[ UH SOCCER ]
Rainbow Wahine break out
Hawaii enjoyed its biggest offensive output of the season to defeat the Idaho Vandals 4-0 in a Western Athletic Conference match last night at the Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park Stadium.
It was Idaho's first WAC match and the conference opener for the Rainbow Wahine (4-6-2).
Natasha Kai scored two first-half goals and Kelly McCloskey and Taryn Fukuroku scored their first goals of the season in the second half in front of 815 fans.
The Wahine had a great opportunity 1:19 into the match when Natalie Groenewoud received a through pass on the right. She dribbled twice toward the right post, then slipped a ball to Kai, but her shot hit the outside of the net.
Less than a minute later, Idaho's Jenny Springer, the Vandals' leading scorer, was thwarted on a breakaway when UH goalkeeper Kori Lu came out to make a sliding foot save, sending the ball back toward midfield.
Neither team developed any semblance of a coordinated attack over the next 26 minutes. There was more kicking to no one in particular and running without purpose than combination passing. There was more reaction to the ball than anticipation of where it would be.
"That's what happens when you are confused and nervous. They straightened themselves out after the first goal. It was a satisfying win," UH coach Pinsoom Tenzing said.
The first break came at 28:06 when UH center midfielder Jessica Domingo put a 12-yard pass between two defenders to Kai. The senior striker dribbled twice, then guided the ball on the ground with her left foot past Idaho goalkeeper Lindsay Smith across the line just inside the right post.
Kai scored her second goal at 34:33. Adria Campbell sent a long feed on the ground from the right side that split two defenders to reach Kai coming in from the left. Kai again beat an advancing Smith with a low shot inside the right post.
Two UH starters -- sophomore defender Shawn Higa and Domingo -- had to be helped off the field by the trainers at 5:35 and 37:11, respectively. Higa returned to start the second half. Domingo, with a sprained right ankle, did not.
Early in the second half, Idaho's Kelsey Manning and UH's Kelli-Anne Chang cracked heads and both players were assisted from the field. Chang returned later with a bandage over her left eye.
The Wahine began the half with constant pressure on the Idaho defense with Gabina Bohlman, Fukuroku and Kai having excellent scoring opportunities.
The pressure paid off at 51:24 when McCloskey gave UH a 3-0 lead. Kai headed a ball from the right corner to McCloskey, waiting just inside the penalty box on the left. The junior midfielder drilled a shot with her left foot that hit the side net on the right.
Hawaii continued to control the game, creating opportunities over the next 10 minutes. Kai, on a breakaway, hit the left post from 8 yards outs at 60:00 and Koren Takeyama, after a 40-yard run in which she beat four defenders, had her close-range shot blocked by Smith.
Fukuroku, a freshman striker from Maui High School, scored her goal at 68:21. Campbell earned her second assist with a perfect lead pass to Fukuroku, who beat Smith with a low shot from 14 yards.
Lu shared the shutout with Mahie Atay, who played the second half.