LAHAINA - Through his 16 years as the Lahainaluna High School girls soccer coach, Dave Rockett has experienced a wide rainbow of talent on the team rosters. There have been senior-laden, veteran lineups, and young teams with little playing time in Maui Interscholastic League action. For the current season, Coach Rockett's team falls into the latter category.
In assessing the 2012-13 Lady Lunas, however, Rockett, who will be assisted this year by Rishi Sarto and Deidre Rockett, is quick to add that despite the youthful nature of the team, there is a wealth of athletic talent among them. And, more importantly, they are eager to learn and improve.
"This is a very young team with only two seniors and three juniors that have not played high school soccer until now," he explained last week from the Lahainaluna Athletic Field.
The Lady Luna soccer team includes (from left): front — Summer Lopez, Elizabeth Gonzalez, Raybeka Sinenci, Mikino Kumagai, Bridget Joy, Charve Duque, Haley Datt, Shaina Saribay, Siera Olvera and Anna Tillman; back row — Keila Stecker, Kayci Thompson, Alana Stecker, Jessica Miske, Coach David Rockett, Kelsay Shultz, Beverly Joy, Natali Galarita and Maile Altier. Juna Gazmen is also on the team.
"But they are very athletic and possess a real willingness to learn with a positive attitude as well. They come out early to practice and are a fun group to be around."
Leading the way for the Lady Lunas will be senior returning goal keeper Bridget Joy and junior Maile Altier, both first team MIL All-Star selections a year ago.
Lahainaluna will also look to juniors Anna Tillman and Siera Olvera, sophomores Beverly Joy and Alana Stecker, and freshmen Jessica Miske and Mikino Kumagai to pace the team.
Rounding out the roster for this year are senior Juna Gazmen; juniors Kayci Thompson, Kelsay Schultz and Charve Duque; sophomores Elizabeth Gonzalez, Raybeka Sinenci and Shaina Saribay; and freshmen Summer Lopez, Haley Datt, Keila Stecker and Natali Galarita.
"We know we can play with all of the teams in the MIL this year," added Rockett. "The whole league will be competitive, with nobody blowing the other teams out. Baldwin is a top team again, but the other teams (in Division I, Maui High, King Kekaulike, Kamehameha Schools Maui and Lahainaluna) have all improved. We're still finding our way, and we'll give them a run."
Lahainaluna will play its four home games at the campus Athletic Field and complete the MIL schedule through December and January, with the state playoffs slated for early February in Honolulu.
"We're a very young team, but these girls really play hard and practice hard with a great attitude. They are a fun group of people to be around. As a team, we send our thanks out to Mindy and Jeff Miller and to Fran Hinton and the Warren Hinton Foundation for their continuing support of our soccer program," Rockett concluded.