Rainbow Wahine turn it around on Vandals
MOSCOW, Idaho » The Hawaii Rainbow Wahine soccer team took the first 45 minutes to find its game yesterday and adjust to the heavy turf at Idaho's Wicks Field.
With the necessary adjustments in place following a halftime "talk" from UH coach Pinsoom Tenzing, the Wahine (7-5-2 overall, 1-0 WAC) found their goal-scoring touch to defeat the Vandals 4-0 in the Western Athletic Conference opener for both teams.
"I was appalled with the way we played in the first half. We played nervous, the passing was bad and we made bad decisions," Tenzing said. "We didn't stick to the tactical plan, but that was corrected in the second half."
It didn't hurt the Wahine's cause either when the Vandals' Marie Madeira was red-carded (ejected) at 50:26 for pulling UH's Ambree Ako, who was on a breakaway, down from behind.
Hawaii broke the 0-0 deadlock when Kelli-Anne Chang scored at 63:26 on a shot from inside the 6-yard box off Emily Chun's cross from the right side. It was Chang's fifth goal this year.
"Playing against a man down is not such a big advantage if you don't play smart. We started doing that and we had success," Tenzing said.
Five minutes later, Wahine goalkeeper Kori Lu punted a ball past midfield that glanced off an Idaho defender's head to Taryn Fukuroku. She slipped a through ball to Ako, who beat Vandals goalie Anna Sandman with a right-foot shot to the left side at 68:08 for her third goal of 2006.
Fukuroku finished the scoring with her seventh and eighth goals of the season.
The sophomore striker was in place for a point-blank shot at 79:11 that was set up when Jessica Domingo worked the ball close to the end line on the right before sending it into the middle.
Two minutes later, freshman defender Julia Siljestrom took an indirect free kick near the right side line. Fukuroku got just enough of her head on the ball to redirect it into the goal at 81:10.
"I was happy with the second half, especially with the play of our younger players," Tenzing said.
The Wahine victory ended a three-game losing streak and left the Vandals with a 0-13 record.
The four goals is the most Wahine have scored since they defeated the Vandals 4-0 at the Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park Stadium last year.
Hawaii concludes the road trip with a WAC match at Boise State tomorrow.