Injury-plagued Wahine
face tough challenge

By Al Chase

The Hawaii soccer team has not played a team ranked as high at No. 5 UCLA since Maryland came to town with the same ranking in 1996.

This weekend's Outrigger Hotels & Resorts Soccer Classic also includes the undefeated San Francisco Dons, members of the West Coast Conference that sent five teams to the NCAA tournament last year.

To say the tournament is a challenge for the Wahine is an understatement.

They are coming off a disappointing road trip, and 15 of Hawaii coach Pinsoom Tenzing's 27 players are on the injury list.

"It's a nightmare," said Tenzing. "People ask why there are so many injuries and I don't know. They ask if I'm working them too hard, but I have to do what's necessary to prepare them for the Division I level."

Midfielder Erin Quattromani (strained left hamstring) and defender Seline Williams (aggravated left calf muscle) are doubtful this weekend. Midfielder Sasha Araya-Schraner suffered a strained gluteal muscle and is questionable. Striker Arlene Devitt, who sprained her left ankle in the exhibition against Douglas College, has tried to play through the injury.

"She needs rest to get better and she wants to play. I probably won't decide until Saturday," said Tenzing. "With all these injuries, we have to focus on being ready for the WAC."

Eleven other Wahine players have "limited practice" next to their names.

Hawaii plays USF -- a team that possesses the ball well -- Saturday at 7 p.m., then takes on the Bruins on Sunday at 5 p.m. in a match being televised on KFVE.

UCLA and USF open the tournament tomorrow night at 7.

The Bruins started their season by pounding San Diego 6-0. In the UCLA Women's Cup last weekend, the Bruins, No. 2 at the time, had to rally to edge then No. 5 Virginia 4-3 in overtime. But UCLA lost to then-No. 12 Penn State 1-0 in overtime Sunday.

The San Francisco Dons (2-0-1) tied UC Santa Barbara 2-2 to start the season, then defeated Sacramento State 3-2 and San Jose State 2-1, with both game-winning goals coming on penalty kicks by Stacey Caro.

UH Athletics

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