Spartans take advantage of Wahine's misses


POSTED: Saturday, October 03, 2009

A disturbing trend that has plagued the Hawaii women's soccer team continued to frustrate the Rainbow Wahine.

On paper, Hawaii dominated San Jose State in nearly every major statistical category last night. But the one that counts the most, the one seen on the scoreboard, went in favor of the Spartans, who defeated the Wahine 1-0 in the Western Athletic Conference opener for both teams at Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium.

The Spartans (6-4, 1-0) extended their school-record winning streak to six games, while Hawaii (4-7-1, 0-1) saw its three-game win streak fade into the Waipio night.

“;They're doing the right things, they're just missing it,”; Hawaii coach Pinsoom Tenzing said. “;They're taking the right shots. It's not a mental thing; they just have to finish.”;

Hawaii controlled the ball in opposing territory for the majority of the game and outshot the Spartans 18 to four. Senior Britta Bourne more than doubled SJSU's entire shot total with nine of her own and had more shots on goal (four) than the Spartans (three).

“;That's part of the game,”; Bourne said. “;You get frustrated, but you've got to stay positive and think about the next opportunity and make sure that one goes in.”;

UH came out firing immediately, putting Spartans goalkeeper Nina Butera on the defensive. Bourne and Ako missed wide-open shots on goal within the first 10 minutes, but continued to fire away as the Spartans struggled just getting the ball past midfield.

Whether it was a header off a corner kick that just went over the goal or two more open looks that just went wide of the post, the Rainbow Wahine just couldn't take advantage of the holes they exploited in SJSU's defense.

The exact opposite held true for the visitors, who refused to cave in to UH's onslaught. Instead, the Spartans took advantage of their only shot in the first half.

Sophomore Angela Santoro popped a ball into the box that bounced onto the head of Shanelle Furner, who put just enough on her shot to get it past Hawaii goalkeeper Kanani Taaca in the 29th minute.

Arguably the most frustrating of Hawaii's endless empty chances came midway through the second half. A routine cross that the Spartans seemingly had under control went awry when Butera slipped and lost control of the ball. With the goalie on the ground, the ball bounced to Ambree Ako, but she couldn't get a shot on a net uncovered by the Spartans.

Ako had one last chance in the final 3 minutes. A long ball from the UH defense got past San Jose State and directly in between Ako and Butera. But Butera beat Ako by a step and cleared it just in time, thwarting the last of countless opportunities for a UH goal.

Butera finished with seven saves.

“;We definitely can't let it become a mental thing,”; Bourne said. “;We know we're capable. Maybe we just need to concentrate a little harder.”;

Hawaii will get back at it tomorrow when it hosts Fresno State (2-8, 0-0) at 5 p.m.