KEAAU – The UH-Hilo women’s soccer team has a solid reputation of not allowing a lot of goals. In its last seven games, just five scores were surrendered.
Concordia has given up 13 scores in its last six games, so the Vulcans seemed to be in good shape — that is until two late-game miscues.
Isabella Angotti-Jones scored twice, both on free kicks, to lift the Eagles over the Vulcans 2-1 in double overtime on Thursday night at Paiea Stadium.
Carlie Reader scored in the middle of the second half to give the Vuls a 1-0 lead. At the 25:01 mark, Reader was on the right wing, 30 yards out with room to dribble down the sideline. Maybe her Eagle defender thought so too. Reader reared back, got her power behind the ball and sent a rainbow over Concordia goalie Kaelyn Whitcomb.
Then nothing but heartbreak for the Vuls (6-2-2, 4-1-1), who saw their five-match winning streak end.
With 26 seconds left, Angotti-Jones took a free kick from 30 yards out and deposited a perfectly struck ball over UHH goalie Bailey Cahill to force the first 10-minute overtime period.
In the second OT, Angotti-Jones scored again, on another free kick. From 40 yards out, she got another one past Cahill for the game-winner.
The Eagles (4-5-1, 2-2) played carnival bumper-car defense, knocking the Vuls to the ground with not much impunity. The visitors didn’t draw any yellow or red cards in the 90 minutes of regulation.
The first half was a defensive battle with each team surrendering virtually nothing. Both teams finished the first 45 minutes with one shot each. In the second half, UHH outshot Concordia, 6-3.
It felt like a back-and-forth tennis match. The Vuls or Eagles would attack down the flanks, the defense would make a stop, and it would repeat over and over.
The Vuls were able to handcuff Concordia sophomore Carmany Jones, a 2017 PacWest first-team selection, who’s tied for second in the conference with five goals. She played 32 minutes in the first half and had her team’s only shot.
Halfway through the first half, the ball rolled right to Jones at the top of the box. She couldn’t make a clean turn and fired an off-balanced shot right to Cahill.
In the second half, Jones displayed her speed. The 5-foot-7 forward got behind the defense, but Cahill charged out and danger was averted.
Next to its defense, UHH’s secondary strength its ability to score off set pieces. But the Vuls couldn’t connect on the few chances they had, four corner kicks.
The Vuls are pretty good at getting in front of shooters. But with free kicks, they’re required to stand 10 yards away, and both of Agnotti-Jones’ shots couldn’t be defended.
Men, UHH 2, Concordia 1: For the Vuls, it was good to have Matt Wilkinson back, and he made a major difference with two goals. Last Saturday in a 1-0 road loss to Holy Names, Wilkinson was suspended for the game for an accumulation of yellow cards.
In the first half, the Vuls (3-7, 2-3) held Connor Brown, tied for first in the conference with 11 goals, scoreless despite facing a barrage of shots. The Eagles (4-2, 2-2) had more shots, 13-2, including four from Brown, a 2017 PacWest first-team pick, but the first half remained scoreless.
About 23 minutes into the second half, Julian Font scored to push the Eagles ahead 1-0.
Five minutes later, Wilkinson, UHH’s top goal scorer, added his sixth score off an assist from Tyler Waltjen.
Two minutes until the end of regulation, Wilkinson came through with his game-winner for his seventh goal on a free kick from 15 yards out.
Then UHH’s defense locked down the Eagles, who outshot the Vuls, 21-9. UHH goalie Nick Williams had five saves in the win.