Sacred Hearts Academy  |   Honolulu, Hawaii

Ka Leo

Sacred Hearts Academy  |   Honolulu, Hawaii

Ka Leo

Sacred Hearts Academy  |   Honolulu, Hawaii

Ka Leo

Wolfpack soccer completes a three-peat

PAC-5 varsity Division II soccer team smiling through the blood, sweat and tears of their hard work. They boast a trophy as state champions for the third year in a row. Photo courtesy of Dowda-Gates.

“As soon as my teammate scored the final (penalty kick) to make us three-time Division II state champions, I was overwhelmed with joy and relief,” Sacred Hearts Academy senior and PAC-5’s Ashlyn Dowda-Gates said.

The soccer state championship against Kamehameha Hawaii in February was the “hardest game (she) faced,” Dowda-Gates said. The Hawaii High School Athletic Association (HHSAA) three-peat victory for the Wolfpack came down to a penalty shootout, with a final score of 7-6.

The overwhelming feeling that Dowda-Gates experienced was particularly special because of her commitment to the same soccer team for three years. 

I started off PAC-5 as a sophomore, and being coached by the same coaches made us more comfortable and allowed us to trust who was helping us, as well as who was guiding us to these last championships,” said Dowda-Gates, who will pursue a criminology degree at Pacific University next year.

The Wolfpack team has also been through an emotional year of soccer, since many key players were injured, according to Dowda-Gates. To fill the void, the junior varsity team joined the varsity members, which, Dowda-Gates said, made a difference in their team’s willingness to stay committed and to push through. 

Ashlyn Dowda-Gates in action against Kamehameha Hawaii. The game ended in a penalty kick shoot out, with a score of 7-6. Photo courtesy of Dowda-Gates.


“Practice was challenging because some of the eight (returning) players were injured at the time,” PAC-5 soccer coach Ryan Leong said. “We stuck to our plan…and we accomplished it. I’m so proud of them all.”

As emotional as it was for Dowda-Gates to win, Leong says he felt the same way as she did when the season ended. He has coached several of the players, including Dowda-Gates, and says he treats them as if they were his own children. 

“Watching them grow and become good soccer players is awesome,” Leong said. “I am their teacher (and) coach outside of school, and I love to help or share stories that would help them in their future.”

As the girls grew older, he worked on first touches, communication and teamwork.

“I believe that helped them win; plus the talent these girls already had,” he said. “They deserved that three-peat.” 

As a senior, Dowda-Gates has advice for aspiring soccer players.

Pray before you play so God may guide you through the obstacles and challenges (of) each practice or game,” she said. “Always try your best and play for your team and for yourself.”

Along with trying your best, she also mentions to make every moment a learning lesson and to be your best self in order to show the world the work put into the game.

About the Contributor
Gennellea Amasol
Gennellea Amasol, Reporter
Gennellea is a second-year Journalism student and a junior at the Academy. She hopes to improve her writing skills and sharpen her ability to talk with others. Gennellea also hopes to conduct smoother interviews. At the end of the year, she would like to learn the mechanics of news reporting and Journalism. In her free time, she enjoys talking with friends, reading, writing online short stories, and listening to music. One fun fact about her is that she loves posting her work through websites, such as Wattpad, her primary reading source.
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