Strong Rush 2001 Team Does West Proud At N.M. Regionals

As she and her Rush 2001 (Under 13) team moved closer to a possible berth in the U.S. Youth National Soccer Tournament late last week, the group’s cohesiveness remained a huge reason why, according to sweeper Karlee Manding.

“Most of us on the team have been together for three or four years now,” said Manding, who will be a freshman at Waipahu High in August. “Traveling gives us a chance to bond more, since we’re doing everything together. We also have different responsibilities here than we do at home.”

Manding and her team-mates have taken easily to life on the road. Last week marked Rush 2001’s third straight trip to the Far West Regionals, when they flew to Albuquerque, N.M. With a trio of wins there last week, the three-time defending state champion won its pool and was awaiting a quarterfinal appearance on Friday. The semifinals were to be played Saturday, with the finals Sunday. The winning team will earn a berth at the nationals in Germantown, Md.

In addition to Manding, Rush 2001’s girls team also includes Kitty Jones Kamaka, Anuhea Kane and Alyssa Tokunaga Magno (Ewa Beach); Bree Fuller and Alysha Somera (Pearl City); Mya Tolentino (Kunia), Destiny Souza (Kapolei), Alyssa Primacio (Ewa Beach/Kapolei), Karalyn Lum (Aiea), Jenna Ramirez (Waikele), and Waianae’s Hayley Silipa and Isabelle Kuni. Manding recently took some time away from the soccer field to visit with MidWeek‘s West Oahu Islander by phone from Albuquerque.

What is your earliest soccer-related memory? When I was 6 and playing AYSO. I liked it because it gave me a chance to fool around and play outside and do it with friends.

Who’s had the biggest impact on your life? My family. They’ve always been there for me. Without them, I don’t think I could do all that I do today.

What area of your game have you been focusing on lately? I’ve tried to work on my communication because that’s a big part of the game. As a center back, you see everything, and it’s a big role to be able to communicate with my team-mates.

When did you know soccer was THE sport for you? When I joined an AYSO team in Kaneohe. I was about 9. That is when soccer started to become more competitive, and we learned more technical and tactical skills. That’s when it all started.

Who is the musical artist you would most like to see play live? Bruno Mars.

What Internet site do you frequent the most? YouTube. Mainly, (to view) things about soccer.

What is your least favorite household chore? Washing dishes.

What movie could you watch over and over? The Fault In Our Stars.

What do you like to watch on TV?ABC Family or the Disney Channel.

How do you like to spend your free time? What are your hobbies? Most of the time, I like to go to the beach. Sometimes I surf with my family.

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

Given the chance, what celebrity would you most like to meet? Bruno Mars.