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Lady Luna soccer team a very athletic squad

By Staff | Dec 24, 2009

The team includes (from left): front — Emily Laborte, Casey Egan, Josie Sanchez, Nicole Ewing, Amanda Murphy, Shelby Liburd, Jenifer Santos and Mae Bautista; back row — Coach Dave Rockett, Kula Myers, Tawni Smith, Bridget Joy, Casey Vanderlaan, Devyn Wyckoff, Jenae Kruck, Leilani Miranda, Avery LaClergue and Alex LaClergue.

LAHAINA — Despite heartbreaking losses over the past several seasons that have denied them Maui Interscholastic League titles and state playoff bids, the Lahainaluna High School girls soccer team remains focused and committed to a strong run in the 2009-10 campaign.

Under the steady guidance of head coach Dave Rockett, now entering his twelfth year at the helm of the program, the Lady Lunas are poised to improve upon last season’s 8-6 MIL record that left them in fourth place in the final standings.

There are 17 returnees from last year’s team on the current roster, including two four-year players and one four-year starter, that will lead what Coach Rockett calls a very athletic team.

“We have the players with the ability to be an attack-oriented, pressure team with emphasis on scoring goals. We’ll run a three-striker system and rotate players in that position. We’ll be in a three-back defense and depend heavily on those players to stop the opposition strikers,” he said.

Rockett added, “We are young in the midfield, having lost several players to graduation, but I am pleased with the progress of our young players that have taken over there. We do have talented, all-star caliber players playing the three-back defense for us.”

The Lady Lunas will be led by four-year senior returnees Jenae Kruck and Alex LaClergue, as well as three-year starter Nicole Ewing in goal and classmates Jennifer Santos and Leilani Ramirez.

Junior returnees include Mae Bautista, Emily Laborte, Shelby Liburd, Kula Myers, Tawni Smith and Devyn Wyckoff. The sophomores on the roster include Casey Egan, Avery LaClergue, Leilani Miranda, Amanda Murphy, Casey Vanderlaan and Josie Sanchez. Freshman Bridget Joy rounds out the roster, along with assistant coaches Mary Bermel and Rischi Sarto.

The Lady Lunas, a Division I MIL team, will play a 14-game schedule that runs through the end of January. The Hawaii High School Athletic Association State Playoffs will be played in the first week of February on Oahu. Included in that MIL schedule are eight home games to be played at the “Imu” on the LHS campus.

“We send our thanks out to Athletic Director Scott Soldwisch for getting us these home games,” noted Coach Dave last week from the team’s practice site at Lahaina Recreation Center. “We also appreciate the work of trainers Jon (Conrad) and Mikala (Mejia) in keeping the players healthy, and to Leilani’s on the Beach, First Hawaiian Bank and the Warren Hinton Foundation for their contributions to the program.

“All in all, I am pleasantly surprised by the level of play of this team. We’re playing a new style this year, and the girls have taken well to it. We lost a lot to graduation from last year’s team, but these girls are coming together well.”