RAINBOW WAHINE SOCCER
Mistakes cost UH in loss to Utah State
Take two avoidable defensive mistakes that are turned into two goals and what do you have?
A disheartening second Western Athletic Conference loss for the Hawaii Rainbow Wahine women's soccer team.
The Utah State Aggies (7-7-1, 2-0-1 WAC) took just two second-half shots and put both into the net for a 2-1 win over UH (8-7-2, 2-2) last night at the Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park Stadium.
"We just gave the goals away. They didn't have to work for them. That is what is so frustrating," Hawaii coach Pinsoom Tenzing said.
The Wahine like to move the ball from one side of the field to the other. They did this across the back line, but this can be dangerous if the defenders don't make crisp passes or don't respect the pressure opposing strikers can apply at times.
The Aggies broke a 0-0 tie at 65:42 by making use of that pressure.
Hawaii's Shawn Higa received a ball from the left flank about 20 yards out and turned to continue the ball's progression to the right. But Utah State's Charity Weston sprinted after the pass, intercepted the ball before Higa could make her pass and put a left-footed shot inside the post for a 1-0 Aggie lead.
"She (Weston) came from behind and I underestimated her," Higa said.
The Wahine, who were frustrated in the first half by not converting their scoring opportunities, drew even at 70:09 on a well-constructed goal.
Taryn Fukuroku pushed a ball up the left side to a wide-open Alexis Choi. She angled in toward the goal and chipped a cross with her left foot to the right side that Kelli-Anne Chang headed home from 4 yards out.
With the clock winding down, Utah State's Charlsie Harris sent a bouncing ball into the middle that UH defender Tehane Higa and Aggie midfielder Dana Peart chased.
"I didn't see the girl because she was behind me. I thought I heard Kori (Lu, Wahine goalkeeper) call 'keeper' and pulled back," Tehane Higa said.
"It happened so fast, I really didn't have a chance to say anything," Lu said.
Peart beat both UH players to the ball, headed it past Lu and stayed a half-step ahead of Higa as the ball rolled across the goal line at 88:18.
Both goalkeepers were tested in the opening minutes with one-on-one situations.
Utah State's Ali Griffin came well off her line to stuff a shot by Chang from just inside the 18-yard line 1:19 into the match.
Lu dove to her left to parry a shot away from just outside the box by the Aggies' Erin Salmon at 5:02.
Fukuroku received through balls from Chang at 16:58 and 22:05 forcing Griffin to charge off the line. She forced Fukuroku to shoot wide right by a foot on the first attempt. Fukuroku's second chance from 35 yards out hit the crossbar and bounced over the end line.
Fukuroku had a third opportunity off a pass from Tehane Higa at 31:51, but Griffin made a diving deflection and her defense cleared the ball.
"We have got to finish out chances. We had easy chances. We have to have a nose for the goal," said Tenzing.
Hawaii closes out its home schedule Sunday with a 5 p.m. match against San Jose State.