Hurricanes’ Hopeau A Driving Force As Returning Defender

Shandy Hopeau

Shandy Hopeau

On a championship-level soccer team — and playing as a freshman, no less — Kapolei’s Shandy Hopeau was not content to be a part-time starter.

“I’d never expected to make the varsity as a freshman, but it was still humbling to be on the side,” said Hopeau. “That motivated me to do better and be on the starting team.”

Hopeau has been a steady presence ever since her 2012-13 sophomore season, and she will start her 37th straight game for Kapolei High when it takes the field against Pearl City at 5:30 p.m. Friday. Hopeau began this season as the only returning defender in the starting lineup for the Hurricanes, who took a 3-2 record into last Friday’s game with Aiea. Kapolei suffered a pair of one-goal losses to both Campbell and Mililani recently.

“It was hard to lose two in a row — that’s never really happened before, so it was new for us (seniors),” said Hopeau, who competes for Rush during the Club soccer season. “The coaches always tell us that you practice the way you play, and we’ve been practicing hard.”

Hopeau recently took some time to visit with MidWeek‘s West Oahu Islander.

What is your earliest soccer-related memory? My brother (Kapolei boys player Shandon) already had been playing soccer for a couple years before I started, and he always tried to get me to train with him. He inspired me to play soccer and inspired me to try to be just as good as him.

Who’s had the biggest impact on your life? My mom (Sheryl). She’s our rock. Without her, I don’t even think I’d be playing soccer or doing anything.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned through soccer?Although you may have the best team, you can still lose; and if you’re the underdog, you can pull out a win.

When the whistle blows, everything goes out the window and it’s anyone’s game.

Who is Kapolei’s best “practice player” — the girl who puts out the best effort? Bianca (Gonzales). She’s fantastic and probably one of the best players on the team.

What Internet site do you frequent the most? Twitter. I’d say half of my day I’m probably on it.

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

What movie could you watch over and over? Bend It Like Beckham or She’s The Man.

Who are three of your favorite musical artists? Bruno Mars, Nicki Minaj and Justin Bieber.

When you have free time, how do you like to spend it? With my friends. We like to go to the beach and go hiking and eat. We like to eat.

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

If you could have your pick, what celebrity would you most like to meet? (Pro soccer player) Neymar Jr.