Mata is soccer PoW; UH draws with alumnae

The UH soccer team (in white) posed with the Rainbow Wahine alumnae (in gray) after a 3-3 draw on Sunday. / Photo courtesy Storm Kenui.

Hawaii goalkeeper Lex Mata was named the Big West soccer defensive player of the week today, on the heels of her eight-save shutout performance in a 2-0 win at Idaho State last Tuesday.

It is the first career PoW honor for the junior — who earned full-time starting keeper status in the preseason — and the first weekly award, offense or defense, for a Rainbow Wahine player this season.

From UH media relations, here’s a compilation of some of Mata’s nice saves at ISU.

UH (3-4) heads back out on the road this week for contests at Arizona State (2-3-1) and Grand Canyon (3-4-1) on Friday and Sunday. ASU and GCU are a combined 1-0-1 against Big West teams this season.

The following week, UH heads back out for the start of Big West play, to UC Davis and Long Beach State.


UH put on its annual alumnae game out at Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium on Sunday. No Natasha Kai this year — she always adds some spice to it when she’s back — but it was competitive, ending in a 3-3 draw when Ambree Ako scored in the final moments for the alums.

Taryn Fukuroku and team manager Patrice Vettori had the other goals for the alumnae, while Bo Samson, Dani Crawford and Sonest Furtado found the net for the modern Wahine. Mata and Evelyn Fierros split keeper duties for UH.

The 2017 Wahine had a 3-1 lead until a late rally by their elders.

Said UH coach Michele Nagamine in a message to the Star-Advertiser: “I thought the alums fielded one of the strongest teams we’ve seen from them in a long time! It was a very entertaining game and we were able to get everyone who could play some good minutes tonight. We were a little playful in our pregame routine and that showed in our slow first half performance but I thought our response after halftime was fantastic. It was an alumni (sic) game and we were playing to get our young players some experience, which is why I deviated from my normal substitution pattern and didn’t just play to kill the clock and preserve the win. All of our players work very hard in training every day and they deserved to be a part of a special game like this.”