Rainbow Wahine Soccer down CSUN in overtime
Senior midfielders Sarah Lau and Raisa Strom-Okimoto came up big as the University of Hawai'i soccer team picked up its first Big West Conference win of the season with a 2-1 victory in overtime on Sunday night at CSUN.
Sunday, September 30th 2018, 7:39 PM HST by
Strom-Okimoto played the role of hero earlier in the season on multiple occasions, but it was Lau who wore the honor on this night. After a cross from freshman forward Daelenn Tokunaga from 15-feet outside the box, Lau pulled in the pass, deep on the left side. Lau then took her shot but was deflected by the CSUN goalkeeper, but a determined Lau collected the rebound to hammer in the game-winner from close range.
I can't even begin to say how huge it was for Sarah (Lau) to step up and lead us as she did," said head coach Michele Nagamine. "Her play was so inspiring, she battled for every ball she tried so hard to make things happen from start to finish. She gave us an aerial and defensive presence we desperately needed and helped us set the pace."
The Rainbow Wahine (6-4-1) have now won three of their last four matches and snapped a three-match losing streak to CSUN. The last win against CSUN came in 2013 at home, but the last win on the road versus the Matadors came back in 2003.
The Matadors (4-5-1) are on the flip side of UH, dropping three of their last four matches and have started off their conference season at 0-2. The last time CSUN started off their conference schedule dropping its first two matches was in 2008.
Much like Friday night at UC Irvine with a late goal in double overtime, CSUN capitalized late in regulations to force overtime. A quick throw-in bounced around in the box with under 10 seconds left, resulting in a header by Lindsay Kutcher, tying the match up at 1-1 as time expired, resulting in the extra period.
UH controlled throughout the late afternoon into the early evening, outshooting the host 14-9, including a 7-3 advantage in the first half when the Rainbow Wahine struck first.
The goal came early as redshirt junior Kiri Dale took a short corner kick from Strom-Okimoto. Dale delivered a pass back to Strom-Okimoto, resulting in the 'Aiea, O'ahu native firing from the left side of the box, netting her team-leading sixth goal of the season, putting UH up with just three minutes into the match.
The defense played a significant role once again for the 'Bows playing an aggressive physical style limiting CSUN to just two shots on goal the entire match.
"This is a massive boost of confidence," said Nagamine. "It's what we've been talking about all season long; sticking together and playing complete games. After the heartbreaking loss the other night, it does show a lot of character and grit for this team to come back the way that we did tonight. We were in it from the very beginning and played one of our most complete games of the year."
The Rainbow Wahine return home for a two-match homestead, beginning on Thursday with Long Beach State, followed by UC Davis next Sunday. The match against LBSU will be broadcast live on Spectrum Sports with the start of the match slated for just after 7 p.m. HT.