Star-Bulletin Sports

Thursday, October 14, 1999

W A H I N E _ S O C C E R

Flores filling net for Wahine


By Al Chase


Quick and easy applies to different things in soccer. Example: quick moves, easy passes or getting a teammate's attention now.

That's why Veronica Flores is known as V to her teammates.

Lately that V stands for victory. Flores has four goals in Hawaii's last four matches, all victories.

She leads the Wahine with seven goals, two short of the single-season record established by Tricia Nishikawa last season.

"This year I've started getting into a rhythm. I'm more relaxed and not worried about doing this or that," Flores said. "I'm in a zone right now. I know how to read the play. My shots are on."

She has exhibited a knack for putting the ball in the net for several years, especially since she decided to forgo basketball and concentrate on soccer at Mt. Vernon (Wash.) High School after her sophomore year.

Flores toured Europe on an Under-15 club team playing in the Delacaria Cup (Sweden) and the Dana Cup (Denmark). She scored 20 goals and was named MVP of the Dana Cup.

At Mt. Vernon, she tallied 144 career goals, eight short of the Washington state record.

She decided to accept UH's scholarship offer while on Christmas vacation with her family in Mexico.

"I'm the first kid from either side of my family to go to college so I really didn't know what to ask, but they had everything laid out for me here, which made it easier," Flores said. "Maybe another school would have given me more, but I'm fine with my decision."

Flores was one of five freshmen to arrive last fall. The experience was like being the lone freshman on Mt. Vernon's varsity team.

"You have to battle for your position and battle to gain the respect of the older players. You have to battle to show the coaches what you can do," she said.

"I wasn't alone, but the competition was so much higher. I felt lost sometimes. I had to learn some things all over again.

"Some things I knew, but I was a step late, just didn't read the ball or just didn't read the play. This year I'm more aware of things, just from the experience of last year.

"I anticipate better because I know my teammates better. Like when Megan (Lytle) gets the ball on the outside, I better get my butt on the far post because she's going to cross the ball."

Flores is second in shots taken (22), but has a team-high shooting percentage (.318).

"She has a tremendous nose for scoring goals," said UH head coach Pinsoom Tenzing. "She may be one of the most dangerous players in the (penalty) box."



vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricane

Bullet Coaches: Tulsa, Damon Gore, 1st season (7-6-0, .538). Hawaii, Pinsoom Tenzing, 6th season (37-57-6, .400).

Bullet Season: Tulsa (7-6-0 overall, 1-2 Western Athletic Conference). Hawaii, (7-5-1 overall, 1-1-0 WAC)

Bullet Series record: This is the first first meeting between the schools.

Bullet Top players: Tulsa, junior midfielder/defender Julie Davidson (No. 2), sophomore midfielder/striker Melissa McCormick (17) and freshman striker/midfielder Julie Twellman (14) all have scored 6 goals. Twellman has 5 assists. Freshman goalkeeper Amanda Wallace allows 2.64 goals per match ... Hawaii, sophomore striker Veronica Flores (9) has 7 goals and 2 assists. Sophomore striker Jennifer Starsiak (10) has 5 goals. Junior goalkeeper Demarre Sanchez allows 1 goal per match.

Bullet Interesting facts: The 17 saves by Sanchez in the Fresno State match is a WAC record, breaking by one the mark held by former Wahine goalkeeper Amanda Paterson vs. Brigham Young in 1996. UH midfielder Wendy Miyashiro needs one assist to set the school career record. She has 10 entering tomorrow's match. Tulsa is 2-4-0 on the road. Hawaii is 3-2-1 at home. The Golden Hurricane played their fifth overtime match of the season yesterday and defeated visiting Texas-El Paso, 3-2, for its first WAC win.

Bullet Match keys: Tulsa returns six starters but fields a young team with four freshmen and four sophomores in the starting lineup. Statistically, the Golden Hurricane plays better in the first half. Hawaii has stuck to the game plan for at least one half in each of the last three matches. If the Wahine can overcome their habit of starting slow, they have the talent to put together two solid halves.

Bullet Kickoff: Tomorrow, 4 p.m., UH Soccer Field.

Bullet Tickets: Free admission. $3 parking charge.

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