Lady Ma­raud­ers Find Strength In Num­bers

MidWeek Islander (West Oahu) - - Front Page -

One in a se­ries of prep soc­cer pre­views. fill­ing out her ros­ter wasn’t easy. With in­ter­est in soc­cer now at an all-time high in the com­mu­nity, how­ever, those days are long gone.

“We had 15 my first year, but we had 60 try out this year,” she said. “It’s great that the par­ents see our pro­gram grow­ing, and they’re keep­ing

their kids in the com­mu­nity (at Waipahu High).”

A com­mon char­ac­ter­is­tic of the best pro­grams in the state is a ros­ter made up en­tirely of play­ers who are vet­er­ans of club soc­cer. On that note, the Ma­raud­ers also have made progress.

“It looks like we have quite a few club play­ers, and they all bring a lot of skill and a nat­u­ral com­pet­i­tive­ness,” Pare­des said. “In past years, we had a lot of girls who were play­ing the sport for the first time.”

Pare­des also up­graded her coach­ing staff by adding for­mer Roo­sevelt head coach Ed Ota. As far as find­ing a coach on the field, she tapped ju­nior goal­keeper Kimi Kami­au­pio to set the tone, de­fen­sively.

“I try to build from the de­fense on up, putting the best play­ers or most de­pend­able play­ers on de­fense,” she ex­plained.

Pare­des also an­tic­i­pates a big year from ju­nior striker/for­ward Keri Fu­ji­wara and sopho­mores Alyssa Al­mo­gela and Jahna Tac­son. Al­mo­gela will hold down a spot at mid-field, while Tac­son is pro­jected to start in the back on de­fense. “Alyssa has a strong left leg, which is unique since we usu­ally have right­legged play­ers. She’s a very ex­pe­ri­enced player for a sopho­more, since she started as a fresh­man.

“(Tac­son) is very skill­ful — she has good ball skills, and she’s an in­cred­i­ble drib­bler.”

Among the new­com­ers, fresh­man Caitlin Es­tanique could make the biggest im­pact early on. She’s slated to play at mid-field, among other po­si­tions. “She’s very skill­ful,” Pare­des said. “She’s men­tally tough, even for a fresh­man. She’s played since she was 5.” Waipahu, which went 2-7

in the OIA White

1 Con­fer­ence last sea­son, opens pre­sea­son play Satur­day in a dou­ble-header at Nanakuli. Waipahu meets the host Golden Hawks at 9 a.m., with a game ver­sus Kauai High to fol­low at 11:30.

Waipahu opens league play Dec. 3 at home ver­sus Rad­ford.

Con­tact Jack Danilewicz at jack­ster.1969@ya­

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