Rainbow Wahine to battle for first place
The Hawaii Rainbow Wahine square off against a team with the same league record in a battle for first place for the second consecutive week.
Nevada at Hawaii
When: Tomorrow, 7 p.m.
Where: Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park Stadium
TV: Live, KFVE (Ch. 5).
Series record: Wahine lead the series 5-0.
Notes: UH has drawn 7,705 fans this year, an average of 963 per match for eight home dates.
The Western Athletic Conference matchup tomorrow night at the Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park Stadium with the Nevada Wolf Pack has significant implications regarding seeding for the league's postseason tournament. The six teams going to the tournament in Boise, Idaho, are set. Winless Idaho and Louisiana Tech are out of the running.
The Wahine (8-7-2 overall) and the Wolf Pack (10-5-1) are tied for first with 4-1 records and 12 points. Depending on league results on the mainland tomorrow, the winner here could be assured of finishing either first or second and having a first-round tournament bye.
Lurking in third place are the Fresno State Bulldogs (3-1-1) with 10 points
Head coach Terri Patraw, in her second season at Nevada, has turned the program completely around. The Wolf Pack's 10 victories equal the total of the past four years.
A year ago, they scored 18 goals and gave up 48. This year the Wolf Pack have scored 32 goals while surrendering 20. They have won six of their last seven matches with their only WAC loss being at Boise State in double overtime.
Nevada's scoring is balanced with Miranda Montejo netting eight goals while Aivi Luik, Randee Robinson and Naomi Hernandez have five each.
Striker Jessica Thompson, who scored twice against LaTech, and defender Jessica Wilcox, were named the Xbox Live WAC offensive and defensive players of the week.
"The Wolf Pack doesn't give up and maybe they have had some luck," said UH coach Pinsoom Tenzing, who says he knows little about the Pack. "They have revamped the entire team and they did it with one of the best recruiting classes in the West.
"It all depends on who you have and we are still extremely banged up."
Midfielders Jessica Domingo and Gabina Bohlman are as healthy as possible, but won't be 100 percent until they get a good rest after the season is over. The same is true for striker Adria Campbell, and striker Natasha Kai has been battling the flu.
All will play tomorrow.
Kai is Hawaii's leading scorer with 11 goals. Campbell is next with four and has a team-leading eight assists, one off the Wahine single-season mark.
Defense is a key this weekend. UH's four WAC victories have been shutouts. The only conference goals the Wahine have allowed came on two rebound shots at Utah State. Nevada has given up six goals in conference and posted two shutouts.
The Waipio field has been good for the Wahine. They have won nine consecutive WAC matches and 15 of the last 16 at the stadium.