Lady Charg­ers Look To Kick Up Of­fense

MidWeek Islander (West Oahu) - - News - By JACK DANILEWICZ

Last year, the Pearl City girls soc­cer team’s best of­fense was its de­fense. Should that be the case again, it will likely be the by-prod­uct of ex­cep­tional de­fense rather than a lack of scor­ing punch.

“We’re look­ing to im­prove on our of­fense this year,” said Tra­cie Kono, co-head coach with Frank Baumholtz. “We had four ties last year, and I don’t think we’ve ever had that here be­fore.”

De­spite their strug­gles to score, the Charg­ers still had a solid year, fin­ish­ing 11-54 over­all. That in­cluded a sixth-place fin­ish at the Di­vi­sion I state soc­cer tour­na­ment last Fe­bru­ary.

Kono is ex­pect­ing four se­niors — Cort­ney Ajimine, Christina Saturnio, Alyssa Na­gai and Kelsie Ng — to fig- ure big in the 2010-11 sea­son.

Saturnio, a half­back, is the only re­turnee who also was on the 2008 OIA cham­pi­onship team. She was a fresh­man on that team, but her role will ex­pand greatly this year.

“She’ll be our of­fen­sive leader,” Kono said. “Her work ethic is just like her fa­ther’s (Waipahu head foot­ball coach Sean Saturnio), so we’re lucky.”

Na­gai is a for­ward, while Ng re­turns to a half­back spot.

“Like Cort­ney, Alyssa is re­ally ag­gres­sive and has a pas­sion to score. Kelsie is like a se­cret weapon. She’ll be good at dis­tribut­ing the ball for us.”

Ajimine will pro­vide ex­pe­ri­ence in the back, where she re­turns to her full­back po­si­tion.

“She’s ag­gres­sive and con­sis­tent in the way she plays. She’s a re­li­able de­fender. She’ll be our leader in the back.”

Else­where through­out the lineup, how­ever, Kono said it will be a green team.

“We’ll be young, but with the kids we have, what ex­pe­ri­ence we lack they’ll make up for with their de­ter­mina- tion and pas­sion to get bet­ter. That will carry us through the sea­son.”

Pearl City will play a de­mand­ing pre­sea­son sched­ule this month, with games against Moanalua and Kame­hameha, among oth­ers, as well as an ap­pear­ance in the Kaiser Tour­na­ment. A trip to Maui is also on the bill.

The Charg­ers open OIA Red West play against Nanakuli Nov. 30 and Aiea Dec. 7 at home be­fore go­ing on the road for three of their next four games. Road games in­clude trips to Wa­ianae Dec. 10, Camp­bell Dec. 17 and Kapolei Dec. 21, with a date op­po­site Mililani Dec. 14 clos­ing out their home slate for the first round.

Con­tact Jack Danilewicz at jack­ster.1969@ya­

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