The University of Hawai‘i soccer team’s dream season came to a screeching halt, as the Rainbow Wahine lost a 3-0 matchup to top-seeded Cal State Fullerton in the opening round of the Big West Tournament. This was the Wahine’s first appearance in the postseason tournament since joining the conference in 2012.
Goalkeeper Alexis Mata picked up a game-high 7 saves, but the Titans managed to slip three shots past the senior in the win.
Fullerton came out firing, with two shots on goal before the three minute mark. Mata managed to stop each of the early shots, but she could only hold out for so long. At 8:19, Titan forward Savannah Sloniger knocked in the game’s opening score. Minutes later, fellow forward Maddie Bennett put another ball through the net to put the ‘Bows in a hold early.
The Titan onslaught continued, as Fullerton sent nine shots toward goal throughout the half. Luckily for the Wahine, no more found the net as Hawai‘i limped to the locker room with a 2-0 deficit.
With the next round of the tournament in sight, the Fullerton took their foot off the gas. Meanwhile, the Wahine ramped up their efforts, outshooting the Titans 5 shots to 3 shots in the second period. However, Fullerton’s shots proved to be more fruitful, as midfielder Haley Brown became the third Titan to score in the match. Brown score, though occurring at the beginning of the second half, all but sealed the win to send Cal State Fullerton through to the next round.
The Rainbow Wahine soccer season is now over, but it’s not one that will be forgotten anytime soon. After qualifying for their first Big West Tournament in program history, Wahine soccer coach Michele Nagamine was named the conference Coach of the Year, while Mata was named the Goalkeeper of the Year. The squad also saw three players selected to the All-Conference first team, with two more being named to the second team. One player made honorable mention, while a pair of midfielders were named to the All-Freshman team.