U.S. Women’s soccer team inspires local teams to win big

Local News

The U.S women’s soccer team won their fourth World Cup title on Sunday, defeating the Netherlands 2-0.

But they weren’t the only soccer team to win big today.

All week long, teams from across the U.S came to Hawaii for the AYSO national soccer tournament.

Sunday was the last day and several Hawaii teams took home gold with a little help from Team USA.

KHON2 spoke with some of Hawaii’s die-hard soccer fans who flew to France to watch the match.

“It was an awesome game,” said Cheryl Shimizu, Women’s Island Soccer Association president. “Of course we won and it made it better but we just wanted a good game.”

Today’s game was Shimizu’s second time witnessing Team USA win the World Cup. She says the women’s team has always been an inspiration for younger girls.

“We hope it continues on and continues to be something that the women can look forward to, not only soccer but all sports, to be the forefront of having to be established in whatever they want to do be and their beliefs,” Shimizu said.

Some of those inspired girls woke up early to watch the World Cup before they played in their own tournament here on Oahu.

“Watching it gave me the courage to play my hardest,” said 12-year-old Shlya Kai-Montgomery, whose team Mililani Reunited won their age group championship today.

West Oahu also won their championship against Lake Forest, California in the AYSO national tournament championship.  

“Once I found out that USA won it kind of got me pumped up,” said Jasity Cartwright, team West Oahu forward. “I was like we need to step it up, keep it home, keep the trophy home so I think that’s what motivated the whole team.”

That motivation spread to their goalkeeper who scored the game-winning shootout goal.

“It just feels amazing to be able to come out on top especially how the Women’s World Cup did, I was watching this morning, and like how they came out on top and finished it off on that note it’s just been an amazing ride,” said Alexis Schmidt, goalkeeper for team West Oahu.

She says her inspiration and favorite team USA player is Alyssa Naeher.

“To see her coming up the ranks and being able to do what she’s done in this tournament is so inspiring,” Schmidt said. “To keep moving forward and to always stay confident and stay positive and everything will work itself out.”

Some of the West Oahu will continue to play soccer in college next year.

Most of them hope to be on the national team and follow the footsteps of local soccer star Natasha Kai.

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