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Want to play worldwide as a professional female soccer player!

Ms. Shiho Kohata / Ms. Ami Otaki

Even before entering WASEDA, Otaki and Kohata were aware of each other as national level-class players. "When I heard I would be playing with her at WASEDA, I thought, now I can play with that 'hot' girl!" Otaki says. In response, Kohata commented, "When I was in senior high school, Ami (Otaki) was tough to play against and I was looking forward to playing with a great player."

Ms. Shiho Kohata (left) , Ms. Ami Otaki (right)

Judging from the way of talking, Kohata seems to be 'modest,' rather than 'hot.' According to Otaki, "Shiho (Kohata) is usually modest and composed, but in matches, her character changes! She shouts loudly from the defense enough so that I can hear her at the front, cheering us up." Kohata immediately countered, "But Ami is the type that changes character in normal life and in a match. She addresses soccer in a very stoic manner, but usually, she enlivens the atmosphere and makes all of us relax." They seem to be a good pair as 'offensive' and 'defensive' players in a match and as 'cheerer' and 'controller.'

Immediately after joining the WASEDA University Women's Association Football Club, the two became very prominent players, and when they were second-year students, participated in Universiade, known as the 'Student Olympic Games,' and represented Japan and won second place. Directly learning the international level of the sport, they put priority on physical training to improve their ability and skill. The team won the 2009 Inter-college and the 2010 Kanto University Women's Association of Football championships. In the latter, they achieved great feats where Otaki was the winner of the title for most goals scored, while Kohata became one of the best eleven players. "In 2010, we lost only one game and were in top form," Otaki says.

They were expected to win the Inter-college championship for two consecutive years, but something unexpected happened. They lost to a team that they would normally easily defeat. Looking back, Otaki says, "We were so shocked that the atmosphere on the team immediately went sour."

With that defeat on their minds, they got into the Inter-college championship. In the first match, they drew with a poor opponent. "But that made us feel that there would be no turning back. Even in a bad condition, the team became one," says Kohata. After that match, the team gradually made a comeback, and eventually won the Inter-college championship for the second year running.

Quick recovery means strong unity. "When there is no training, we often spend time together sharing a one-pot meal. As we get on so well with each other, we don't want to graduate from university!" But surely you are starting to consider your future career? "I want to play soccer abroad," says Otaki. "I want to become a player that is asked to play for Japan," says Kohata. Both of them have big dreams. They unanimously say, "As we are fourth-year students in 2011, we want to win Universiade and the Inter-college championship three years in a row!"

The two of them are making steady steps toward their dreams. It is certain that they will play on an active level worldwide.

Sign of victory is "Yes!" together with teammates

Tension is high when scoring a score

Kohata is a key player that supports the team from the back

(Offered by WASEDA WEEKLY)

Ms. Shiho Kohata

Born in Hiroshima Prefecture in 1989. Graduated from Fujieda Junshin High School (Shizuoka.) Fourth-year student at the School of Education. Candidate for the 2008 U20 Japan team. Represented Japan at Universiade 2009. Best Eleven at Kanto Women's Soccer Association League. She is good at heading, with a wide view of the field. Her favorite food is bean sprouts. She says, "I'm a member of a bean sprouts community on mixi (SNS)."

Ms. Ami Otaki

Born in Kanagawa in 1989. Graduated from Kanagawa Prefectural Kamakura High School. Fourth-year student at the School of Sport Sciences. Member of the 2007 U19 Japan Team. Candidate for the 2008 U20 Team Japan. Represented Japan at Universiade 2009. Winner of the title for most goals scored in the Kanto Women's Soccer Association League in 2008 and 2010. Her interests are the guitar, piano, and reading. "I love Keigo Tono. I read him at caf辿 terraces when I have time."