Just For Kicks
Al Chase

These future pilots
fly on field, too

MAUREEN Lierman, Kalei Silva and Le'a Williams, all with the career goal of becoming pilots, hope to help the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's (Prescott, Ariz.) women's soccer teams fly a little higher this fall.

They were part of the Eagles' initial season in 2004. The NAIA team finished 3-16-0.

Lierman, who graduated from Maryknoll and played for Pac-Five, did not compete in 2003 when she attended Southern Oregon. After transferring to Embry-Riddle, Lierman, an Air Force ROTC member who wants to be a jet fighter pilot, worked her way into the starting goalkeeper's position toward the end of the season.

Silva, from Kaneohe and a graduate of Kula Kaiapuni o Anuenue, transferred after a season at Menlo College.

"Kalei was our most experienced player. She played center mid and did a good job of distributing the ball," said Eagles coach Meghan Luckett. "I know Kalei had two goals and an assist, but, this being our first year, we didn't get statistics on all our games.

"Le'a (a freshman from Kapaa) played outside mid and had great stamina."

Elsewhere, Patricia Wong, Erin Kikumoto, Alysen Ono and Jordan Weeks will increase the number of Hawaii players for the Northern Colorado Bears to five this fall.

Wong, a center midfielder from Iolani, said she was attracted to the area.

Kikumoto, a Star-Bulletin honorable mention All-State pick as a defender from Mililani, said, "Honestly, Northern Colorado is the only school I applied to. I want to major in psychology and my sister Robyn is a senior there.

"I wasn't going to play college soccer, but my best friend, Nicky Harris (Mililani '04), talked to her coach (Tim Barrera) and he called me. I'm really happy the way everything worked out and that I'll play soccer."

Kikumoto made a trip to the Greeley, Colo., campus with Mililani teammate Ono, who also talked with Barrera. Ono, a defender, will be a walk-on this fall.

Weeks, a defender from Kamehameha who sat out the recent prep season after having ACL surgery on her right knee in November, also considered Portland State.

"I felt more comfortable at Northern Colorado because there are more people from Hawaii there. They have a nursing program and I might go into that field."

Northern Colorado is in the third year of a four-year transition period to NCAA Division I status and will become the ninth member of the Big Sky Conference on July 1, 2006.

Amy Larson, a striker from Iolani, will attend Westmont College in Santa Barbara, Calif. Larson had ACL surgery on her left knee in November, missed the prep season, but expects to be ready to play this fall.

"I like the area and it is a smaller Christian school that is still near the ocean," said Larson, who has a love for surfing.

"I plan to major in history, then teach or go into pre-law."

Ashley Collins will attend the U.S. Air Force Prep Academy for a year.

"The Air Force Academy is recruiting me. I'll probably play in an outside league this year," said Collins, a striker from Punahou. "My career goal is to be a pilot for a commercial airline eventually."

See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Just for Kicks runs every other Sunday in the Star-Bulletin. Al Chase can be reached at achase@starbulletin.com.

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