After posting the program’s best record through nine games in Hawaii soccer history, the 2016 Rainbow Wahine get some well-earned rest.
UH (7-1-1) went 2-1 on its three-game Colorado road trip, capped off with a 2-1 win at Air Force on Tuesday. That concluded their nonconference schedule, as they don’t play again until Big West play starts at Cal Poly on Sept. 30 (not including the Sept. 25 alumnae game).
“Some people say hey, you don’t want to have that much time off,” UH coach Michele Nagamine said. “I intentionally decided to do that in the schedule because, for them to go back-to-back (against Idaho and Saint Mary’s) and then play three games on the road in five days, it’s one of those things where I think they’ve earned the rest and we’re going to get right back to the drawing board. We’re going to watch a lot of film and address the things that we’ve really struggled with and how we were exposed on the road.”
There might be things to tune up, but there wasn’t much that hurt UH substantially on the stat sheet once it digested a 3-1 loss at Colorado to open the trip.
Raisa Strom-Okimoto dished twice to Addie Steiner for assists against Air Force, raising her helpers count to five. That was tied for the Big West lead until UC Irvine’s Noel Baham notched her sixth in a 3-0 win over Idaho State on Thursday.
RSO-to-Steiner is fast becoming one of this team’s hallmarks. Of Steiner’s four goals on the season, three came from Strom-Okimoto.
Senior goalkeeper Monk Berger is on pace to challenge for the season solo shutouts record she set as a freshman (seven). She’s at four and nearly had the fifth at the AFA before giving up a 75th-minute goal.
UH can’t get afford to get overconfident, because the Big West looks as formidable as ever in soccer. There don’t look to be any gimme games and, like usual, only the top four make it to the conference tournament after an eight-game league schedule.
“(Over our break) we’re especially going to keep up with the other teams, how the other teams are doing,” Strom-Okimoto said. “We for sure have a lot of things we need to get together as a team and once we perfect that and are able to get that going, we should be ready for conference.”
Said Steiner, who now has 23 career goals including her time at Northwestern: “Recovery is definitely a big thing for us right now, because we played three games in five days. Right now we’re going to focus on getting healthy and just staying in shape and sharp on everything. Maybe work on shooting a little bit.”