 matches, respectively. Nishimoto scored twice on 12 shots and had two assists.

MOMI MARKUS redshirted this year at Northern Colorado after having ACL surgery last spring. The Iolani alumnus has three years of eligibility left. As a freshman, Markus played in 16 matches, scored seven goals, and her shooting percentage (.212) was second-best for the NCAA Division II Bears.

Lynnsey Ho, a freshman striker from Aiea H.S., played two matches for the Cal State Hayward Pioneers before a reoccurring injury to her right knee forced her to redshirt.

"Lynnsey fit in really well with the team and she made leis for all our graduating seniors," said coach Amy Foreman.

Kristin Masunaga began the season injured at Colorado College. The junior goalkeeper from Iolani was not able to regain the starting job she held as a sophomore, playing just 28 minutes in one match.

Sarah Rothbaum, a sophomore from Punahou, missed the season at Pepperdine after suffering her second consecutive ACL tear in the right knee.

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