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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, November 13, 2002

BYU soccer player exceeds expectations

By Dennis Anderson
Advertiser Staff Writer

Charlene Lui's intensity was apparent in Brigham Young's opening game, when the Cougars upset then-No. 2 Portland, 2-1.

MARK PHILBRICK • Brigham Young University

Brigham Young freshman Charlene Lui did not expect to be playing Division I soccer this season, much less be chosen second-team All-Mountain West Conference by coaches.

"I didn't think I was good enough, but it's always been my dream to play at BYU," she said. "(Coach) Phil Neddo of the (Honolulu) Bulls helped me a lot and I prayed really hard. I wouldn't be here without God's help."

Lui, a 2002 Punahou graduate from Wai'alae Iki, started every game until a sprained right ankle on Nov. 2 put her on crutches. She rested while BYU (16-5) ran its winning streak to 13 and won the conference championship for the fourth year in a row in last weekend's MWC tournament.

Lui said she would be ready to play when 16th-ranked BYU meets Utah tomorrow in the first round of an NCAA Regional in Provo.

Lui is not quite 5 feet 2 on a team with 15 players who are 5-6 to 5-10. "I play stopper; the other two center midfielders with me are both 5-10. They go up for the headers," she said, "so I haven't been knocked around that much."

Her job, Lui says, is to "calm things down and distribute."

Her dream has come true. "When I think about where I am now and all the adversities that were in my way, all I can say is that it's been simply amazing," Lui said.

"Hopefully, I can give hope to other 5-foot-2 players from Hawai'i."


• Pacific (Ore.)

Players from Hawai'i scored both goals as the Boxers ended their season Saturday with a 2-1, double-overtime victory over George Fox (Ore.). Freshman Karley Peterson (Leilehua '02) scored her first game-winning goal out of a goal-mouth scrum with two minutes left.

Junior Moani Lau (Kamehameha '00 of Kahala) scored the first Pacific goal after an assist from sophomore Joni Kaitoku (Iolani '01 of Mililani). The following day, Lau and Kaitoku both received honorable mention on the coaches' All-Northwest Conference team.

Kaitoku led Boxer scoring with 15 points, including a school-record tying seven in an earlier game against George Fox. Lau, first-team all-conference last season after transferring from Nevada, had 12 points.

"Moani is the anchor of our midfield," coach Jim Brazeau said. "Her aggressive style of play is something that we fed on all season."

Pacific, with nine players from Hawai'i, finished 6-11-3 overall and 5-8-1 in conference.