Although the Menehune weren’t able to attain a win last year, second-year head coach Jen Norton is fired up for this season.
“Their attitudes are a lot better. They are on fire. I think they have just meshed so well and we’re excited for today,” Norton said.
Waimea faces off against the defending KIF champion Kapa’a Warriors at Hanapepe Stadium today, starting at 1:30 p.m.
The Menehune are as experienced as any team in the KIF this season, with 11 returnees, which include eight starters.
Key players include Anna Baudouin, Cayla Kitabayashi, Karmn Rivel, and Natasha Acosta.
Also joining the squad this year is Nahtice Nield, a sophomore who transferred from the mainland.
“She’s going to add a lot to our offense,” Norton said.
Last year, Norton, a former Virginia Wesleyan soccer star, got the head coaching job at the last minute, but she feels that the team has made a lot of improvements.
“Our skills are improved. Our footwork is a lot better. I told them we need to keep the commitment level high and really build as a team,” Norton said.
Against Kapa’a today, the PMRF fitness director feels the team should be a tough challenge for the defending champs.
“I think we’ll definitely give them a head to head game. We’re just lacking in numbers, but I think we’ll give them a good run for their money,” Norton said.
Warrior head coach Crissy Marti is back for another season and her 24 girls are ready to defend their KIF title.
Top returnees include Erica Brewer, Ashley Green, Jantil Leota, Keani Mayer, Erin Pickett, Amniesty Ragsac, Sarah Steed, Rancee Wilson, Brittney Carvalho, Tiana Kunioka, Ka’ala Leong, Kieren Pond, and goalie Maegan Pablo.
Kapa’a has eight seniors, five juniors, eight sophomores, and three freshmen on its 2005-06 squad.
KIF soccer kicks it up a notch today at Hanapepe Stadium, with JV action starting 10 a.m.
- Duane Shimogawa Jr., sports editor, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 257) or firstname.lastname@example.org