Michigan Rush Lansing

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Apr, 2018

U17 World Cup: Hawaii Rush's Sunshine Fontes Leading Scorer for U17 WNT

As the World Cup Qualifying matches approach for the U17 WNT, 17 year old Sunshine Fontes, a forward for Hawaii Rush, remains the leading scorer, tallying 13 goals at the U17 international level.

Fontes began playing with Hawaii Rush at the age of 7. “I think I learned a lot about the core values that Rush has and I think they really molded me into the player I am today,” Fontes said. After 8 years with Rush, Fontes played a short stint with the Honolulu Bulls, but has decided to return to Rush, playing on the HI Rush 01G or 00G teams.

“Hawaii Rush challenges me every day whether it be at practice or in games,” Fontes said on her return.

Rush National Technical Director Arian Hoxha spoke on Fontes’ skill, “She brings a lot of attacking power into the games, and the teams she plays on are able to produce some very entertaining matches with multiple goals where she is almost always responsible, directly or indirectly. She is a very unique and natural goal scorer. She brings a lot of excitement when she is on the ball as she is capable of finishing in spectacular fashion from distance or calmly taking goalkeepers on. I cannot remember any games where she has not scored at least once.”

In addition to her role at Rush, Fontes continues to leave her mark on the state of Hawaii, helping the Pearl City Lady Chargers Women’s Soccer team capture the 2015-2016 HHSAA State Division I Girls Soccer Championship, earning Honolulu Advertiser State Player of the Year, and First-Team All-Division I state tournament selection. Later on that year, Fontes won the Gatorade National Player of the Year Award.

A year after her call-up to the U17 WNT, Fontes is thriving. In the last match before the World Cup Qualifying matches, Fontes scored three goals and had one assist, helping the U17 WNT go unbeaten against Japan. Earlier this year, Fontes showcased four goals in games against both Argentina and Venezuela, emphasizing the level of talent that rests with this U17 roster.

Hawaii Rush has stayed with Fontes, she said, “It taught me not only things I need for Sunshine, the athlete on the soccer field but also for Sunshine, the person off the field.”

Fontes joins Chardonnay Curran, Aislynn Crowder, and Raine Komata, three other players from Hawaii Rush who have recently been called up to the US Youth National Team Program.

“One of my goals moving forward would be to qualify for the World Cup but in doing so, we can’t look by any opponent. We MUST respect every opponent and take it one game at a time,” Fontes said.

Now faced with the CONCACAF Qualifying matches set for April 19-29, Fontes and the U17 WNT will travel to Nicaragua, where the Americans have been seeded into Group B and face Costa Rica, Bermuda, and Canada. The top three finishers will be sent to the 2018 FIFA U-17 World Cup held in Uruguay next November.



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