Hawaii to honor its
11 seniors today

Maturity and friendships.

Those are the two themes expressed over and over by the 11 Hawaii Rainbow Wahine soccer players who will be honored tonight following the Western Athletic Conference match against Boise State.


When: Today, 5 p.m.

Where: Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park Stadium.

TV: Live on KFVE (Ch. 5).

Radio: None.

Admission/Parking: Free.

Series record: Hawaii leads 3-1-1.

Kalena Eaton, Pam Fong, Liz Lusk, Tia Medeiros and Wendi Young are in their fifth season with the Wahine.

Sasha Araya-Schraner, Erin Chow, Joelle Sugai and Krystalynn Ontai are four-year vets.

Jessica Uecker transferred after her freshman year at South Carolina and Robyn deHay came a year later after two seasons at Stanford.

"There has been great leadership from the seniors, especially at the back, where we have three tremendous fullbacks," Hawaii coach Pinsoom Tenzing said.

"There have been no problems on or off the field. Some of the younger players have taken away playing time from some of the seniors, but they have been magnanimous in sharing playing time.

"You can only say positive things about this senior class."

Sugai, the outside left midfielder, said, "This year, it is a totally different team from last year. We have a lot of seniors and it's the last time to do something big. We don't want to waste it."

Young, who walked on, has played in only 11 matches and will graduate in December with a degree in marketing and management, and Lusk, who plans to pursue a career in criminology, has recovered from two ACL surgeries and an injured shoulder and thanks her teammates for their support.

Eaton, a center midfielder, also had to battle back from two ACL surgeries. The Baldwin grad plans to attend graduate school with the career goal of being a high school counselor. Uecker, the leader of the defense as the center back, will earn her degree in biology this semester. And Araya-Schraner says she will remember her teammates the most from her four years here.

Pam Fong, a walk-on who has played 68 matches up front and will graduate in May with a marketing degree, said, "I've learned a lot on and off the field, especially about time management. After I graduate I want to go to the mainland and be adventurous."

DeHay, dissatisfied with the soccer situation at Stanford, came back last year, then took courses at Stanford and graduated in the spring while also taking classes over the Internet at UH so she could remain eligible to play this year. The striker is tied for sixth on the career list for assists with 11.

Ontai, from Kamehameha, has faced every tough challenge at left back and found success. Told by two doctors she had a sprained rotator cuff in her left shoulder and would not play Friday, Ontai got a third opinion that was positive and competed the full 93 minutes.

Chow has done an admirable job as the backup goalkeeper, posting a 7-2 record after losing four times as a freshman.

"It has been a good experience, being able to rely on your teammates when you are down," said Chow, a Moanalua graduate who is majoring in psychology.

Sugai, the workhorse at outside left midfield, is a person and player any coach in any program would be proud to have on their team, according to Tenzing.

Medeiros says it hardly seems like five years have passed since her freshman season.

"I'm coming out of this with a lot of lifelong friends. I've learned how to deal with situations that maybe you don't agree with," said Medeiros, who wants to teach or be a counselor at the middle- or high-school level.

"I have no regrets."

Two other seniors, Natalie Groenewoud and Kimi Tiampo, are redshirting due to injuries and will join the class of 2005.



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