for Rainbow Wahine
The Rainbow Wahine soccer team has a big test tomorrow night, the same test it has been unable to pass the previous four seasons.
The Southern Methodist Mustangs are the only Western Athletic Conference team Hawaii has never defeated. The closest it came was a double overtime 0-0 tie in 2000. SMU has outscored UH 11-1 in this five-match series.
The defending WAC champion Mustangs (9-2-0, 2-0-0) are coming off 6-1 and 4-0 home victories over Fresno State and San Jose State last weekend. They are ranked fifth in the National Soccer Coaches Association/adidas Central Region poll and received votes in two national polls.
SMU swept WAC honors, as senior striker Kim Harvey and junior goalkeeper Amanda Clark were named offensive and defensive players of the week. Harvey, who had a hat trick in the FSU match, also was named to Soccer Buzz.com's National Elite Team of the Week.
"Kim Harvey has given us trouble since her freshman year and Jill Heinemann is a big, strong midfielder," said UH coach Pinsoom Tenzing.
After getting over one hump with two road conference road victories last weekend, the Wahine have to play their best soccer tomorrow night and Sunday against Texas-El Paso, also 2-0 in the conference, if they want to control their destiny.
'We've got to win," said Tenzing. "SMU gets good kids in and there is no secret to that. They do well in the NCAA Tournament every year and everybody wants to be a part of a good program.
"But, we've always given then a run for their money. We always play them tough. Our kids are up for this game. If they come out 100 percent, it should be a wonderful game."
Two Wahine starters, sophomore striker and leading scorer Natasha Kai (sprained right ankle) and midfielder Mia Moe (sprained left knee) are questionable for tomorrow night's action. Tenzing will make a game-time decision on their availability.
Hawaii has depth in the midfield. Either Pam Fong or Krisha Kai would start up top if Natasha Kai is not ready.
"The key is our kids having a lot of pride and taking the game to SMU. If we do that, then we will be in the game," Tenzing said.
Note: Adria Campbell (Punahou) has started nine of 11 matches for SMU. The freshman striker has scored two goals and assisted on five.