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FINAL — UC Irvine 3, Hawaii 2. Hawaii has a few chances in desperation mode in the final few minutes but cannot convert. The Eaters turtle the ball in the corner and run out the clock. Sixth straight BWC defeat for UH going back to 2016.
80th minute — Tia Furuta nearly puts in a rebound goal with a header but the ball shoots wide. At the other end, Lex Mata with a nice save in the open field to keep the Wahine with a goal. Shot count piling up in UCI’s favor at 24-11.
72nd minute — UC Irvine 3, Hawaii 2. Kiana Palacios scores in the box on a one-timer from Noel Baham. Wahine’s embattled back line is getting pummeled right now.
64th minute — There it is. Lei Medeiros gets tagged with a yellow for a pretty benign foul after some way more egregious stuff happened just a few minutes ago. Go figure.
60th minute — It’s getting very chippy out there. Raisa Strom-Okimoto and some ‘Eaters are colliding into each other repeatedly. So far no cards issued.
55th minute — Anteaters are just teeing off around the UH goal area in the first 10 minutes of the second half. UH fortunate to be unscathed in the period so far.
HALF — UC Irvine 2, Hawaii 2. Anteaters lead 13-8 in shots, but UH was better in shots on frame at 6-3.
38th minute — UC Irvine 2, Hawaii 2. The action-packed first half continues as the Anteaters’ Claire Grouwinkel takes it away from Sammi Walker and passes ahead to Noel Baham, who weaves through the remainder of the UH D and slots it past Alexis Mata to square the match.
33rd minute — The capable UH soccer SID Nick Heidelberger confirms it’s the first time all season UH has converted multiple goals before halftime. In fact, it’s the first time UH scored a single goal in a first half since the season opener.
24th minute — Hawaii 2, UC Irvine 1. UH continues to rally in impressive fashion. A jaunt upfield by Furtado to the corner helps set up Lei Medeiros in the box. Medeiros’ right-footed shot from close range is all net from a tough angle, far post across the body of UCI’s Newsom. First career score for Lei.
23rd minute — Sonest Furtado with a great look on a blast upfield from Crawford. Furtado dives to the center and beats the last defender but her left-footed shot from 20 yards is saved nicely by Newsom.
17th minute — UC Irvine 1, Hawaii 1. Strong answer from the Wahine on a set piece. Raisa Strom-Okimoto takes the corner and taps it back to Keala Parker-Lee, who lobs it up far post and Dani Crawford is there with the header to equalize just a minute after UH got scored on.
16th minute — UC Irvine 1, Hawaii 0. Irvine’s Lili Andino takes a free kick from just outside the box and loops it over the UH wall and to the left post, where it caroms off the post, off Alexis Mata and in, pinball style.
12th minute — Raisa Strom-Okimoto cranks a strong one, saved in diving fashion by UCI keeper Maddie Newsom.
4th minute — Wahine with a couple of early through balls, decent tests of the Irvine D.
Sarah Lau is not in the starting lineup for the first time this season. Lillie French (M) and Lei Medeiros (F) are making their third starts of the season.
If the Hawaii soccer team is to factor into the Big West tournament race, it will have to do it by getting its feet wet today at Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium.
Conditions were totally overcast and drizzling leading up to the Rainbow Wahine’s critical 5 p.m. matchup against UC Irvine (7-3-4, 2-0-1), with no signs of letting up by game time.
It is one of three BWC home games being televised by Spectrum Sports.
UH (5-6, 0-2) has dropped five straight BWC matchups going back to last season, but only one of those came at home, where they’ve been largely competitive. They’ll need to get a result (win or draw) in all four home games coming up in the next two weeks, including today, if they are to finish in the top four in the BWC for the first time.
Not including the alumnae exhibition, the Wahine haven’t played at home since Aug. 28, a span of eight games.
The back line will have to hold it together if UH is to have a chance tonight. The Wahine are starting two freshmen and two sophomores there, because of injuries to Paige Okazaki and Bo Samson.
UCI is unbeaten in its last four games, and is coming off a 2OT scoreless draw against Long Beach State. UH has been shut out in its last two games, road losses at UC Davis (1-0) and LBSU (2-0).