All-star Mo’okini shoots for league championship as Athlete of the Month

All-star Mo’okini shoots for league championship as Athlete of the Month

By Emme Tran | Copy Editor

   Four years ago, senior Haley Mo’okini joined Gabrielino High School’s varsity girls soccer program. Today, as the varsity girls team captain, she is recognized for many achievements as an athlete, including January’s Athlete of the Month.

   “When I first started playing on the team, I was very quiet on the field and was very nervous to play my first games,” reminisced Mo’okini. “Now, as I got used to the style of play and just how everything works in general, I am a lot more confident on the field and have taken on the role of being captain this season.” 

   After high school, Mo’okini hopes to play soccer at a collegiate level— a goal she has maintained since beginning the sport. With her high achievements and her status as a senior, that goal has become easily attainable. 

   In the past two years, Mo’okini has received two league MVP awards and a Division 6 All CIF Player of the Year banner. The girls varsity soccer team has also taken home a CIF title and a CIF State Regional title, along with winning the Mission Valley League Championship two years in a row. Not stopping there, Mo’okini aims to win this year’s league as well with her team. 

   “In terms of high school soccer, my personal goal is to score more than I did in the previous years and be selected for the first team all league,” said Mo’okini. “I also hope to finish the season knowing that I gave this program everything that I had and hopefully influenced a lot of underclassmen.” 

   Along with retaining the role of the girls varsity soccer captain, Mo’okini devotes a lot of time participating in club soccer outside of school, which occurs before and after the high school soccer season. To maintain a balanced schedule, Mo’okini completes a bulk of her schoolwork during Embedded Time and finishes her work at home after varsity practice before another round of practice for club soccer, even forgoing free time during the weekends in order to finish school work.

   Mo’okini explained, “When club interferes with high school in the beginning of the season, it gets a little stressful and tiring, however, I learned how to manage my time a lot better.” 

   Despite her individual achievements, Mo’okini attributes much of her successful mindset to her close relationship with the team. 

   “I have met some of my best friends through soccer, and playing with them these past four years made our bond even stronger,” Mo’okini fondly stated. “Having a close relationship with my friends makes practice and games so much fun. They all push me to do better.” 

   However, over the years, several of Mo’okini’s teammates left the program. Though the team carries only 15 players, much less than the previous years’ roster, Mo’okini has a high outlook for the team’s success. 

   “One thing though, that I am happy to say, is that the team for the past four years has kept the same winning mentality and is still always willing to work hard,” praised Mo’okini. “We play for each other.”

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