RAINBOW WAHINE SOCCER
Hawaii keeps Louisiana Tech winless in WAC play
The Hawaii Rainbow Wahine got an unassisted score from Kelli-Anne Chang last night to edge Louisiana Tech 1-0 at the Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park Stadium.
The teams had scoring opportunities in the opening half, but the score was 0-0 at the break. UH coach Pinsoom Tenzing called it a wrestling match, an even wrestling match.
"I thought we would get them in the second half because we are a very fit team," Tenzing said.
Hawaii (8-6-2 overall, 2-1 WAC) controlled play to start the second half and Emily Chun had two chances. The freshman from Portland, Ore., shot high off a feed from Fukuroku at 48:39. Kristen Oshiro beat her defender in the right corner and back-passed from the end line to Chun, but goalkeeper Tara Gavlak punched her 12-yard attempt over the crossbar at 49:22.
The pressure paid off with a tremendous individual effort by Chang.
Taking a ball out on the right wing, the 5-foot sophomore midfielder weaved her way in and around four LaTech defenders moving across the top of the box before lofting a left-footer over Gavlak at 59:01.
The play began on a throw in from Lehua Wood to Taryn Fukuroku, who headed the ball forward to Chang.
"I didn't think I would get through. I didn't plan on going all the way across the box," Chang said. "The ball got away from me a little bit and I couldn't set myself up for a shot."
Chang was aware that Gavlak was tracking her movement, so she knew her best chance was a chip shot. She executed it well, as the ball curled up and over Gavlak's hands and under the crossbar
Louisiana Tech (4-6-2, 0-2), in its second year of conference play, is still looking for its first league win. The Lady Techsters have lost nine consecutive WAC matches -- eight by shutout.
Early on, Chang took a pass from Ambree Ako but pushed her shot wide right at 5:27.
On a set play off a free kick, LaTech's Sarah Chovanec received a pass inside the box on the left at 14:37, but sent her shot across the goal mouth to the opposite side, where the ball was cleared.
Ako left the match limping at the 16:48 mark after being down on the field for several minutes. When play resumed, the Wahine created two super scoring chances.
Chun, who replaced Ako, slid a pass from the middle out to Oshiro on the right at 17:36. Gavlak made a twisting, diving save, pushing Oshiro's shot over the end line.
At 18:50, Fukuroku caught up to a bouncing ball and tried to head it over Gavlak, who had moved well off the goal line, but Gavlak grabbed the chest-high attempt.
Both teams were doing a good job of pressuring the ball and the back-and-forth action stayed pretty much between the 18-yard lines until late in the half.
Oshiro broke free on the right side with a long ball from the back line and was tackled from behind in the penalty box, but all UH got was a corner kick.
The Lady Techsters had a direct free kick from 21 yards out 4 minutes before the half, but Savanna Russo's low, hard shot went right to UH goalkeeper Kori Lu.
The shutout was the fifth of the season for Lu. The Wahine continue the homestand with a 5 p.m. match tomorrow against Utah State (6-7-1, 1-0-1).
Note: Goals were scarce in the four Western Athletic Conference women's soccer matches played yesterday. Besides UH's goal, Fresno State scored the only other two goals, blanking Idaho.