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Kinnick striker Kawachi earns NSCAA All-America honor

By DAVE ORNAUER | STARS AND STRIPES Published: July 9, 2017

Kiralyn Kawachi sparked the best comeback in Nile C. Kinnick girls soccer history last spring, rallying the Red Devils from an 0-4-1 start to a school-first Far East Division I Tournament title. Now, Kawachi has received recognition from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.

The senior striker was one of 32 girls players named to the NSCAA high school All-America team for the winter and spring seasons, the body announced in a news release dated July 6.

Kawachi scored 27 goals and added 11 assists as the Red Devils finished 14-6-3 on the season, capped by Kinnick’s 3-0 shutout of American School In Japan on May 18. Kawachi scored two goals that day and was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

Two other Pacific players, each from Matthew C. Perry, were also accorded NSCAA honors: Samurai senior striker Bobbi Hill was named to the NSCAA’s All-West Region team, while senior midfielder Aidan Lewis was accorded NSCAA scholar All-America honors.

Hill led the Pacific in goals for the second straight season, with 47, and concluded her four-year career with the Samurai with 155 goals, third most in Pacific history, and her first Far East Division II tournament title.

To be eligible for All-America or all-region consideration, players are nominated by their coaches, then selected by their respective state or region, according to the NSCAA’s Web site. Each state is awarded a specific number of slots on the All-America or all-region teams based on the number of high school coaches who are current NSCAA members; Kinnick’s Nico Hindie and Perry’s Mark Lange are members.

Lewis scored 21 goals and had 15 assists for the Samurai boys (14-8-1), who came up short in their bid for a sixth straight Far East Division II Tournament title. He’s the fourth Samurai boys player to be accorded NSCAA scholar All-America honors, joining Gaku Lange, Sam Hess and Aidan’s brother, Isaac.

To be eligible, a player must be nominated by their coach, the coach must be an NSCAA member at the high school level and the player must have a grade-point average of 3.75 or better through the first semester of their senior year, must have performed community service locally and demonstrated recognized excellence in high school soccer. Lewis was named to the D-II and DODEA-Japan All-Tournament teams.

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