The UH-Hilo women’s soccer team closes its home schedule with PacWest playoff implications on the line on Saturday and Monday, hosting Hawaii Pacific and first-place Point Loma.
On Saturday, the Vulcans (7-2-2, 4-1-1 PacWest) play the Sharks (4-4-4, 2-1-2) at 3 p.m. at Paiea Stadium, and the first 50 fans will receive a free UHH resusable grocery sack.
On Monday, UHH plays the Lions (10-1-1, 5-0-1) at 7 p.m., and after the game 12 seniors (Bryana-Marie Ebbers, Jaimie Salas, Leighana Weaver, Callye Lahmann, Danika Steele, Lucy Maino, Clarissa Guerrero, Carlie Reader, Dior Motas, Meghan Langbehn Tiera Arakawa, ad Maleni Avalos will be honored.
The Vuls were 11th in the first NCAA West Regional ranking, which helps determine the 10-team postseason field. The PacWest, GNAC, and CCAA champion earn automatic berths. The other seven teams are determined by the poll.
UHH would unofficially jump to 10th place after its victory over Biola on Tuesday. In that game, Salas and Maino scored, and the defense pitched its fifth shutout behind junior goalie Bailey Cahill, who has a 0.59 goal against average, second in the PacWest.
In its 11 games, UHH has scored just 15 goals but given up just seven, including two late scores in a 2-1 overtime loss to Concordia last week. The Vuls led 1-0 with 25 seconds left but lost on two free kicks.
Maino starts at fullback but has been effective as a set-piece scorer. She has four goals and leads the team with nine points (two points for a goal and one for an assist).
Men: The Vuls (3-8, 2-4) host HPU (4-6, 2-3) at 12:30 p.m. Saturday and Point Loma (8-5, 4-2) at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Paiea Stadium to close their home schedule.
The first 50 fans on Saturday will receive a UHH reusable grocery sack. All UHH and Hawaii community college with valid ID card will receive free admission to any Vulcan athletic event.
On Tuesday, UHH seniors Andrew Dawrs, Trenton Hooper, Bradley Doyle, Jack Stonehouse, Christian Ohly, Xahil McDonald, Curtis Walker, and Nick Williams will be honored after the game.
Matt Wilkinson, a junior transfer, leads the Vuls with seven goals, good for seventh in the PacWest. The school record for goals is held by Dustin Daley wit 10 in 2007.
Step one was the easy part.
UHH has been getting rest while its fellow PacWest contenders put in work.
Step two, in theory, shouldn’t require the heavy lifting that came with the Vulcans’ last mainland voyage.
UHH (9-3 PacWest) starts at the bottom, with Hilo Names (2-11) and Academy (0-14), on a five-match Northern California road trip that appears manageable.
In contrast to a rousing swing through Southern California last month, none of these five teams ahead have winning records and four reside at the bottom of the conference stands.
Facing a six-day layoff after beating Concordia last Sunday, UHH coach Gene Krieger looked ahead, saying, “We’ll be working on less hitting errors and we’re going to watch Biola, Point Loma, and Azusa Pacific all play each other and somebody is going to get beat up.”
Azusa Pacific (12-2), in fact was, tagged by Point Loma (11-3) on Tuesday, dropping the Cougars into a first-place tie with Biola and leaving the Vuls just two games out of first and one in the loss column. Chaminade (9-4) is just a half-game behind in fifth.
Biola and Azusa Pacific play Tuesday – and all the while the Vuls hope to be making up ground. UHH still has matches left with every conference contender save for Biola, which it split with.
First, the Vuls deal with a struggling bunch. UHH looks to complete season sweeps of Holy Names (Saturday) and Academy of Art (Sunday), it faces Fresno Pacific (4-8) for the first time this season Tuesday, and then it will look to sweep Dominican (4-9) and Notre Dame de Namur (6-7) to close the trip.