Saturday, October 30, 1999
Lytle comes up bigBy Al Chase
as UH edges HPU
Megan Lytle waited until there were four minutes, 52 seconds left in the regular-season to score her first goal of 1999.
It was timely. Overtime was becoming a distinct possibility as the sun was rapidly disappearing, leaving the UH Soccer Field enveloped in darkening shadows.
Lytle's goal at 85:08 gave Hawaii a 1-0 victory over Hawaii Pacific yesterday.
The Sea Warriors heeded head coach Mark Kane's instructions to double-team each Wahine as soon as she got the ball. The strategy made it difficult for UH to deliver the ball to the strikers, but also limited HPU's attack.
The Sea Warriors were unable to force a corner kick and managed just two shots, although the second one had the Hawaii sideline holding its collective breath.
With about one minute to play, Jannicke Snildal, HPU's top scorer, sent a lazy chip shot toward the UH goal.
Initially, it looked as if goalkeeper Kimela Keahiolalo, a walk-on playing her first match, had wandered too far off the goal line. But she back-pedaled enough before leaping to make a one-handed save, pushing the ball to the side, where she smothered it at the foot of another HPU striker.
The game-winning goal opportunity started when Jennifer Starsiak fed the ball to Lytle running free up the left side.
Lytle angled toward the goal, past a defender and, from 15 yards out, unloaded a cannon shot just inside the near post that ballooned the back of the net.
"The whole game I was thinking, why am I passing it. I know I can cut through this team, so I decided to do it myself," Lytle said.
"I was just trying to concentrate and stay focused. I definitely like the left midfield. It's been frustrating having to play different positions. Forward was a whole new realm for me."
A midfielder her first two seasons here, Lytle started several matches at left striker when UH was searching for more offense. That experiment produced shots, but no goals.
The victory (No. 12) and shutout (No. 8) are Wahine season highs.
"We draw from the same pool and we have more resources than HPU, Hawaii head coach Pinsoom Tenzing said.
"1-0 was no indication of how the game went. We moved the ball well. I thought we were looking ahead to SMU, which is what we're preparing for. That's OK.
"We tried to play as if SMU was coming at us. I wanted our kids to do certain things (they'll have to do against SMU) and they did it well. My concern was we didn't connect with the forwards as much, but that's hard to do with so many people in the back.
"We won't see that against SMU. Both teams will play it straight up."
The Wahine (12-6-1) leave late Monday night for Dallas and their first-ever Western Athletic Conference playoff appearance.
HPU (3-7-1) concluded its season yesterday.
Hawaii Pacific 0 0 - 0 Hawaii 0 1 - 1UH: Megan Lytle (Jennifer Starsiak), 85:08.
Shots-UH 15 HPU 2. Saves-UH 2, HPU 5. Corner kicks-UH 5, HPU 0. Fouls- UH, 9, HPU 10. A-420.