Rainbow Wahine Soccer team opens 2013 season Friday night in Waipio

Rainbow Wahine Soccer
Rainbow Wahine Soccer

HONOLULU —The University of Hawai’i women’s soccer team kicks off its 2013 campaign when it hosts the OHANA Hotels and Resorts No Ka ‘Oi tournament, Aug. 23 and 25. All home matches will again be played at the Waipi’o Peninsula Stadium and admission is free.

This will mark the first time UH hosts a four-team tournament with doubleheaders on each day. The Rainbow Wahine will open up against UNC-Greensboro on Friday, Aug. 23 at 7:00 p.m. That match will be preceded by UCF versus Washington at 4:30 p.m. On Sunday, Aug. 25, UNC Greensboro and Washington will clash at noon, while UH and UCF conclude the tournament with a 2:30 p.m.

The Rainbow Wahine return 16 players and eight starters from a 2012 squad that tallied its most wins since 2008 with eight. UH will enter its second season in the Big West after finishing sixth in the 10-team league during its debut season. Among the UH returnees this year are all-conference players Lidia Battaglia, Tiana Fujimoto, Chelsea Miyake and Krystal Pascua. The team will also be boosted by the arrival of 11 newcomers. UH loses four starters from 2012 and will have a new starting goalkeeper for the first time in five years with the departure of four-year starter Kanani Taaca.

This will be the first time UH will meet both UNC-Greensboro and UCF on the pitch and the competition will be stiff. UNC-Greensboro, which captured the Southern Conference last year with a 9-1-1 record, defeated NC State, 3-2, in exhibition action this past weekend. The Knights, meanwhile, are ranked No. 21 in the NSCAA preseason poll and defeated No. 9 Florida, 2-0, in an exhibition match this past Saturday.

OHANA Hotels and Resorts No Ka Oi Schedule

  • Aug. 23 UCF vs. Washington, 4:30 pm
  • Hawai’i vs. UNC-Greensboro, 7:00 pm
  • Aug. 25 UNC-Greensboro vs. Washington, 12:00 pm
  • Hawai’i vs. UCF, 2:30 pm

Promotions: ‘OHANA Hotels and Resorts is the tournament sponsor. Fans can sign up for the on-field promotion for a chance to win a two-night stay at an OHANA hotel courtesy of Outrigger. Visit the Outrigger table for fantastic giveaways, games, and free kid’s tattoos. Also, t-shirts will be tossed into the crowd after every UH goal scored.

‘Bow Bits: Michele Nagamine enters her third season as head coach …the Rainbow Wahine improved its win total from the previous season in each of Nagamine’s first two years…UH looks for its first winning record since 2008…UH returns 78 percent of its offense (60 of 77 points), including 76 percent of its goal scoring (22 of 29)…leading scorer Tiana Fujimoto finished third in the Big West in goals (8)…UH welcomes 11 new players to the roster hailing from Hawai’i, Colorado and California.. UH went a stellar 7-1-2 at home in 2012…UH is undefeated in 14 of its last 15 matches at home (11-1-3) dating back to 2011…UH is 5-11-3 all-time in season openers and 6-9-3 in its first home match of the year…this season marks the 20th year of the Rainbow Wahine soccer program which began Division I competition in 1994.

*Courtesy Hawaii Athletics

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