As she closes in on the Nadeshiko League career goal-scoring record, INAC Kobe Leonessa forward Shinobu Ohno hopes the milestone marker will come on a team effort.
"I like scoring goals that involve my teammates," says Ohno, who is two goals shy of tying the league scoring record of 150 goals.
It's not surprising that she is on the verge of equaling -- then passing -- the record, considering that Ohno has been the league's top scorer three times. She currently ranks No. 1 in the league again, having scored 10 goals through 12 games this season. Ohno, who is also a key offensive player for Nadeshiko Japan, Japan's national team, hopes to bag her 150th goal in the Oct. 30 game against the Urawa Reds Ladies.
Ohno's record has been in the works since she scored her first league goal in September 2000 at the age of 16. Her scoring pace hasn't fallen off this season after she and Nadeshiko Japan captain Homare Sawa, among others, transferred to Kobe from NTV Beleza.
The current career record of 150 goals was attained in 2008 by former Japan national team forward Mio Otani, who played for Tasaki Perule.
"I didn't know about this record until my teammates told me," Ohno says nonchalantly. "I think it's great. I hope I can reach the milestone in the next game against the Urawa Reds Ladies. If I can get a goal on Nadeshiko Japan (backup) goalkeeper Nozomi Yamago, it would be extra special to me."
With her slight 154-cm frame, Ohno often zips past her opponents, showcasing her dribbling skills. With Nadeshiko Japan, she has become the designated right midfielder, but on the Kobe team, she is still a forward or playmaker.
INAC manager Kei Hoshikawa praises Ohno's talent for finding the target.
"She's like (Lionel) Messi," Hoshikawa says. "If she was positioned as a forward on Nadeshiko Japan, the team would score more goals. It's such a waste."
Ohno made her Nadeshiko League debut in 1999, when she was promoted from the farm team of NTV Beleza. She's been a scoring machine ever since and has managed to avoid any major injuries.
"I don't take extra care of my body," Ohno says. "I just ask the Nadeshiko Japan nutritionists what I should eat. I cook for myself, but mainly just stir fry."
With 148 goals under her belt already, Ohno's 150th will be something she can cherish forever. It will be all that much sweeter because she will be sharing the moment with some people close to her.
"I was really happy when Sawa said she hopes to get an assist on my 150th goal," says Ohno. "We've been playing together since our days with NTV Beleza."
For Ohno, it's all about teamwork.
- « Prev
- Next »