Daeleen Tokunaga’s “passion” propelled UH-Hilo’s women in the morning, then David Mayser “belief” boosted the men in the afternoon.
Whatever intangible a coach may choose, their playmaking prowess was on display Thursday. Each recorded two-goal matches for victorious Vulcans soccer teams against Chaminade at Saint Louis Field in Honolulu.
For the men, a fine starting point; for the women, a winning streak.
Coach Paul Regrutto hadn’t had much luck in overtimes during his first two full seasons, but he watched a golden goal go his way for once when Mayser penetrated the Silverswords’ defense, dribbled to the top of the box and fired a ball to the lower right of the goal.
“(David) always believes in himself, that’s part of what makes him a good player,” Regrutto said. “That was a difficult goal to score, he took it really well.”
Mayser, a sophomore who Regrutto had hailed as a potential difference-maker, also drew the sides even in the 50th minute on a penalty kick. Mayser earned the chance thanks to Luca Lippert.
“Luca put himself in a dangerous position and was fouled,” Regrutto said. “He did a great job drawing the foul for the PK.”
There were an ample amount of “great jobs” to go around as UHH finally played its season-opener after about a month of preseason camp.
Jamin Fonseca converted a penalty kick for Chaminade (1-1) in the eighth minute of the nonconference match, but UHH outshot the Silverswords 11-6 in the first half and 15-12 overall, putting eight shots on frame.
Senior goalkeeper Michael Harre collected three saves for UHH, which will play Hawaii Pacific on Saturday on Oahu.
“We’ve shown some resiliency in training this preseason,” Regrutto said. “I’ve asked for consistency and grit in training and the guys have responded.
“That is not enough though, you need the right type of people. They have to respond to being uncomfortable. These guys can respond.”
So can Gene Okamura’s women’s team.
Tokunaga put home her fourth and fifth goals of the season in a 3-0 victory that ran the Vulcans’ winning streak to three. Over that span, UHH (3-2) has outscored its foes 8-0.
“Daelenn is playing really well right now and is playing with the most passion that I’ve seen her play with,” Okamura said. “I think overall that the team is putting in a ton of work also.”
Piper Collado assisted on two goals in the 57th minute, first to Silje Vigeland and then to Tokunaga. In the first half, Christina Kanellou tapped a ball that Tokunaga powered under the crossbar from 25 feet out.
Each team took 10 shots, but the Vuls put six on frame. Chaminade (1-2) had just two shots on Viviana Poli. With about 12 minutes remaining in the match, Hilo High alum Saydee Bacdad relieved Poli and made her debut for UHH.
As well as the Vulcans are playing, they must wait almost two weeks until their next match, a PacWest opener against Azusa Pacific in Hilo.
“It would have been nice to not have this big of a break,”Okamura said, “but we have some players with some injuries that will have time to heal and we’ve put in a bunch of travel over the past 15 days.
“It’ll be nice to recover a bit and to re energize ourselves before we start our conference matches.”