The Hawaii soccer team successfully went five time zones over to blank another opponent.
UH (2-2-1) made North Dakota State its third straight shutout victim and got the game-winner on a first-half header from forward Kelci Sumida in a 1-0 decision in Fargo on Friday night.
Michele Nagamine was in a chipper mood during a postgame phone interview in the crisp, dry air of Fargo. It was the first time since the 2016 Big West season that UH blanked three straight foes.
“Our defense hung tough. The forwards set the pace and the midfield kind of held us all together. So it was a tremendous team effort. And Lex Mata again was huge.”
Nagamine thought her team did a good job of minimizing NDSU’s Nebraska transfer Elyse Huber, who recorded four shots.
“We definitely had more possession (15-11 shot count for UH). It was a great game for us. The other team was extremely physical. It was a physical, fast-paced match. They had considerable size, and very, very strong girls.
“The turf field definitely played to our advantage, I feel, because we were able to move the ball very well. We knew it was going to be a battle in the midfield, and that’s exactly what it turned out to be. They were very directing and get the ball and go forward as quickly as possible.”
Mata moved into alone in third in UH career shutouts with 11. Only Monk Berger (16) and Kori Lu (12) are ahead of her now.
UH’s deciding goal came in the 26th minute, its first first-half score this season.
“(Drossos) serves a nice ball into the box and Kelci just got in there and just headed it home,” Nagamine said of her 5-foot-5 true freshman. “She’s got good timing. This is now the second goal she’s scored with her head. I would say she makes the most of her opportunities. She’s got a great attitude; she’s going to go in there and play bigger than she is.”
UH has only rarely played in the Central Time Zone, but has two more of those games coming up on its three-game road trip.
UH had flown to Denver, had a 3 1/2-hour layover, then flew into Fargo. It will remain in Fargo for a bit longer before driving to Grand Forks, N.D., for the next leg of its trip through the Dakotas.
UH plays at North Dakota (3-1-1) at 11 a.m. HST on Sunday.
UPDATE: UH (2-2-1) wins its first road match of the year, 1-0, on Elena Palacios’ first-half goal, and deals North Dakota State (3-1-1) its first loss of the season. Third straight shutout recorded by the Rainbow Wahine.
Correction: Live stats have been updated to reflect that Kelci Sumida scored on an assist from Cristina Drossos, not Palacios from Daelenn Tokunaga. Second goal of the season for Sumida, on a header from a serviced ball from Drossos.
The Hawaii soccer team (1-2-1) plays its first road game of the season today at North Dakota State (3-0-1) in Fargo at 2 p.m. HST.
The Rainbow Wahine shut out their last two opponents at home.
Remote updates below.
Hawaii 1, North Dakota State 0, FINAL
Kelci Sumida, UH (26th minute)
90th: That’s all she wrote.
89th: Izzy Deutsch showed a yellow card for delay of game.
88th: Bullet dodged there as a giveaway off a goal kick in the UH third results in a cranked NDSU shot from straightaway. Luckily for UH, it goes high.
87th: Couple of late NDSU corner kick opportunities here …
86th: Got video working here in the last 10 minutes or so. Looked like Madison Moore nearly had a breakaway chance but it was snuffed out at the last second by the Bison keeper, with Moore getting upended on the play.
75th: Yellow card issued to Bison defender Paris Walsh. Potentially a nice set piece chance for UH.
71st: Kiri Dale, in off the bench a few minutes ago, gets in on the act and cranks one at Polgar. Ten different Wahine players have recorded a shot today.
65th: Kelci Sumida with her first shot today, and it’s on target but saved by Polgar.
61st: UH about 30 minutes away from a third straight shutout of an opponent, something it hasn’t done since Big West play in 2016.
57th: Ruh roh. Holding mid Morgan Meza is tagged with a yellow card in the 57th minute. That’s followed by a save from Mata, her third today.
52nd: One shot for NDSU so far in the second half, off the mark.
45th: That’s it for the first half. Shot count stands 8-7 in UH’s favor, with Palacios and Ammendolia getting off two attempts for the Wahine. Should add, that’s the second assist for Tokunaga this season, both happening within minutes of her entering the game off the bench.
43rd: Ammendolia puts one on frame for UH, saved by NDSU’s Polgar.
36th: No shots either way in the last several minutes in Fargo. UH subbing more liberally of the two teams, with Natalie Daub, McKenzie Moore, CJ Diede, Emily Cottrell and Eliza Ammendolia appearing off the bench in the last few minutes.
26th: GOAL by Hawaii. Waiting on the scorer … it’s sophomore center back Elena Palacios, assisted by Tokunaga. First career goal by Palacios.
25th: Daelenn Tokunaga checks in for Michaela Rentner and promptly gets a shot off. It’s saved by NDSU keeper Monica Polgar.
23rd: UH now getting doubled up in shot count, 6-3 by NDSU.
20th: First shot on goal of the match and it’s saved by Lex Mata.
13th: Kayla Watanabe with a shot. Third different UH player to record one.
13th: Neither team has recorded an official shot on goal yet.
11th: Sorry folks, live stats updates have been few and far between. One of the problems inherent to soccer live stats.
5th: A couple of shots both ways now. Having trouble with the live stream, so updates will be spotty until if and when we can get that resolved.
1st minute: They’re underway in Fargo. Izzy Deutsch with a shot to get things started.