Montana keeps Hawaii winless at home field
For whatever reason, things haven't come easy for the Rainbow Wahine soccer team at home.
Despite playing short-handed and coming up with many more scoring chances, Hawaii couldn't take advantage and wound up playing Montana to a scoreless tie last night in the first game of the Outrigger Hotels & Resorts Soccer Classic at Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium.
The Rainbow Wahine showed the effects of playing without forward Ambree Ako, the team's leading goal scorer, who missed her second straight game with a leg injury. They also lost defender Tehane Higa midway through the first half to a sprained left ankle.
"The combination of Ambree not being there and Tehane being out was huge," Tenzing said. "It was a heroic performance. It's hard. We had lots of freshmen out there."
Hawaii (2-3-2) has not won in three games at home this season, which is its longest drought since 2000, when it finished the season 5-12-3.
The defense was a concern early in the season, allowing 12 goals in its first four games. Last night was UH's second straight shutout, but the changes it's been forced to make has kept the team from being effective on offense.
"They're playing more conservatively, but that's not necessarily how we want to play," Tenzing said. "We do want to attack from the back, but we're doing less of that. We can shore up the defense, but then we don't have numbers up on offense and we don't have goals."
Neither team had a significant scoring opportunity in the first half, but the Rainbow Wahine slowly crept closer to scoring after halftime. Taryn Fukuroku put a header just over the goal early in the half, and minutes later, her pass through the middle to Kelli-Anne Chang was just a shade too hard or else it would have been a sure goal for Hawaii.
With the game still tied after the first overtime period, Hawaii had its chances in the final 10 minutes.
Kaylee Kihara dribbled up the field on a breakaway and found Chang, who ripped a shot that forced Grace Harris to come up with a diving save.
The Rainbow Wahine kept up the pressure, as junior Kristyn Shapka found Fukuroku in the box with a crossing pass. Fukuroku's diving header attempt between two defenders forced Harris to come up with another key save.