UH-Hilo women’s soccer claims share of PacWest championship
For the second year in a row, the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo women’s soccer squad has clinched at least a share of the Pacific West Conference championship.
Reigning PacWest Player of the Week sophomore Teani Arakawa of Makawao, Maui, continued her hot scoring streak with a seventh-minute goal for her sixth score in the Vulcans’ last four matches. Filippa Graneld of Sweden placed a through-ball from midfield as Arakawa raced past three CUI defenders and got the shot to go past the keeper for her eighth goal of the season.
A little more than 10 minutes later, Graneld got in on the scoring action on a shot from the right side of the penalty area to extend the lead in the 19th minute.
Not to be outdone, Grace VerHage of Michigan capped UH-Hilo’s scoring by bending a direct corner kick into the top corner of the goal in the 31st minute as the fifth-year senior moved back into a tie with Arakawa for most Vulcan goals scored so far this season.
Jadenn Carrillo got the Golden Eagles on the board with a long-range shot that bounced off the top bar and in for a score in the 38th minute. CUI upped the pressure with 13 second-half shots, but both squads would remain scoreless to settle the matchup.
Viviana Poli of California made her first start in goal this season for the Vulcans and played the full 90 minutes with six saves.
UH-Hilo improved to 12-0-3 overall and 7-0-2 in the conference with Thursday’s win and stands atop the PacWest standings. The regular season finale is Saturday against Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, Calif. A win or tie for the Vulcans in Saturday’s match against the Cougars would seal the deal and would give the Vulcans the outright conference title.
The team crowned PacWest champ will receive an automatic spot in the NCAA Division II Women’s Soccer Championships West Region, which consists of six teams. UH-Hilo came in at No. 3 in the latest NCAA Division II West Region rankings.