Waipahu’s Gonzales In Final Year, But First Comes DII Tourney

Waipahu High senior Jessica Gonzales can feel her eligibility clock ticking away.

“I’m freaking out about it,” laughed Gonzales, who is a midfielder for the Marauders’ girls soccer team. “I’m so used to the high school season, I’m really going to miss it.”

Waipahu undoubtedly will miss Gonzales considerably next year as well.

But for now, she is hoping the team can make a big impact in her final hurrah at next week’s Division II state tournament.

“Our team works well together, much better now than at the beginning (of 2014-15),” said Gonzales, who is the lone holdover from Waipahu’s 2012 OIA DII title team. “At the Nanakuli game (a 2-0 Waipahu win in the OIA’s third-place contest), I saw huge improvement, and everyone had a good attitude.

“It feels like everyone is going to do well at the state tournament.”

Pairings for the tournament, which will run Feb. 18-21 at Waipio Soccer Complex, were to be revealed late on Sunday.

Gonzales has been a steady fixture for Waipahu (4-5-2) since she arrived on campus and will be in the starting lineup for the 47th consecutive time when the team plays its first-round game next week.

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

What is your earliest sports-related memory? Watching my sister (Toni-Mari) when she was playing for Waipahu (2004-08). I already knew then that I wanted to play for Waipahu someday.

Who’s had the biggest impact on your life? My dad (Anthony). He’s always encouraged me to do my best and try hard in everything I do and never give up. He’s always the first one cheering for me at my games, and he goes to a lot of games.

When did you know soccer was THE sport for you? I knew when I was 7 and playing AYSO. At first I struggled because I was smaller than everyone else, but I progressed and got better.

Who on the Waipahu roster is poised for a breakout performance at the state tournament? Karlee Manding, who is one of our freshman defenders. I really trust her in the back. She’s one of the strongest players on our team.

What Internet site do you frequent the most? I go on Instagram every day. It is like my newspaper. That’s how I keep updated.

What is your least favorite household chore? Washing the dishes.

What movie could you watch over and over? Transformers.

Who are three of your favorite musical artists? Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran and Beyonce.

When you have free time, how do you like to spend it? I like to go to the beach and go hiking.

If you were planning a vacation, what would be your “dream” destination? Greece.

You’re stuck on Kaho‘olawe and can have an endless supply of just one food. What would it be? Spaghetti.

If you could have your pick, what celebrity would you most like to meet? The guy (actor Theo James) named Four from Divergent.