Chargers’ Suwa Recalls OIA Journey, Looks To Defend Title

There can be no doubt the Pearl City girls soccer team took the long, hard route to winning the OIA Red title last winter, having to win four games in as many days.

This time around, the Chargers are likely to find the competition fierce once again — especially since they are a defending champion.

“That was really exciting,” recalled midfielder Nikki Suwa, who was picked as a Second Team All-Star at season’s end.

“In terms of this season, I think it will make it more of a challenge for us.

“Everyone else is going to be better, so we all have to work even harder in games. People didn’t expect us to win (the OIA). This year, people will have their eyes on us more.”

Pearl City defeated Kahuku, Campbell, Castle and Kaiser during its OIA playoff run. Losses to Maui and Kamehameha-Maui in the Division I state championships the following week ended its bid for a state title, but Suwa has high hopes for this season.

Suwa recently took some time away from the practice field and her studies to visit with MidWeek‘s West Oahu Islander.

What is your earliest soccer-related memory? Watching my older cousin (Shawn Higa) play for UH. What made me want to start playing soccer was watching her.

Who’s had the biggest impact on your life? My dad (Lance). He’s very supportive of me with soccer, and he helps me get through school. He’s someone who is easy to talk to. I’m very close to him.

What area of your game did you focus on during the off-season? (Getting more) ball touches. For me, it’s an area I lack in, and I’d always wanted to work on it. It definitely has helped.

The majority of our Rush practices consist of ball possession. It’s during the off-season (and Rush Club season) that I train more for the high school season.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned through soccer? That whenever I make an error or do something wrong, I tell myself to shake it off so I don’t mess up more in a game.

What Internet site do you frequent the most? Twitter.

What is your least favorite household chore? Cleaning the toilet.

What TV show could you watch over and over? Once Upon A Time.

Who are three of your favorite musical artists? Sam Smith, Eminem, and I also like Ariana Grande.

When you have free time, how do you like to spend it? Hiking, watching movies; and I like going out with my friends.

You’re stuck on Kahoolawe and you can have an endless supply of just one food. What would it be? Pasta.

If you could have your pick, what celebrity would you most like to meet? (Singer songwriter) Sam Smith.