Overcast and rainy, the weather was Hilo-like in one sense, minus about 30 degrees.
Whatever the case, something never felt right for UH-Hilo’s women’s soccer team in its first NCAA Division II tournament appearance.
There was seemingly a Sonoma State player whenever the Vulcans tried to turn, and the Seawolves got off to a fast start and dominated, winning 5-1 in the first round in Seattle.
“It wasn’t our best day, obviously,” UHH coach Gene Okamura said. “Sonoma State is very good squad. I wish that we could have played better but it was still a great season. We will learn from this and come back stronger.”
Alyssa Silva scored in each half for fourth-seeded Sonoma (15-5), which held a 25-6 advantage in shots.
Adding insult to injury, UHH goalkeeper Viviana Poli was injured in first half and didn’t return.
The PacWest co-champion Vulcans saw their nine-match winning streak end. They avoided the shutout in the 79th minute when Alyssa Padron scored, putting home a rebound off of Jodie Lillie’s free kick.
Trailing 2-0 at halftime, the Vulcans had a pair of good scoring opportunities a little over 12 minutes in. First, Daelenn Tokunaga dropped a pass inside to Filippa Graneld, but her shot was blocked. Moments later, Padron had a header that just sailed over the crossbar.
Silva added big-time insurance with a score in the 64th minute, again by Silva to make it 3-0.
The Seawolves made it 4-0 seven minutes later on a score by Drew Swanson, her first of the season. In the 78th minute, Sonoma State went up 5-0 on Kaci Holliday’s ball off a free kick.
Okamura’s team’s 12-4 mark is the best winning percentage in school history.
Silva opened the scoring in the 16th minute, and Victoria Chavez made it 2-0 in the 27th minute on what was a bad giveaway goal for UHH’s defense which left Poli with little chance to make a save.