The Hawaii fall soccer roster went up with a notable absence.
It was Leialoha Medeiros, the All-Big West first-team midfielder from Makawao, Maui, who would’ve been a junior and the team’s primary go-to option in 2019. Coach Michele Nagamine told Hawaii Warrior World that Medeiros left the team in the offseason due to personal reasons.
“We wish Lei all the best,” Nagamine said Saturday. “Sometimes life gets in the way of soccer, and it’s always about the student-athletes’ well-being and their interest at heart. While we will miss her, I think she has to spend some time with her family and focus on her personal issues that she wants to address. So we wish her all the best and we support her 100%.”
UH opens fall practices Aug. 6. The season opener is Aug. 22 against USC at Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium.
The athletic, tough-to-predict Kamehameha-Maui alumna Medeiros, who turned heads upon her arrival in Manoa in 2017 with her proclivity for going for bicycle kicks, helped get the Rainbow Wahine to the cusp of Big West tournament qualification in 2018 (9-7-1, 4-4 BWC). Medeiros compiled seven goals and four assists as a sophomore. Her 18 points were second behind Big West offensive player of the year Raisa Strom-Okimoto’s 27. Medeiros had three game-winners.
She is one of only five Wahine players to date (Strom-Okimoto twice, Tiana Fujimoto, Addie Steiner, Sonest Furtado) to receive BWC first-team honors since UH joined the league in the sport in 2012.
UH’s third-leading scorer last season, Sarah Lau, graduated along with Strom-Okimoto. Senior Mikaelah Johnson-Griggs and sophomore Daelenn Tokunaga are now UH’s returning goal scorers, with two apiece last season.
Nagamine voiced confidence in her 30-player roster, which includes 20 players who are either freshmen or sophomores.
“They’ve taken their summer preparation seriously,” she said. “I’m really excited to start up camp, because the word I’m using for everybody is opportunity. When you lose two such high-caliber players like Strom-Okimoto and Medeiros, there are holes to fill in the lineup.
“We have 30 players on the roster who are all motivated and ready and willing to do whatever it takes to get us into the Big West tournament.”
UH bolstered its complement of local players with the summer additions of Taylor Caporus, a freshman out of Roosevelt, and Kayla Watanabe, a Mid-Pacific alumna who is a graduate transfer from Idaho and will be a fifth-year senior. Watanabe has nine career goals and helped the Vandals win the Big Sky twice.
They, along with incoming freshman Kelci Sumida out of Moanalua, raise UH’s local count to five (Tia Furuta and Tokunaga are the returning two).
The Wahine also recently added Arizona transfer Michaela Rentner, who arrives as a sophomore.
Here’s the updated 2019 roster.
|1||Alexis Mata||GK||5-7||R-Sr.||Woodland, Calif.||Pioneer HS|
|2||Cristina Drossos||D/F||5-9||Jr.||El Dorado Hills, Calif.||Oak Ridge HS|
|3||Taylor Caporus||MF/D||5-4||Fr.||Honolulu||Roosevelt HS|
|4||Natalie Dixon||D||5-7||So.||Murrieta, Calif.||Vista Murrieta HS|
|5||V Jimenez||D||5-4||Fr.||Chandler, Ariz.||Perry HS|
|6||Madison Moore||MF/D||5-7||R-Sr.||Kalaheo, Kauai||Long Beach State|
|7||Natalie Daub||D||5-6||So.||Redmond, Wash.||Redmond HS|
|8||Elena Palacios||D||5-10||So.||Mountain View, Calif.||Mountain View HS|
|9||McKenzie Moore||MF/F||5-7||So.||Corona, Calif.||Santiago HS|
|10||Daelenn Tokunaga||F||5-7||So.||Waipahu||Pearl City HS|
|11||Lauren Marquez||GK||5-6||So.||Glendale, Ariz.||Deer Valley HS|
|12||Taylor Mason||D||5-1||Jr.||Johns Creek, Ga.||Greater Atlanta Christian|
|13||Kiri Dale||D/MF/F||5-7||R-Sr.||Mullumbimby, New South Wales, Australia||Iona College|
|14||Kayla Ryan||D||5-5||So.||San Jose, Calif.||Valley Christian HS|
|15||Izzy Deutsch||MF||5-6||Jr.||Phoenix||Desert Vista HS|
|16||Morgan Meza||D/MF||5-5||So.||Los Alamitos, Calif.||Los Alamitos HS|
|17||Mikaelah Johnson-Griggs||MF/F||5-8||Sr.||Beaverton, Ore.||Oregon Episcopal|
|18||Grace Pekovich||D/MF||5-10||Fr.||Meridian, Idaho||Centennial HS|
|19||Sadie Lutz||D||5-3||Jr.||Moorpark, Calif.||Moorpark HS|
|20||Batya Bagully||MF/F||5-5||Fr.||San Marcos, Calif.||San Marcos HS|
|21||Claire Jo Diede||F||5-8||So.||Everett, Wash.||Kings HS|
|22||Malia Faramarzi||D/MF||5-6||Fr.||Encinitas, Calif.||San Dieguito Academy|
|23||Michaela Rentner||F||5-4||So.||Temecula, Calif.||Arizona|
|24||Kylie McNamara||MF||5-3||Fr.||Union City, Calif.||James Logan HS|
|25||Emily Cottrell||D||5-6||Fr.||Castle Pines, Colo.||Rock Canyon HS|
|26||Tia Furuta||F||5-5||R-Jr.||Mililani||Mililani HS|
|27||Eliza Ammendolia||MF||5-2||Fr.||Griffith, New South Wales, Australia||Hill Sport HS|
|28||Loren House||D||5-7||Fr.||Decatur, Ga.||Saint Pius X Catholic HS|
|30||Kelci Sumida||MF||5-5||Fr.||Honolulu||Moanalua HS|
|Assistant coach: Marc Fournier|
|Assistant coach: Rachael Doyle|
|Head coach: Michele Nagamine|
|Volunteer assistant coach: Stephen Whitehouse|