Soccer: Just in case

Hawaii soccer coach Michele Nagamine discovered a handy insurance policy in her team’s last game, a 2-1 overtime win over Seattle on Monday.

In that contest, sophomore midfielder Storm Kenui moved to center back, replacing the suspended (for one game) Lidia Battaglia, who’d been assessed two yellow cards in the previous game against Northern Illinois. It was potentially a big loss for the Rainbow Wahine, who count on Battaglia as their most experienced and vocal defender.

Storm Kenui (UH photo)
Storm Kenui (UH photo)

But Kenui proved herself in that new capacity, sweeping attacks away reliably for much of the contest against the Redhawks.

Afterward, Nagamine dubbed Kenui her “break glass in case of emergency” defender.

Kenui was happy to help, but still prefers her day job as an attacking mid. Just don’t be surprised if Nagamine calls on her in a pinch, especially if one of the team’s primary defenders — Battaglia, Paige Okazaki, Ryan Daniel and Madison Reed — misses time for whatever reason.

UH is back to full health for Friday’s big contest against top-ranked UCLA, the defending national champion, in the Outrigger Resorts Classic. The Rainbow Wahine (2-2) will need all the position flexibility they can muster over this weekend; the tournament also includes unbeaten teams Washington State (2-0-1) and No. 11 Pepperdine (4-0).