UH-Hilo women’s soccer claims PacWest championship outright
The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo women’s soccer team is the sole 2022 Pacific West Conference Champion.
The 10th-ranked Vulcans came out aggressive to blow by Azusa, Calif.-based Azusa Pacific University, 3-1, on Saturday to finish the season unbeaten and stake their claim outright to the PacWest title.
UH-Hilo repeats as back-to-back conference champ, but this time alone at the top. Last year the Vulcans tied with San Diego-based Point Loma Nazarene University to be named co-champion.
Grace VerHage of Michigan netted all three scores in the first half for the first hat-trick of her career and just the sixth in program history.
Saturday’s three goals also propelled the fifth-year senior transfer to not only the top as team-leader for the season with 11, but also as the conference-leader for the time being. Along with three assists, it also puts VerHage in the lead with 25 points.
The Vulcans improved to 13-0-3 overall and 8-0-2 in the conference with the win.
UH-Hilo will find out its placement in the NCAA Women’s Soccer Championships West Regional bracket on Nov. 7. The NCAA Selection Show will be broadcast at 4:30 p.m. online.
The six-team regional will feature the champions from the PacWest, Great Northwest Athletic Conference and California Collegiate Athletic Association, along with three at-large bids.
In the latest NCAA Division II West Region rankings, the Vulcans came in at No. 3. Point Loma Nazarene was No. 1 with Concordia University Irvine at No. 6. Western Washington University claimed the No. 2 spot. The top two teams earn hosting rights to the first and second rounds of the NCAA postseason.