Hawaii was well on its way to a 2-0 start to its three-game road trip through North and South Dakota and within moments of posting a fourth straight clean sheet — which would’ve qualified as the second-longest such streak in program history.
Then the Rainbow Wahine hit a considerable snag.
UH gave up an 88th-minute equalizer to North Dakota and faltered further in overtime, losing 2-1 to the Fighting Hawks on Sunday afternoon in Grand Forks, N.D.
Mimi Eiden scored on a breakaway in the 104th minute to complete the letdown, as UH dropped to 2-3-1 overall while UND of the Summit League improved to 4-1-1.
“That deflated us a little bit, to be so close. We held the lead for most of the game,” UH coach Michele Nagamine said in a postgame phone interview. “It was just an off game for us. We’re going to regroup pretty well. I think (the players) are pretty disappointed because they know that’s a game that they could’ve won, and that they probably should’ve won. But we’re not making any excuses; we just didn’t have our best performance today.”
The Wahine, experimenting with some starting lineup tweaks — three players were among the first 11 for the first time this season — came out like gangbusters and had the run of play for most of the first half. That was rewarded by McKenzie Moore’s bouncer into the net from the right flank in the 41st minute. It was the sophomore’s first goal of the season and second career.
Things flipped pretty dramatically after halftime, though, with the Fighting Hawks applying increasing amounts of pressure in the UH defensive third. They wound up outshooting UH 15-8, although UH had twice as many (6-3) on goal.
“They moved the ball really, really well,” Nagamine said of the Hawks. “Their field was a really thick, grassy field. The ball didn’t really move as quickly as we would’ve liked to. But their team was a team that, I thought they were pretty organized and they moved the ball very well. They gave us some fits in the second half. Unfortunately, three minutes left we made a mistake and left some people open at the top of the box. We will be better. We tried people at different positions again. We’re still trying to figure out the formation that’s going to be the most effective.”
A misclear on a UND cross in the 88th resulted in an unmarked Ashley Ebeling getting a crack at the net from straightaway in the box with less than three minutes left in regulation, UH protecting a 1-0 lead. Goalkeeper Lex Mata got a hand on it, but not enough to push it aside.
UND had the better opportunities in the extra periods, too. Finally, Eiden took a through ball from a teammate and got in a 1-on-1 situation with Mata. She slotted a low ball past the keeper and in for the instant winner.
“We were late sliding over and it happened pretty fast,” Nagamine said. “And I think the frustrating thing is the two were balls I think Alexis Mata feels like she could’ve gotten. That’s a point of frustration for her.”
The coach expects Tuesday’s game at South Dakota State in Vermillion, S.D. to be the biggest challenge of the road trip, factoring in travel fatigue. The Jackrabbits are 2-3, with three straight losses on the road. They are 2-0 at home.
UPDATE: North Dakota completes a very late comeback on its home field, getting the equalizer goal in the 88th minute to send the game into overtime then a breakaway score by Mimi Eiden in the 104th to defeat Hawaii 2-1 in double overtime in Grand Forks, N.D.
UH drops to 2-3-1 on the season and 1-1 on its three-game road trip.
Hawaii (2-2-1) goes for a second straight win on the road and a fourth straight shutout at 11 a.m. (HST) at North Dakota (3-1-1) of the Summit League.
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Remote updates below.
North Dakota 2,, Hawaii 1 2OT
UH — McKenzie Moore (41st)
UND — Ashley Ebeling (88th)
UND — Mimi Eiden (104th)
104th: Mimi Eiden on a breakaway, sent ahead by Bailey McNitt, and she slots a ball past a diving Mata to win it in the second overtime for the Fighting Hawks. That’s a tough loss for the Rainbow Wahine, who led for nearly the entire second half before allowing a late equalizer.
101st: Kayla Watanabe gets a header shot to open the final OT period, but it goes wide.
100th: Fighting Hawks probably should’ve ended the game right there. A cross lingers in the 6-yard box and UH gets pretty fortunate. Let’s see if they can survive another 10 minutes as it heads to 2OT.
99th: UND nearly puts home a header off a corner kick but it sails just over the crossbar.
97th: Meza with a corner kick for UH, sent in well. It gets to the feet of some players but gets cleared before UH can do anything with it.
93rd: UND is keeping it in the UH defensive third for all of overtime so far.
90th: UH gets one last shot off, but it’s straight at the UND keeper Klein. Wahine headed to overtime for the fourth time in five matches. They are 1-1-1 in the previous three games that have gone extra time.
88th: One too many opportunities for the Fighting Hawks. A cross is miscleared and Ashley Ebeling is unmarked and cranks it dead center at the net. Mata gets a hand on it but is not able to direct it fully wide. Tie ballgame, 1-1.
86th: Watanabe with some fancy footwork up by the right corner and nearly able to beat two defenders and cross it in by herself.
83rd: Another bullet dodged and UND’s Mimi Eiden breaks away and blasts one, just wide of a leaping Mata and the far post.
81st: UH trying to hang on here with UND doubling up the Wahine in shots, 10-5.
73rd: A couple more chances for UND that they can’t get a crossing touch on. UND’s keeper Klein just made a save on a touch by Kayla Watanabe.
60th: UH dodges a bullet on a Fighting Hawks quick attack. A redirected ball trickles just wide of the right post … Mata had committed and missed.
58th: First sustained attack for the Wahine this half. They earn a corner kick … Morgan Meza plays it short and gets it back, then sends it in … just a little long.
55th: Fighting Hawks keep the pressure on. Some dangerous balls passing in front of the Wahine net. Lex Mata still hasn’t had to make a save, though.
51st: North Dakota applying far more pressure to begin this half than they showed in the first.
47th: Second half underway. Fourth straight shutout in play if UH can replicate its first-half effort.
HALF: UND did not record a shot on goal in that half, while all of UH’s three shots were on frame.
HALF: The Wahine are getting some scoring distribution this season. Here’s the count so far: Kelci Sumida (2), Michaela Rentner, Natalie Daub, and now Moore.
45st: UH takes its 1-0 advantage into halftime. That was McKenzie Moore’s first goal of the season and second of her two-year career.
41st: GOAL as McKenzie Moore bounces a shot past Klein from just inside the 18-yard box on the right side. Keeper seemed to have a hard time reading it in the midst of some traffic.
35th: Still no real close calls for either team.
29th: UH getting the run of play for the last several minutes.
23rd: Nice cross by Madison Moore and UH gets a touch on it, but it’s popped up to the UND keeper.
15th: Morgan Meza cracks a shot coming off a deflection but it’s taken by UND keeper Catherine Klein.
11th: No concrete opportunities yet for either team.
10th: The UND broadcaster is an affable guy. He keeps giving shout-outs to the islands.
3rd: Nice scenic on-campus field at UND. You can see the campus bookstore behind the field.
1st minute: Bit of a lineup shakeup today for Michele Nagamine. Daelenn Tokunaga, Eliza Ammendolia and Emily Cottrell into the starting 11.