Wahine look for redemption in Boise
The Hawaii women's soccer team has an opportunity to even the score with one of the two teams the Rainbow Wahine lost to in Western Athletic Conference regular-season play at the league's postseason tournament this week at Boise, Idaho.
No. 1-seeded Hawaii will play the winner of tomorrow's first-round match between No. 4 seed Utah State and No. 5 seed Fresno State in a semifinal match Friday.
Utah State edged the Wahine 2-1 on the road Oct. 16 and FSU beat Hawaii 1-0 on Sunday.
"I think we're better than both those teams and we want to avenge the defeat," Hawaii coach Pinsoom Tenzing said.
He isn't worried about his players being mentally ready.
"I think they will consider losing to those teams a motivation factor," he said.
At least one player agrees.
"The loss will give us more fire for next week in the tournament, Wahine sophomore midfielder Jessica Domingo said after Sunday's loss. "You never want to lose, but better now than in the tournament."
The first round has been a huge stumbling block for the Wahine the last three years. They were ousted by Rice in 2002 and 2003, and by Tulsa last year on penalty kicks.
The only time they reached the championship match was in 2001 when they lost to Southern Methodist 2-0.
The goal for all six teams is the same, win the tournament and receive the conference's automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.
With just three WAC teams having an overall winning record, no team has a chance to receive an NCAA at-large bid.
Tenzing and the Wahine will take in the USU-FSU match.
"It is definitely a plus for us to watch that match. It is at noon and we will be playing at noon. That should be the warmest part of the day," Tenzing said.
The temperatures in Boise have been in the 50s during the day and the 30s at night. The long-range forecast calls for cloudy conditions with a chance of rain showers through the weekend.
"We have not had problems with the weather this year and the altitude was not a problem in the past in Boise," Tenzing said.
Boise's Boas Soccer Complex has a grass field and a seating capacity of 750.
"It is a good field. It is just for soccer," he said. "We have to win this. We've been here once too often and not won.
"We have to come home with a victory."
At Boise, Idaho; All times Hawaii time
Match 1: No. 4 seed Utah State (7-8-4) vs. No. 5 seed Fresno State (7-9-2), 9 a.m.
Match 2: No. 3 seed Nevada (10-6-2) vs. No. 6 seed Boise State (10-7-2), 11:30 a.m.
Match 3: No. 1 seed Hawaii (9-8-2) vs. winner of match 1, 9 a.m.
Match 4: No 2. seed San Jose State (5-11-3) vs. winner of match 2, 11:30 a.m.
Match 5: Championship, Friday's winners, 8 a.m.