UH Wahine soccer coach Pinsoom Tenzing instructed his players yesterday.

Wahine ready to run

Head coach Pinsoom Tenzing welcomed 15 returnees, two transfers, eight freshmen and seven walk-ons to the Hawaii Rainbow Wahine fall soccer camp that began with conditioning tests Wednesday and yesterday morning.

The transfers are Adria Campbell, a junior midfielder from Southern Methodist who prepped at Punahou, and Aimee Watanabe, a sophomore midfielder from Castle who played her freshman season at Western Oregon in 2004.

Even with the eight freshmen, the roster is balanced, with seven seniors, four juniors and six sophomores.

"Conditioning-wise, we're fine. We had 13 pass and that's good because it is the most we've ever had on the first day," Tenzing said.

One of Tenzing's biggest tasks is to find replacements for the 11 departed seniors, especially the three who made up the back line a year ago, and at left outside midfielder, where Joelle Sugai ruled for four seasons.

Those seniors were part of the best four-year run in Wahine history.

Otherwise, the Wahine have returnees who have started at every other position. The challenge for the team picked to win the Western Athletic Conference in the coaches' preseason poll is to become a cohesive unit from goal to goal.

"I'm proud to say we are deep. My dilemma is to decide who to put where," Tenzing said.

"Being picked to win the WAC was not a surprise and I'm not being pompous. I thought we were competitive and had a chance to win the last three years. We were extremely competitive, so I wasn't taken aback.

"Being picked No. 1 means nothing. We still have to work."

Three starters from 2004 who ended up on the injured list, senior right outside midfielder Natalie Groenewoud (left ankle), senior striker Natasha Kai (left shoulder surgery) and sophomore striker Gabrina Bohlman (liver hematoma), are cleared to play.

The team will have two-a-day practices through Aug. 21, then settle into one afternoon session when school starts the next day.

The Wahine open the 2005 season against George Mason on Aug. 26 in the Ohana Hotels & Resorts No Ka Oi tournament at the Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park stadium. Brigham Young also is in the tournament and plays UH on Aug. 29.

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