The Hawaii women's soccer team will be hosting defending Big Sky Conference champion Weber State for a pair of matches this weekend in their final tune-up before heading into WAC action.
Hawaii is fresh-off a 1-0-1 showing at last weekend's OHANA Shootout, posting a win over Long Island (6-1) and a double-overtime draw with Long Beach State (1-1).
With key players returning from injury over the past week, Hawaii is finally beginning to return to full strength.
Hawaii's high-scoring striker duo of Arlene Devitt and Natasha Kai will lead the Rainbow offense. Kai, a freshman from Kahuku, Oahu, leads Hawaii and is among Western Athletic Conference leaders in shots (51), points
(14) and goals (6). She needs a goal and three offensive points to match Devitt's Hawaii freshman records in those respective categories.
Two-time All-WAC selection Devitt is close behind Kai with 11 points on five goals and an assist. The junior from Kapaa, Kauai already holds virtually every school scoring record.
WAC Defensive Player of the Week Jessica Uecker and OHANA Shootout Outstanding Player Mahie Atay anchor the Wahine defensive unit. Central defender Uecker has stabilized an injury plagued back line, while freshman Atay has been outstanding. She enters the Friday Weber State match second in the WAC in goal against average (1.27) and is among leaders in saves (37).
The defending Big Sky Conference champs will arrive in the 50th state with a 3-4-1 mark that includes wins against Southern Utah (3-1), Louisiana Monroe (1-0) and Wyoming (2-1).
Weber States losses have come against Utah State (0-2), Akron (2-3), UNLV (0-2), and San Diego State (0-2). Their lone draw came against Colorado College (2-2) in their most recent match.
Junior Kaleen Grant leads all Wildcats in points (7) and goals (3). Rochelle Hoover (2 goals), Anna Nelson (2 goals) and Kacey McDonald (goal, 2 assists) are next in scoring with four points apiece.
5-foot-10 sophomore Melanie Stratford has seen the most significant time at keeper, posting a 1.76 goals against average in 561 minutes and 24 seconds of action. She has a team-high 31 saves. Kandice Golar (1.01 GAA, 178:36 min., 17 Svs) is Weber States other keeper.
Hawaii won its last meeting with the Wildcats, defeating Weber State, 1-0 in the 1999 Outrigger Hotels & Resorts Shootout.