Lady Chargers Look To Kick Up Offense
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 email@example.com.