CUH Women’s Soccer Kick Off With School-Record 3-0 Start


Wendy Nishimura

The Chaminade women’s soccer fell to Cal State East Bay in the home opener but started the season 3-0.

The Chaminade women’s soccer team had a daunting three-game road trip to start the season. But the Silverswords dominated, defeating Fort Lewis, Western Colorado, and New Mexico Highlands, outscoring their opponents 9-2 en route to the best start in team history for the first time in the 17-year existence of the program.

“I believe they are able to achieve amazing results this season if they continue to believe in themselves and play as a unified team,” Chaminade women’s soccer head coach Michelle Richardson said.

CUH returned home from that record-setting road trip and fell to Cal State East Bay 1-0 in the home opener on Sept. 3. The Swords, now 3-1, had two weeks off before playing Hawaii Pacific University (0-3-2) on Tuesday at Waipio Peninsula Stadium at 4:30 p.m.

“I think the difference this year is we are a lot more connected as a team, and we’re willing to work for what we want,” said junior goalie Naomi Takata from Pearl City. “We definitely work for each other on the field, and we have tons of potential as well.”

The women’s soccer team has historically struggled. Since the program started in 2006, the women’s soccer team has won three or more games in a single season just five times in the program’s history 17 seasons. Last season, though, the team ended with a 7-7 record, which followed a 1-0-3 Covid-shortened 2020 season. 

The team won its season-opener against Fort Lewis in a 1-0 match. Junior defender Hoku Schatz from Hau’ula scored a beautiful solo goal in the first half, which ended up being the game-winner.

The women then played Western Colorado two days later and won 3-1. They got off to a hot start scoring in the 2nd, 6th, and 8th minutes of the game. Senior transfer Gracie Bowers scored first from outside the box at 2 minutes, 49 seconds, the sixth-fastest goal in program history. Senior forward from Honolulu Asya Holt scored the second. Graduate student and transfer defender Lece Aviles topped things off by scoring the third goal. Western Colorado scored its lone goal in the 59th minute but that was all the Chaminade defense allowed.

“It was so fun,” Holt said of the road trip to start the season. “We got to bond on and off the field, and it was just a great time.”

They traveled to Las Vegas, N.M. to take on New Mexico Highlands, which resulted in a 5-1 win. A late first-half flurry allowed the girls to cruise past New Mexico Highlands. Junior midfielder Ruby Burroughs, sophomore forward Caili Cain, Holt, and freshman forward Lela Gi each found the back of the net as the Silverswords tied the program record for goals set last November at Holy Names.

Teamwork and hard work have been the blueprint for success this season for the women. Richardson said the 15 returning players are a large reason for that. Some of these players include senior defender from Pearl City Kyla Takazono, senior defender from Mililani Dayna Nishimura, and Hoku Schatz. 

“This program makes progress, and it is all a credit to the players who have continued to build a culture of success,” Richardson said. “… The mix of strong returning players has really helped to integrate and elevate the large 2022 recruiting class. We rely on our returning players every year to set an example and mentor our younger players not only on the field but in life as well.”