It’s a safe bet the Hawaii soccer team won’t take home some weekly hardware Monday, a first in three weeks.
That’s through no fault of the Rainbow Wahine; they were completely off from game action for the past week after winning their last three nonconference road games.
UH (5-4) opens BWC play at UC Davis (1-9) on Thursday. The Wahine spent the week resting up and tuning up for the Aggies and a follow-up game at always-tough Long Beach State (6-3-1).
“We’ve got about a dozen different topics on the whiteboard in my office,” UH coach Michele Nagamine said this week. “That’s not to say we haven’t made tremendous progress. I think this road trip has built a lot of confidence in the kids.”
The way the Wahine were playing — winning at Idaho State (2-0), Arizona State (1-0, OT) and Grand Canyon (2-1) — it was a fair question to ask whether they’d prefer to keep right on playing this weekend.
Junior goalkeeper Lex Mata is the two-time Big West defensive player of the week after some recent commanding efforts in goal and senior forward Sonest Furtado won BWC offensive honors coming off a two-goal performance at GCU, giving her four on the season and 11 career.
Well, after five straight on the road over two separate trips, the answer was a unanimous no.
“I think the time off is really good,” Furtado said. “I mean, we proved ourselves, and now it’s just recovery mode and having great practices from now on. Keeping up our fitness and just going back to fine-tune (things).”
Said Mata: “Of course rest is always good, so I think the bye week is good for us. “But also if we had to play this week, I’d be ready, I’d be excited to go.”
“Our setup of all our games match up really perfectly,” midfielder Sarah Lau said. “So we have this week just to practice and focus on the little things before getting into conference. I mean, it’s not much time but it matches up perfectly.”
Here’s how UH’s nonconference season stacked up with the rest of the conference:
Cal State Fullerton — 7-2-2
Long Beach State — 6-3-1
Cal Poly — 5-5-1
UC Irvine — 5-3-3
Hawaii — 5-4
Cal State Northridge — 4-3-4
UC Santa Barbara — 4-4-3
UC Riverside — 3-7-2
UC Davis — 1-9