[ WAHINE SOCCER ]
Hawaii looks to improve
The Hawaii Rainbow Wahine have won four of their last five soccer matches, but the team is still not where coach Pinsoom Tenzing wants it to be.
Two weeks removed from Western Athletic Conference play, the Wahine have not found the back of the net with any regularity at home, scoring just twice in four outings.
The lack of scoring puts added pressure on the defense and lets the momentum factor be decided by one goal.
"We haven't played a good match at home yet," Tenzing said. "That is a huge concern because we don't want to lose our fans.
"There hasn't been an intense effort and quality stuff at home. We had it on the road, but haven't done it at home.
"We beat UC Santa Barbara, USC and Loyola Marymount on the road. We come home and the players respect Duke, but then they are thinking, 'Who the hell is Long Beach State?'
"I think we are more confident, but I'm suspecting the players think the victories ought to be easier. We need the whole team to work hard and I hope we turn it around against Portland State."
The Wahine (4-2-1) play the Vikings (1-3-1) tomorrow at 5 p.m. at the Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park Stadium.
The Vikings, picked by the Big Sky Conference coaches to finish fourth in the conference, lost their first three matches, then won the UC Irvine Nike/Holiday Inn Invitational last week by tying UCI 0-0 and beating Cal State Fullerton 3-2.
Tenzing said the PSU win over Fullerton is scary because the Titans have a solid team led by a Natasha Kai-type striker the Hawaii coach tried to recruit.
The Vikings' Sophia Mundy, a sophomore midfielder/striker, was named tournament MVP. She and senior midfielder Karly Larsen were the Big Sky offensive and defensive players of the week, respectively.
Three of the Vikings' five goals came against Cal State Fullerton, and their defense has not allowed more than two goals in any match.
The Wahine injury picture had one positive this week. Senior midfielder Sasha Araya-Schraner was cleared to practice Wednesday after suffering a concussion against Loyola Marymount on Sept. 5.
Senior outside right midfielder Natalie Groenewoud, who has missed the last five matches with a sprained ankle, is probable. Tenzing is hesitant to play Groenewoud, preferring to make sure she is at 100 percent for WAC matches.
Kelly McClosky, a sophomore from Santa Cruz, Calif., has played well at right midfield, and Tenzing even used freshman striker Gabrielle Bohlman at the position against Long Beach State.
This is the final nonconference home match for the Wahine. They have three nonconference matches on the road next week, then begin conference play Oct. 1 by hosting Rice at Waipio.