Just like practice.
Raisa Strom-Okimoto found herself in a rare situation for a player so usually marked as a top priority — she was alone in open space — in the 96th minute, about 25 yards out. After a deflected touch by Daelenn Tokunaga, the ball found its way to her feet, and she launched it to the far post where it curled in just past the Bowling Green goalkeeper for the 1-0 win on Sunday night at Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium.
“I just stayed under Daelenn, and then I just saw that open space and I took off for it,” the senior co-captain said. “It just kind of felt like practice, doing so many reps of that kind of shot, it’s just natural already.”
Strom-Okimoto’s 11th career goal was her fifth career game-winner. She had two instant OT winners last year, at home vs. Fairfield (2-1) and at Arizona State (1-0). In 2016, she did it to Idaho State (1-0).
“I just think just honing down into the moment, just giving it your all, all the time, and coming together as a team,” she said. “That break we had between overtime and regular play, we kind of had time to rally up, get together as a team. That was key for us, because we got each other back on the same page and so we were able to finish it.”
KHON2’s Rob DeMello had a great look as Strom-Okimoto bowled a strike on BGU.
Pau Hana 🤙🏽 @ricee_uh’s overtime goal to beat #BowlingGreen gives @UHWahineSoccer its first victory of 2018 https://t.co/ue9u0sbYg5 @HawaiiAthletics @MicheleBud @BigWestSports @NCAASoccer // https://t.co/SOdY37JnAf 🤙🏽 pic.twitter.com/Pqox9Szxcv
— Rob DeMello (@RobDeMelloKHON) August 20, 2018
Strom-Okimoto was named to the Outrigger Soccer Kickoff all-tournament team. No. 11 Texas A&M won the four-team event after its 4-0 win over UH on Friday, followed up by a 3-0 win over Loyola Marymount (0-1-1) on Sunday. Bowling Green dropped to 0-1-1.
Goalkeeper Lex Mata and Bowling Green’s Kathleen Duwve matched each other with some tough saves for most of the match. Duwve had 10 saves and Mata six. Mata had a few fast-twitch stops from close range.
“I mean, these are the kind of games I live for, honestly,” Mata said. “Shot-stopping is what I’m best at, so anytime I get an opportunity like this, I really try to take advantage of it.”
For the second game to open the season, UH coach Michele Nagamine liberally sprinkled minutes among her eight freshman field players. Some who came off the bench in the first half started the second. CJ Diede nearly curled one in during the 10-second countdown of the first half, but Duwve made an outstanding save.
“(This) builds so much confidence for them, because we have, at any given time, four, six, seven, eight freshmen on the field,” Nagamine said. “So, what I like about this team, is they’re genuinely all about what’s going to be best for the team.”
UH (1-1) now hosts Montana (0-2) on Wednesday in a 7 p.m. game televised on Spectrum Sports.