Chang scores a win for Wahine
There's nothing like a little home cooking to get the Rainbow Wahine soccer team back on track.
Fresh off two losses in their first road games of the season, Hawaii returned home and defeated Weber State 1-0 last night at Rainbow Wahine Soccer Stadium.
Kelli-Anne Chang scored her first goal of the season late in the first half. It turned out to be the game's only score despite 21 shots by Hawaii.
"They just couldn't get behind our defense today," Hawaii coach Pinsoom Tenzing said. "They've got all the attributes of a good team."
The Rainbow Wahine (6-2-1) remained undefeated at home in seven games and handed the Wildcats (3-5-1) their fourth loss in their last six matches.
Hawaii played without junior defender Tehane Higa, who got hurt on the road trip against Cal State Northridge.
"It was good to get back home," Hawaii goalkeeper Kori Lu said. "I think we gained a lot of our confidence back because 1-0 wins are always the hardest. It's intense until the end."
Lu earned her second shutout of the season and 10th of her career, tying Demarre Sanchez for the most solo shutouts in school history.
"I never realized that," Lu said. "I'm not really going for records. I'm just trying to help the team win."
Chang's goal came in the 37th minute when she crossed over a Wildcats defender and rocketed a shot past Weber State goalkeeper Deysha Victorine.
Chelsea Deptula set her up on the play with her team-leading sixth assist of the season.
Hawaii dominated the first half, outshooting the Wildcats 10-2. Chang and Alexis Choi had three attempts each as the Rainbow Wahine kept Victorine busy in goal.
"We played a good first half, and on the strength of that I think our team deserved to win," Tenzing said.
Leading scorer Taryn Fukuroku just missed adding to her total, as Victorine made a diving stop on an open shot in the box. Hawaii continued the onslaught in the second half with 11 more shots, but couldn't put another ball into the net.
"As long as we create those chances I am happy," Tenzing said. "Our strikers really played well together."
Weber State forward Whitney Smith nearly tied the game in the final 20 minutes. On a quick counterattack, she got behind the Hawaii defense and had a one-on-one chance against Lu, but her shot went over the crossbar.
With 5 minutes remaining, the Wildcats drew a foul just outside the penalty box, but again drilled the free kick way over the goal.
"At times tactically we were not sound, especially in the second half," Tenzing said. "We need to do a much better job of that on Sunday."
Hawaii returns to action tomorrow when it hosts Hawaii Pacific at 5 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on KFVE.
After that, Hawaii hits the road for two more nonconference games before opening Western Athletic Conference play Oct. 12 at home against Nevada.