POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Jul 16, 2011
Eight players, including four standouts from Hawaii, head the first recruiting class of new University of Hawaii women's soccer coach Michele Nagamine.
"In addition to drastically increasing our team speed, we have a number of players with great club experience who are battle-tested in the ways of winning," Nagamine said.
"Bringing in players who can make an immediate impact for us is only going to motivate our returning players to report for preseason camp in top shape and will create a competitive training environment for us."
Joining the team this fall will be local products Krystal Pascua (‘Iolani), Tiana Fujimoto (Moanalua), Zhane Santiago (Kahuku), and Ashley Haruki (Hawaii Baptist), along with California players Alexis Colacchio (Aliso Viejo, Calif.) and Madison Kaminski (San Clemente, Calif.); Elke Zeuner from Fort Collins, Colo.; and Sarah McCallum from New Zealand.
All eight will be freshmen.
Pascua, a 5-foot-8 center midfielder, was named the All-State Player of the Year as well as the state tournament's Most Valuable Player.
"She has a unique combination of strength, size and a good tactical understanding of the game, which make her a huge threat in the midfield," Nagamine said of Pascua. "She can service balls with both feet and is also great in the air. Krystal has been one of the top players in the state for a while now, and I expect her to make a smooth transition into the collegiate game."
Fujimoto, a 5-foot forward who was a three-time All-State first-team player, "is one of the most prolific goal-scorers that Hawaii has produced," Nagamine said. "Several top-notch mainland schools recruited Tiana and I am thrilled that she decided to stay home and play."
Nagamine called Santiago, a 5-8 forward and one of the state's top athletes: "one of the fastest players I've seen in a long time. Zhane is extremely athletic and has the ability to contribute as both an outside mid and forward."
Haruki, a 5-1 midfielder, helped the Eagles to back-to-back league and state Division II titles.
"She is creative, has good vision and is great with the ball at her feet," Nagamine said of Haruki. "As a member of Hawaii Rush, she is well-traveled and experienced and I see her competing for playing time at both center and outside mid."
Nagamine called Zeuner, a 6-foot-1 goalkeeper, as the "most battle-tested player" in the recruiting class.
"At 6-1, she has a very imposing presence and organizes her defense well. She has a tremendous upside and is eager to learn," Nagamine said.
Kaminski, a 5-4 outside midfielder, is a four-year letter winner for Southern California power San Clemente High, which became the first county team to play in four consecutive CIF title matches.
McCallum, a 5-7 forward, led St. Paul's Collegiate School to Division I league titles in 2009 and 2010.