Al Chase

Just For Kicks

By Al Chase

Decision time is here
for prep booters

Hawaii's high school players have started making college choices for academic reasons and the opportunity to play soccer at a higher level.

Brandon Tario and Scott Shiraishi signed letters of intent to play for UC Irvine and David Semenza will take his goalkeeping skills to Brown this fall.

Tario, a midfield from Kamehameha, also was courted by Linfield, but said he wanted to play NCAA Division I soccer

"I visited Irvine and it was an easy choice to make," said Tario, who plans to major in civil engineering.

Shiraishi, a midfielder from Iolani who plans to major in electrical engineering, said, "Their coach (George Kuntz) was my ODP coach. He's a really nice guy, so I kept in touch with him."

Semenza committed to Brown last fall after recruiting trips to the Providence, R.I., campus, Boston University and Loyola-Maryland.

"I talked to some schools on the West Coast, but I liked Brown the best. Ivy League soccer is really physical and they only have one goalkeeper, a junior, coming back, so I should be battling for playing time," said Punahou's 6-foot-2 netminder.

Biding their time

Nine Hawaii players on college rosters this past fall did not play for various reasons.

Andrew Brown, 6-foot-2 goalkeeper from Mililani sat out the season with the Creighton Bluejays after tearing the medial meniscus in his right knee during preseason August drills. He had arthroscopic surgery.

"I'm back to running, but it will be a couple more weeks before I'm cleared to participate in workouts," Brown said. "The leg feels pretty good now and I want to be ready when we start indoor workouts."

Brown, a redshirt junior this fall, wants to battle for the starting job between the pipes, following fifth-year senior and starter Mike Gabb's graduation.

Frank Marotti, a 6-2 goalkeeper from Waipahu, transferred from Mission College in September to Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo where he is a history major. Marotti sat out the Mustangs' season as a redshirt.

Megan Omura, a 2002 Star-Bulletin All-State honorable selection a year ago as an Iolani senior, was a redshirt goalkeeper for Texas.

Keith DeVey, a freshman midfielder from St. Anthony and a 2002 Star-Bulletin All-State honorable mention selection, redshirted at Santa Clara.

Kristie Ort, a Maui High grad, was a redshirt freshman midfielder at California Lutheran.

Eddie Adams, a freshman striker at Southern Colorado from Kapaa, decided to redshirt after being on the bubble for playing time last fall.

"Something that is new in NCAA Division II this year is that players who do not play in the fall can play in the spring and not lose a year of eligibility. So, Eddie decided to redshirt." said Thunderwolves coach Roy Stanley.

Danny Burris, a Saint Louis graduate, redshirted his freshman year at Sonoma State.

Tiffany Todo, a striker from Iolani, took the redshirt route her first year at UC Davis.

Jen Proudfoot sat out the U.S. Naval Academy season. The striker from Punahou did not want to jeopardize her ability to meet the tough physical demands of the Academy due to an injury playing soccer.

Just for Kicks runs every other Sunday in the Star-Bulletin.

Al Chase can be reached at

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