Wahinestorm back for tie
No second-half lead is safe against the Hawaii women's soccer team.
Ambree Ako scored her fourth goal of the season with 15 minutes left in regulation to help Hawaii tie Pacific 2-2 last night in the first game of the Outrigger Hotels & Resorts Soccer Classic at Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium.
It's just the ninth time in 84 games that Hawaii (2-0-1) has come back to earn at least a tie in a game the Rainbow Wahine trailed at halftime but the second time this season they have accomplished the feat.
They were behind in the second half of their previous game against Auburn, but came back to win in overtime.
"I'm more delighted with today's performance than the previous two," Hawaii coach Pinsoom Tenzing said. "We're playing soccer now."
Ako's goal was the second score in a crazy 10-second span late in the second half that had a crowd of 1,650 going wild.
Pacific's Mandi Van Dorn broke a 1-1 tie with a goal on a breakaway as she raced free behind the Hawaii defense.
Off the ensuing kickoff, Ako beat the defense to a ball passed up the middle by Kelli-Anne Chang and scooted a shot just past Pacific goalie Jaime Souza to tie the game right back up.
"We could have quit after they scored that goal, but didn't," Tenzing said. "That was a tremendous display of courage."
It was a physical contest from the outset. Pacific committed 21 fouls to Hawaii's 11.
The Rainbow Wahine lost freshman Mari Punzal early in the overtime period after she appeared to be kicked in the head. She left the game and did not return.
Hawaii tied the game in the 58th minute off of a free kick. Jessica Domingo, who has been taking shots on goal on free kicks from just outside the box, instead threaded a pass through the defense. Junior Taryn Fukuroku barely beat the defender to the ball and kicked it into the goal to tie the score at 1.
Pacific took an early 1-0 lead in the 20th minute on a goal by Bunny Dickson. Van Dorn took advantage of a hole in the Hawaii defense and found Dickson all alone in the middle, where she easily punched the ball into the net.
Hawaii had its opportunities to score in the first half. Ako and Chelsea Deptula each had shots bounce off the crossbar. Ako also had a ball go wide on a shot with the goalie out of position.
Hawaii faces Tennessee-Martin tomorrow in the tournament final. The game will be broadcast live on KFVE at 5 p.m.