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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Ex-Iolani athlete gets college soccer honors

By Dennis Anderson
Advertiser Staff Writer

Coach Gregg Murphy says a team strategy change and a stronger commitment to conditioning are the main reasons Shari Nishikawa "had an awesome junior year" at Loyola Marymount University.

Maui High alum Kapua Cabreros, left, of Northwest Missouri State was chosen first-team All-Mid-American Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

Darren Whitley • Northwest Missouri State University

Nishikawa was chosen second-team All-West Coast Conference. Two years ago, as a freshman out of Iolani School, she was first-team All-WCC playing left back for the first time in her life, but last season she was not honored by the league's coaches.

"She was back in rare form," Murphy said yesterday. "One of the reasons was that we changed our formation from 4-3-3 to 4-4-2 and played her on the left side of midfield. That definitely suits her.

"Another reason is that she had no injuries. (Nishikawa started all 18 games.) Shari committed to a strength training program last spring and summer. She came to understand how important that was."

Nishikawa led the Lions in assists with five and had one goal. Her eight career assists are No. 8 on the school's career list.

"She's an incredibly dangerous left-footed kicker with a fantastic pace, and a great change of pace," Murphy said. "A natural left footer is golden."

Junior Jamie Shoma, a classmate and teammate of Nishikawa at Iolani, started nine games. The Lions qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the first time, losing to UCLA in the first round to finish 10-6-2.

Nishikawa is from Kane'ohe and Shoma is from St. Louis Heights. They both were first-team all-state selections at Iolani in 1999 and 2000.


• Northwest Missouri State

There was a Maui flavor in Maryville, Mo.

Freshman Kapua Cabreros (Maui '02) led the team in goals (6) and points (15) — more than double the second-leading scorer — and was chosen first-team All-Mid-American Intercollegiate Athletic Association by coaches.

Junior defender Renee Judd (Seabury Hall '99 of Pukalani) had four assists in 13 games. She transferred from University of San Francisco a year ago.

Sophomore forward Stacey Yamamoto (St. Anthony '99 of Wailuku), in her first year at Northwest Missouri State, played in 17 games.

In 1998, Yamamoto, a place-kicker, became the first girl to score a point in football in the Maui Interscholastic League.

Why travel 3,827 miles to play soccer? "When you live on an island for so long, you kind of want to try something new," Yamamoto said.

Her Mainland classmates can't fathom that, she said. "My class was like 'What the heck are you doing here, why did you leave there?' " Yamamoto said. "They'd rather all be over there (Hawai'i)."

The Hawai'i presence at Northwest Missouri State can be traced to coach JoAnn Wolf, who previously stocked her lineup with Hawai'i talent when she coached at New Mexico Highlands. Northwest Missouri State, however, went 3-15 this season and Wolf was fired.

• Azusa Pacific (Calif.)

Freshman Jolie Nitta (Mililani '02) started at central midfielder last night in the NAIA championship game in St. Charles, Mo.

Westmont (Calif.) defeated Azusa Pacific 2-1 to win its second straight NAIA championship.

Nitta, who helps organize the Cougar attack, was chosen for the 22-player all-Golden State Athletic Conference team selected by coaches earlier this month.

She had five goals, including a hat trick against Fresno Pacific, and three assists for 13 points this season. She scored a game-winner in overtime against Biola.

Azusa Pacific finished 16-4. The Cougars are the only team to advance to the NAIA final four in each of the past four seasons. They defeated Lindenwood 1-0 in overtime Monday night to reach the final.

• St. Mary's (Calif.)

Junior defender Chelsea Montero (Kamehameha '00 of Mililani) received honorable mention from West Coast Conference coaches for the second straight year.

Sophomore midfielder Sarah Takekawa (Kailua '01) was the Gaels' fifth leading scorer with three goals, four assists for 10 points. Takekawa had two game-winning goals, giving her five for her two seasons.

St. Mary's finished 9-9-1.