When Kamehameha senior Caprice Dydasco first set foot on the Kapalama campus, she was referred to throughout the halls as "Zane’s little sister."
The term was not a stigma, but rather a badge of honor.
Zane Dydasco, now a sophomore at the Air Force Academy, forged quite a name for himself. He helped lead the Warriors to two state championships while scoring 16 goals in his senior season en route to being named the state player of the year.
Now in her final year at Kamehameha, Caprice Dydasco has her sights set on helping lead her squad to a state title of its own, and further adding to her family’s soccer accomplishments.
"When I was young, my father made us play against each other," said Dydasco, of her years learning the intricacies of soccer by practicing with Zane. "Watching him have such a big impact at the club level, and at school, he had a big influence on me to want to be like him."
As a freshman, Caprice Dydasco practiced alongside the Warriors squad that claimed its third straight state title in 2008. However, because she had just transferred to the school that year from Sacred Hearts, Dydasco was unable to play soccer because of the Interscholastic League of Honolulu rule that forces transfer students to sit out a year. After finally donning the Warriors’ blue and white as a sophomore, Dydasco helped lead Kamehameha back to the state title game in 2009, but the team fell to current two-time defending state champion Punahou.
After Kamehameha missed out making last year’s state tourney, Dydasco is determined to claim the elusive state championship hardware before moving on to UCLA, where she has accepted a soccer scholarship and plans to study either sports medicine or sports business.
"Just being my senior year, I want to end it with a state title," said Dydasco, who has already set goals of competing for an NCAA title, playing for the U.S. National Team and possibly vying for an Olympic medal. "It would be the highlight of my high school career. It’s really important for me because my brother has two (titles) already."
The Warriors are on pace to qualify for one of the two ILH berths into the state tourney after compiling a 3-0-2 record that includes ties with league rivals Punahou and ‘Iolani. Dydasco has come on strong as of late, scoring all six of her goals in the past three games, including a hat trick against Mid-Pacific on Dec. 28. Kamehameha wraps up the first half of league play today in a match against Pac-Five at Kapiolani Park Field No. 2 slated for 4:15 p.m.
"As a senior captain this year, it’s exciting to get prepared for every game," Dydasco said. "We’re not totally happy. We could have been better in the two ties. We’re looking forward to fixing our mistakes and looking forward to going undefeated in the second round.
"In the ILH, every game is a big competition for us; you never know who’s going to come out strong. Punahou and ‘Iolani will always be big games; they’re always our rivals."
Kamehameha’s success has come despite the mid-December resignation of longtime head coach Michele Nagamine, who stepped down to step into the role of head coach for the University of Hawaii women’s soccer team.
The Warriors were forced to deal with the loss of their leader, who, since taking over in 1991, guided the program to five state titles and six ILH crowns, and was selected ILH coach of the year seven times and state coach of the year five times.
"It came out of nowhere," said Dydasco, of the team meeting at which Nagamine informed her squad that she was leaving to take the reins at UH.
"We were sad, but totally excited for her and the opportunity at UH. We take it as a challenge without her, and we’re excited to play for Coach Missy (Moore). It’s not that different, but it’s exciting to have her as a head coach and to hear her ideas."
Moore credits Dydasco with helping to make the transition as smooth as possible considering the magnitude of the switch.
"Because of her natural capabilities, Caprice is able to lead the team by example," said Moore. "She has contributed to the team chemistry by never putting herself above the team, which has allowed the transition to be seamless. The best part about Caprice is that she never makes it about her, instead the team comes first."
Dydasco’s leadership skills will be put to the test as the ILH season nears its midway point, and Moore is confident that her senior has the knack for handling the pressure both this season and in years to come.
"With Caprice’s skill and work ethic, I believe she has the capability to go as far as she desires," Moore said. "She has proven herself on the state, regional and national levels. I don’t foresee that changing for her in the future. She is only going to get better with each learning experience."