Kapolei Tackling Soccer Preseason, Will Appoint Captain
When the Kapolei High School girls soccer team officially opened preseason camp five weeks ago, head coach Brian Beck’s highest priority was finding leaders among his returnees.
In seniors Shandy Hopeau (defender), Kelli Fryxell (midfielder), Eden Ines (midfielder) and Bianca Gonzales (forward), he found what he was looking for.
“By not immediately naming a captain, leaders begin to emerge,” said Beck, who led Kapolei to a 13-4 season in 2013-14, which included a berth in the Division I soccer championships last February.
At the forefront at present are Hopeau and Gonzales, both four-year varsity players for the Hurricanes.
“I think Bianca and Shandy have been waiting to take on the leadership role,” he added. “They’re excited to finally get to lead the team after three years (of waiting their turn).
“Just watching Shandy the other night in our scrimmage with Mid-Pac, she’s taken the lead in the back and is going to be an anchor there. Bianca’s touches are getting there.”
Kapolei tied Mid-Pac 2-2 in that scrimmage last Wednesday, which was the Hurricanes’ public unveiling.
“We were able to play everyone, and after falling behind, 2-0, I challenged the girls to come back from a two-goal deficit, and they did,” Beck said.
“We were really happy.”
Another high-profile opponent is coming up at 1 p.m. Saturday, when the Hurricanes travel to Punahou for their last pre-season game.
“They have some really good skilled players,” Beck said of Punahou. “It will be a real good test for us. We’re going to work this week on getting a good starting 11 and see from there.”
With a number of newcomers in the Kapolei line-up this season, Beck also will be counting heavily on the leadership of Fryxell and Ines from their midfield positions.
“Eden probably came into (camp) in the best shape of anybody on the team,” he said. “She’s worked a lot on her speed and quickness.
“Kelli is our quarterback at mid-field. She’s solid. Her best game last year was with Iolani (at the state tournament), and she’s come back with the same tenacity and aggressiveness.”
Beck pronounced Kapolei’s tryouts in October “one of the most competitive we’ve ever had, which was really good for us.
“We were able to take five new underclassmen (onto the roster) this year.”
On the heels of Saturday’s preseason finale at Punahou, the team will turn its attention to the OIA West slate, which begins Dec. 5 at home against Nanakuli.
Kapolei’s 2014-15 home schedule also includes games with Radford Dec. 12, Waialua Dec. 16, Campbell Dec. 30, Aiea Jan. 9, Pearl City Jan. 16 and Leilehua Jan. 20.
The Hurricanes’ road schedule includes trips to Waipahu Dec. 19, Mililani Jan. 6 and Waianae Jan. 13.