UH-Hilo’s Paul Regrutto can coach till he’s blue in the face, but nothing instills confidence in a team more than a victory.
Israel Kalili, Kalei Tolentino-Perry and Jorge Martinez staked the Vulcans men’s soccer team to a three-goal lead, and it held on for its first victory of the season, 3-2 against Chaminade in a nonconference match in Honolulu.
“It’s always good to win because it gives you belief,” said Regrutto, a second-year coach. “When you are building a program, belief is very important – it motivates you to keep working and to have faith that the work you are doing will pay off.
“The team showed glimpses of its potential.”
Trailing 3-0 in the second half after Jorge Martinez scored for UHH (1-4) in the 52 minute, the Silverswords (2-3) scored twice and then sent a flurry of shots at the Vulcan defense and keeper Michael Harre in the final moments—including five shots in the final seven minutes. The Vulcans won despite being outshot 17-6 and 8-4 on goal.
“The back line was solid, the midfield was energetic and organized and the attacking players were dangerous,” Regrutto said.
Martinez also drew an assist when he passed to Tolentino-Perry, who drilled a ball into the upper center of the goal to make it 2-0 just 14 seconds into the second half.
It was the Hilo High alum’s first goal since transferring from San Jose State.
Just before the half, Tommy Seaver slipped past the defense and Chaminade keeper Michael Stafford for a shot. His attempt deflected off a defender to Israel Kalili, who deposited the ball into the net for the freshman first goal.
After a day off, the Vuls play Hawaii Pacific on Sunday in their Pacfic West Conference opener.
“Now it’s up to us to keep working and build off of it,” Regrutto said. “I’m really happy for the guys, because they have worked hard to get this result.”
The Vulcans peppered Chaminade with shots in the second half but couldn’t find the back of the net, settling for a 0-0 draw in Honolulu.
UHH (1-3-2) put 10 shots on frame, and goalkeeper Bailey Cahill only needed to make two first-half saves in the shutout.
The Vuls nine different players record shots against the Silverswords (0-1-2) , led by Brenna Rill’s four – all on goal.
Kaelyn Uchida (88) and Keely Kitamura (89) were UH-Hilo’s top two scorers Friday after the first round of the Saint Martin’s Invitational in Olympia, Wash., where the Vulcans were the fourth of five teams at 76-over 368.