[ WAHINE SOCCER ]
bring in BYU to
celebrate 10 years
The Hawaii Rainbow Wahine soccer team finishes its home campaign tomorrow night at 7 with a nonconference match against the Brigham Young Cougars, ranked No. 20 in the latest Soccer America poll.
The evening's festivities at the Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park include Senior Night, a dinner for former players and a halftime ceremony celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Wahine (13-4-1) program.
This is the first time Hawaii has had an open weekend in the final week of the Western Athletic Conference schedule.
"I was very nervous when the WAC schedule came out," UH coach Pinsoom Tenzing said. "This is a difficult week to get anyone to come here since most everyone is in conference play."
National power North Carolina also was tentatively scheduled to play here this week in what would have been an intriguing tournament, but that arrangement didn't materialize.
"I'm very happy BYU is giving us a game since they thought they also would be playing UNC," Tenzing said. "I thought we would be too out of competitive shape if we had a long break before the WAC tournament, but this match is turning out to be the right thing for us."
The Wahine have won six consecutive matches and will benefit from playing a quality team like Brigham Young (12-4-1) before heading off to the WAC tournament next week.
In her nine seasons as BYU coach, Jennifer Rockwood has led the Cougars to national prominence. They have been to six consecutive NCAA tournaments and reached the "Sweet Sixteen" twice. The Cougars are 152-42-4 under Rockwood and are in the running for their fifth consecutive Mountain West Conference title.
BYU handed Wyoming its first MWC loss Thursday -- a 5-1 Cougars' victory with goals from seniors Terra Bigelow, Lydia Ojuka, Jennifer Fielding and Aleisha Rose -- to set up a showdown with instate rival Utah on Nov. 1.
"They have one of the most acclaimed players in the nation in Rose," Tenzing said. "They have other players that I've tracked and everyone was after including Davia King and Charlene Lui."
Lui, a sophomore midfielder from Punahou, won a starting job early her freshman year. She has played in all 17 matches this year and has one goal and one assist.
Notes: Rose is on the Hermann Trophy watch list. The Hermann Trophy is college soccer's equivalent to the Heisman Trophy. ... UH sophomore striker Natasha Kai has seven match-winning goals this year. ... BYU has played five ranked teams this year, tying Michigan, defeating Tennessee, Kentucky and Southern California and losing to Florida in overtime.