Star-Bulletin Sports

Thursday, October 21, 1999

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

UH has postseason
in sight

Wahine Playbook

By Al Chase


The Hawaii Wahine soccer team is tantalizing close to realizing one of the program's most coveted goals -- qualifying for the Western Athletic Conference tournament.

The top four teams in the seven-team conference advance to the postseason tournament in Dallas next month.

Hawaii head coach Pinsoom Tenzing has gone a step further, telling the Wahine they are shooting for the regular-season title.

"That's how we're approaching it. We have a legitimate chance to beat both teams, but we're looking at them one game at a time," Tenzing said.

UH is 3-1 in the conference and concludes regular-season league competition with road matches at Southern Methodist tomorrow and Texas Christian Sunday.

To assure themselves of a playoff berth, the Wahine need either a win (worth two points) or tie (worth one point).

Hawaii stands alone in second place with six points.

SMU (3-2) is third with six points and TCU (2-3) is fourth with four points. San Jose State (1-2-1), a 1-0 upset winner over SMU last Sunday, is fifth with three points.

Tulsa and Texas-El Paso are out of the playoff picture, but could be spoilers as they host both FSU and SJSU this weekend.

Hawaii would qualify for the playoffs regardless of its results if San Jose State ties or loses.

The Wahine have won three consecutive WAC matches. Those three wins are more than Hawaii managed in its first three seasons in the conference.

If UH beats SMU and TCU and Fresno State loses or ties, the Wahine finish atop the standings.

"We've got a good team, but we don't see the kind of competition we need to see in practice," Tenzing said.

"All NCAA Division I teams have five or six outstanding players. How we deal with those five or six is a key indication of how we'll do in a particular game."

The UH coaches arrived in Texas yesterday in time to watch SMU edge TCU, 1-0, and identify the key players for this weekend's opponents.

Then, it's up to the Wahine players to know where the top foes are on the field at all times.

"From all indications, TCU is playing well and SMU is a class team. We have our work cut out for us," Tenzing said.

The Lady Mustangs defeated Hawaii's most recent opponents at home, 3-1 over Tulsa and 2-0 over UTEP.

Note: UH is applying for a hardship redshirt year for injured midfielder Michelle Edwards.

WAC Women's Soccer

	Conference	Overall
 	W	L	T	W	L	T
Fresno State.	3	0	1	12	3	1
Hawaii	3	1	0	9	5	1
So. Methodist	3	2	0	11	5	0
Texas Christian	2	3	0	9	8	0
San Jose State	1	2	1	10	6	1
Texas-El Paso	1	3	0	7	7	1
Tulsa	1	3	0	7	7	0
Yesterday's result

Southern Methodist 1, Texas Christian 0

Tomorrow's matches

Hawaii at Southern Methodist
San Jose State at Tulsa
Fresno State at Texas-El Paso

Sunday's matches

Hawaii at Texas Christian
San Jose State at Texas-El Paso
Fresno State at Tulsa

Monday's match

Hawaii at Texas Wesleyan

Wahine Playbook

vs. Southern Methodist Lady Mustangs

Bullet Coaches: Southern Methodist, George Van Linder, 4th season (45-32-3, .581). Hawaii, Pinsoom Tenzing, 6th season (39-57-6, .412).

Bullet Season: SMU (11-5-0 overall, 3-2-0 Western Athletic Conference). UH, (9-5-1, 3-1-0)

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

Bullet Top players: SMU, sophomore Tara Comfort (7 goals, 4 assists), sophomore Sarah Harvey (6 goals, 5 assists), senior Laura Snyder (7 goals, 3 assists) and junior goalkeeper Becca Lief (1.06 goals allowed per match, 7 shutouts in '99). Hawaii, outside midfielders Megan Lytle and Malia Beter, who must use their speed and skill to force the Lady Mustangs into defending the width of the field, not just the middle.

Bullet Interesting facts: Only four UH players have scored two goals in a match in the history of the program and all are still active. Junior Dawn Dasher was the first, doing it against St. Mary's in 1998. This season, sophomores Jennifer Starsiak, Veronica Flores and Kelly Keohen have two-goal matches. Southern Methodist is ranked No. 23 in the National Soccer Coaches Association poll, No. 24 by Soccer Buzz. The Mustangs are 19-3-1 in WAC matches since joining the conference. SMU returns nine starters. The Lady Mustangs have outshot opponents, 232-178, with better than 50 percent being on goal.

Bullet Match keys: In the victory over UTEP, the Wahine had considerable success winning balls in the air, probably their best effort of the season. SMU may be the tallest team the Wahine face this season. If they have difficulty winning head balls, they better stick to the game plan which features short, accurate passes into open space, especially the flanks. It will be important for the Wahine to neutralize SMU's top players and to do it early as a confidence booster. This would help the UH players overcome their habit of starting a match nervous.

Bullet Kickoff: Tomorrow, 2:30 p.m., p.m., SMU's Wescott Field.

Bullet On the air: None.

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