Thursday, October 14, 2004


Rainbow Wahine face
pair of must-wins
this weekend

There are five regular-season matches remaining for the Hawaii women's soccer team

The importance of each one increased considerably following two road defeats in Texas last week.


When: Tomorrow, 7 p.m.

Where: Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park Stadium

TV: Live, KFVE,Channel 5

Radio: None

Admission/Parking: Free

"We need to be very impressive," said Hawaii coach Pinsoom Tenzing. "We dropped in the regional rankings to No. 15, but that is still good. Right now we're looking at getting back into the national picture."

To Tenzing, the national picture means getting into the NCAA Tournament. The easiest way is for the Wahine (9-4-2 overall, 2-2-0 WAC) to win the Western Athletic Conference postseason tournament.

An at-large berth probably hinges on UH winning out in the regular season and at least reaching the conference championship match.

The final two regular-season home matches are at the Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park stadium this weekend. Nevada (2-10-1, 1-3-1) provides the opposition at 7 p.m. tomorrow. Hawaii celebrates Senior Night against Boise State (8-4-1, 2-0-1) on Sunday at 5 p.m.

Whether or not the Wahine are at full strength depends on doctor's reports and the UH trainers' expertise.

Starting goalkeeper Mahie Atay, who had two concussions earlier in the season, did not play last Sunday against Texas-El Paso. Tenzing and trainer Jayson Goo wanted to wait until she was examined by a doctor here.

She is being held out of practice, but should be available for tomorrow's match.

"Mahie is critical to the success of our program," said Tenzing.

Senior Erin Chow is the only goalkeeper cleared to play at the moment. Senior Kimi Tiampo, who agreed to redshirt after a slow recovery from a leg injury, also agreed to give up the redshirt year if needed and has clearance to work out.

Krystalynn Ontai fell hard on her left shoulder against UTEP and had her arm in a sling Tuesday. She is out of tomorrow's match, but is expected back Sunday.

Redshirt freshman Shawn Higa probably will start in Ontai's spot.

Krisha Kai had a brace on her strained right knee at practice Tuesday, but has been cleared to play this weekend.

Sophomore midfielder Kelly McCloskey will be able to play with a brace on a strained right wrist. She has been one of two players Tenzing has used at outside right midfield to replace Natalie Groenewoud, who is redshirting following an ankle injury in the second match of the season.

Tenzing also wants to give Jessica Domingo more rest after playing her for the full 90 minutes in both road matches. The freshman center midfielder plays without fear and takes her share of knocks from bigger opponents.

The Wahine cannot look past Nevada despite the visitors record.

The Wolf Pack lost their first six matches under new head coach Terri Patraw. They then won two and tied one, but have dropped their last four, including three conference matches.

Annie Baxter, a junior striker, is Nevada's top scorer with four goals.



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