Friendship Helps Rush Soccer Team Succeed On The Field


As seen throughout its run at the recent Far West Regionals in Albuquerque, the Rush 2001 (Under 13) girls soccer team takes representing Hawaii seriously. With a trip to Surf Cup in San Diego looming in early August, that mind-set has remained in place, according to head coach Brent Murakami.

Even so, the weeks between the two tourneys were a good time to reflect.

“Regionals are always a challenge and a great opportunity to compete in that region,” Murakami said. “To get out of our pool is very difficult. California and Colorado are very competitive soccer sports, and for us to get to the semifinals was great.

We were the only team from Hawaii still playing on Saturday, and it’s the farthest I’ve been as a player or coach. I’d always been stopped in the quarterfinals. I’m definitely proud of this team.”

Rush 2001 captured its third straight state title this spring. At the New Mexico tournament, it continued upward, defeating Real National of Colorado 1-0 and Rush 2001 New Mexico 4-0 and tying highly regarded Beach Black of California 1-1 in pool play.

A 1-0 win over Eastside Timbers Asten Villas of Colorado in the quarterfinals left Rush 2001 two wins from a berth at nationals. Its run was finally ended 2-1 by Heat FC of Nevada in the semi-finals on penalty kicks.

“It would have been great to be in the finals, but that’s soccer. The best team in soccer doesn’t always win.”

Rush’s 2001 girls team is mainly comprised of players from West Oahu.

On the team roster for the Far West Regionals were Karlee Manding (Kunia), Kitty Jones Kamaka (Ewa Beach), Bree Fuller (Pearl City), Isabelle Kuni (Waianae), Mya Tolentino (Kunia), Destiny Souza (Kapolei), Alysha Somera (Pearl City), Alyssa Primacio (Ewa Beach/Kapolei), Karalyn Lum (Aiea), Anuhea Kane (Ewa Beach), Jenna Ramirez (Waikele) and Alyssa Tokunaga Magno (Ewa Beach).

The Surf Cup roster also will include Sammie Kuriyama (Mililani) and Hayley Silipa (Waianae).

Team unity has been its biggest strength, according to Murakami.

“The root of the team being good is that they all get along. Ultimately, it’s because the girls like each other off of the field. That bond translates to when they’re on the field. They’re all competitive, and they want to get better and compete against the better teams. Those two things are driving our success.”

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