Oct. 28, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The UAB women’s soccer team has had one of the most successful seasons in recent history in 2013, with an 11-5-2 record thus far, and has seen great senior leadership from a group of six student-athletes. Jasmine Kauka, a senior midfielder on the squad, has tallied three goals and three assists this season. Kauka sat down with UABsports.com to discuss the season and much more.
Considering you’re from Hawaii, born in Honolulu, explain how you got here and what influenced you to come to UAB?
“When I was considering colleges I was told to create a checklist of what my ideal school would have. I created a checklist of about five things, but it came down to two main criteria. I wanted a soccer scholarship and I wanted a new experience. When I came on my official visit, UAB just seemed like the best fit. I took visits to other schools, which were very exciting, but this team and school seemed right. It sounds cliché, but it’s true.”
What has been your favorite moment at UAB?
“I have infinite memories from the last few years at UAB. It’s hard to just choose one. I would say my favorite moment was during my freshman year when it snowed. Everyone was outside on the green making mini-snowmen, having snowball fights, and sledding. We didn’t have sleds so we used signs from around campus or plastic drawers. It was freezing cold, but completely worth it. I remember we tried to fit as many people onto one sign as possible and it was a challenge to steer through the other sledders and around the trees, light poles, and benches.”
What will you miss most at UAB?
“I will miss the people more than anything. The people I have met at UAB are fascinating and amazing. I have become closer to my friends at UAB than my friends from high school, and my teammates are my best friends. Within the athletic department I have made so many irreplaceable best friends that I will undoubtedly miss. I hope with the usage of social media we will all be able to stay in touch, but the thought of being separated brings tears to my eyes already.”
If you did not play soccer, what sport would you play?
“If I did not play soccer I would play basketball, because I played it in high school. When I was little I played soccer, basketball, and gymnastics, but when I was a freshman in high school I was told I had to choose a main sport. I continued to play basketball, but the two sports were during the same season in high school, so it was impossible to do both. I play intramural basketball for the “Nads,” which is a group of soccer players who all used to play basketball in high school.”
What has been the biggest challenge of being a student-athlete?
“I would say the time constraints are the biggest challenge of being a student-athlete. Balancing the practice and game schedule with schoolwork can be a challenge. I think most student athletes would agree that a lack of sleep is pretty common, and I really love sleep.”
You’ve started more than 50 games in a Blazer uniform, talk about your progression over the years and how successful you’ve become while in Birmingham.
“My very fist exhibition game my freshman year was against University of Florida and I started. After that game I played less and less until I wasn’t playing during my freshman year. It was a sad and frustrating time for me, but I took it as a challenge to play and start for the team. The spring semester of my freshman year we got a new coach who changed everything. For Coach Harold Warren, I am three-year starter. I have grown as a player and a person in the last three years and I would say starting in a Blazer uniform and the time I’ve spent in Birmingham has changed my life.”
What are your plans after you finish up at UAB?
“I have many ideas planned for after I finish up at UAB. I am currently pre-med, so the next logical step would be medical school, but I am thinking about taking a year off and working in France as a teacher or an au pair just to take a break from school. I am still exploring possibilities.”
You’re majoring in foreign languages, specializing in French. Being a native of Hawaii, explain how that came about, and your desires to focus on that while in school?
“I have taken French since I was a seventh grader. I am indecisive and when it came time to choosing a major I wasn’t sure what to do. My advisor asked me what I was good at and French was what I answered. It has brought out my love for different cultures and new horizons.”
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