» Chance Bukoski
» Hawaii Pacific soccer
» Junior forward
To know the value of Chance Bukoski to the Hawaii Pacific men’s soccer team is to know one thing: The Sea Warriors didn’t score a goal in the two matches the junior missed because of a knee injury.
"We definitely noticed he was missing," HPU coach Chris Fisher said. "Even if he doesn’t score, he gives a lot out there."
Bukoski (Kapaa ’08) didn’t score in his return Saturday, but his presence was a boost to the Sea Warriors, who snapped a two-match PacWest skid with a 2-1 overtime win against Dominican.
Bukoski was just happy to be back on the field. He hadn’t missed a start in three seasons prior to the injury. Despite being out, he remains No. 2 in the PacWest in points and goals, and is one away from the assist lead.
"I fell in love with soccer the first time I played it," the two-time all-state player for Kapaa said. "I played almost every sport growing up, but soccer seemed so natural.
"I just want to keep playing it at a high level with people who love it as much as I do."
Fisher sees that potential.
"Every year he has improved, and he’s still learning," the HPU coach said. "He’s a naturally gifted athlete with a lot of speed. He’s technically great with the ball, creates his own shots, has a good eye for the game."
Bukoski has been in the Olympic Development Program but missed last summer with another knee injury. But the computer science major is focused on making money, either with his degree or on the field.
The perfect scenario would have him doing both, preferably soccer first.
"I want to make a lot of money and come back and help my community," he said.
"I want to help na keiki o Hawaii."
He rooted for Spain in the World Cup, enjoying the way Andres Iniesta played and the joy Iniesta showed when scoring the winning goal against the Netherlands.
"He was so happy playing," Bukoski said.
The Sea Warrior added a reminder of his lofty goals last week. It took 6 hours but he now has a tattoo of a pueo (owl), his aumakua, flying down the length of his right arm.