Uehara found her place in Chaminade women’s soccer program


Chaminade Atletics

Lauren Uehara aims for goal as she gets ready to strike the ball.

By Manny Ibarra, staff writer

Lauren Ueheara is a midfielder for the women’s soccer team here at Chaminade University. Originally from Oahu, Uehara left the island after high school to go pursue her collegiate soccer career at California Baptist University in Riverside, Calif. She redshirted her freshman year and didn’t play as a sophomore. The summer after that, Uehara transferred to Chaminade University.

The main reason for Uehara to come back to Oahu and to Chaminade was for the love of the game.

“I really loved CBU (California Baptist University), it was great that’s why I decided to stay an extra year… but I really missed soccer,” she said.

Chaminade opened the door for Uehara to play the sport she loves again. She just finished her second season at Chaminade University, where she has started all 32 matches since she has been here.

After Uehara got on the right track academically her last year at Cal Baptist, coach Michelle Richardson was glad to bring her onto the team at Chaminade to strengthen the attack.

The transition from a small island to the city in Riverside and back to the island was a bit rough for Uehara. She was happy in California, but she knew coming back to Oahu would be the best option if she wanted to keep playing soccer, which also came with a few perks such as seeing friends and family more often.

“When I graduate I’m thinking of moving back to the mainland, so that gives me a little bit more time to say goodbye to friends and family while I’m here … I am very independent and I loved living on my own in California and that’s why I plan on moving back,” Uehara said.

Before she graduates and tries to achieve her goals in life, Uehara has one last season to play for the Silverswords, and she hopes they can improve and do better than this past season that just ended over the weekend.

“I thought we were going do a lot better this season, because, I feel like this team was the strongest we’ve had here at Chaminade since I got here, we had a lot of talent,” she said.

The Lady ‘Swords had a rough season and only had one nonconference win at the beginning of the season against Wheeling Jesuit. Of course, Uehara was disappointed in this fall’s results and she hopes to do better as a team next season. Personally she hopes to score more goals next season as she had eight shots on goal and two goals scored this season.

“I think that Lauren (Uehara) is a competitor. This season she has improved through her confidence. She has spoken up during drills and games, took personal responsibility for mistakes, and puts her very best effort out on the field,” said Kristen Fujinaga, women’s soccer captain.

Fujinaga believes that Uehara will be important to the team next season in the fall because of her work rate and leadership on the field. This could be the senior captain passing down the torch.

Despite of the results of the season, Uehara enjoys going to school at Chaminade University and being part of the women’s soccer program. She has built a bond with her teammates over the last year and a half she has been here.

“I like the girls (teammates), they’re all nice, everyone is very nice here, I get along with everybody,” she said.