Star-Bulletin Sports

Sunday, November 4, 2001



UH wins, waits for word on bye

By Al Chase

The Hawaii women's soccer team spent last night all alone in second place in the Western Athletic Conference standings.

Today, the Wahine find out if they stay there and gain a first-round bye in this week's WAC postseason tournament.

The key match today for UH is the Boise State at Tulsa contest. If Boise State wins, the Broncos knock Hawaii out of second place.

If Tulsa wins, there is a three-way tie for second between the Golden Hurricane, Hawaii and Rice, assuming the host Owls defeat winless Nevada today. In this scenario, Hawaii has the advantage of tiebreakers since the Wahine beat both San Jose State (last Thursday) and topped Fresno State, 3-1, yesterday afternoon before 1,003 fans at the Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium.

The Wahine (8-9, 5-3 WAC) could have been in trouble with starters Tiffany Makue (red card in last match) and Arlene Devitt (three yellow cards following a red card) sitting out.

"We came out really flat. That's what happens when you don't have people on the field you're used to," said UH coach Pinsoom Tenzing.

Fresno State (4-4, 7-9) controlled the tempo early, putting steady pressure on the UH defense. Wahine goalkeeper Jennifer Churchill smothered a shot by Erin Sayegusa off a corner kick at 8:56. Hawaii was outshot 7-0 in the first 17 minutes.

Then, after the ball had pinballed among several players, UH senior striker Jennifer Starsiak gained control 14 yards out from the left post and deftly drove the ball inside the near post for a 1-0 Hawaii lead at 17:13. It was UH's first shot of the match.

Much of the play was concentrated 30 yards either side of midfield as the back lines were conscious of the offsides game and through balls rolled harmlessly to both goalkeepers playing well off the line.

However, there is a danger in that type of play when the unexpected happens, as FSU goalkeeper Mary-tyler Wahl found out at 25:41.

Krystalynn Ontai pushed the ball ahead to Joelle Sugai, who tried for a long cross from near the left sideline 40 yards from the goal. Ontai's ball was high, acting like a knuckle ball headed into the wind. It caught Wahl back-stepping, and she wasn't fast enough to stop the ball from floating in under the crossbar for a 2-0 UH lead.

The Bulldogs applied pressure again to open the second half. Churchill had to make a diving save on Erin Sayegusa at 51:33. The Kaiser High School graduate benefited from sloppy defensive play to unload a clear shot.

An indirect free kick from the right corner of the goal box led to the FSU goal at 63:37. Kristyn Kellogg's shot was blocked, but right to Sayegusa in front of the goal where she guided the ball high into the net.

Speedy UH defender Carmel Hurley moved up to the center striker position with 20 minutes left, broke through several times and finally scored at 89:00 when she beat Wahl with an 11-yard shot inside the right post.

UH leaves tomorrow for Dallas, site of the WAC tournament.

UH Athletics
Ka Leo O Hawaii

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