Huskies will take fluke against Wahine
The Washington Huskies won their first match in more than a year on a fluke goal in the 68th minute to edge Hawaii 1-0 last night in the Ohana Hotels and Resorts No Ka Oi tournament.
The Huskies are coming off an 0-17-3 season that saw them lose 12 matches by one goal.
"I could care less about how the game looked or how we scored the goal. A win was paramount for us tonight," said UW coach Lesle Gallimore.
The Huskies broke the scoreless battle at 68:33. Melissa Biel intercepted a clearing flick by Shawn Higa and dribbled left to right toward the middle. Biel sent an average shot toward Wahine goalkeeper Kori Lu on the ground.
Much to the dismay of most of the 810 fans at the Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park Stadium, the ball went right through Lu's hands and legs and rolled across the goal line.
"Those things happen. Kori did not have much to do tonight, and lost focus," said UH coach Pinsoom Tenzing.
The teams jockeyed back and forth for the first 10 minutes without testing either goalkeeper.
As the 12-minute mark approached, Taryn Fukuroku took a through pass from Koren Takeyama on the left wing, angled toward the goal inside the penalty box, but watched her shot hit the outside of the net.
Fukuroku then put a left-footed, 22-yarder on goal from the right side at 20:25 that forced UW's Kelsey Rasmussen to make the first save of the match.
Rasmussen had to come out and make a one-on-one save against Fukuroku at 29:06. Fukuroku broke for a through ball from Vanessa Bailey, who had just entered the match.
In the 40th minute, Fukuroku flicked a neat ball to Bailey just outside the circle atop the penalty box, but the freshman from Northfield, Mich., launched a shot that sailed over the crossbar.
The Huskies took the only corner kick of the half from the left side at 42:56. Katie Hall's kick went to the far post. The ball pingponged among several players back across the goal mouth before Lu stopped a point-blank shot by Katy Dowling near the left post.
Gallimore made one tactical move at the half.
"I didn't think we were getting outside enough in the first half and you can't do that against a skillful team like Hawaii. And I don't think they are small," Gallimore said.
The Wahine had two quick scoring chances early in the second half.
Five minutes into the period, Rasmussen made a tremendous save with her left foot as she dove to the right to deny Ambree Ako a goal on a breakaway run. The deflection went high in the air, but Rasmussen recovered in time to grab Fukuroku's head shot.
Washington countered, with Dowling receiving a perfect centering pass from Shannon Dillon on the left side at 58:10. But Dillon shanked her one-touch shot over the bar.
"We played the way we wanted to and I was happy with the way we played," Tenzing said. "The confidence of the young kids was good, maybe a little nervous in front of the goal. Many of them had not played a Division I match before."
The tournament continues today when the Huskies play Oklahoma at 7 p.m. UH and Oklahoma play the final match Monday at 5 p.m.