HONOLULU - The Rainbow Wahine will be opening their final homestand of the 2002 season this Friday (7:00 pm) and Sunday (5:00 pm) with a pair of crucial matches against league rivals Boise State and Nevada at Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium.
At 2-2-0 in conference play with four to go, the Rainbow Wahine are looking to make another appearance in the Western Athletic Conference Championship Tournament. Hawaii's matches this weekend will play a large role in dictating whether the Rainbows will be able to make a return to the WAC Tournament, where they fell in the championship match to nationally-ranked SMU last season.
This weekend will mark the farewell of Hawaii seniors Wanette Miyashiro, Jennifer Churchill, Noelle Takemoto, and Erin Quattromani.
Fifth-year senior Wanette Miyashiro has become one of the most decorated players in the history of the Hawai`i womens' soccer program. A National Soccer Coaches Association of America second-team Academic All-Region pick last season, the midfielder has also been named to the Academic All-WAC pick in each of her three seasons to date. Possibly the hardest working
Rainbow Wahine, Miyashiro has led her team by example on and off the field for the past three seasons. Miyashiro, who began her association with the Hawai`i program as team manager in 1998, has come full circle to become an integral part of the program's success. She will end her career among school leaders in career matches played and matches started.
Rainbow senior goalkeeper Churchill came to Hawaii after completing a strong career at DeAnza Junior College in northern California. Also recruited by Stanford, Pacific and Sacramento State,
Churchill posted the best season win total in Hawai`i history last year, going 10-6-0 for the WAC Runners-Up.After recording the second-highest season minutes total in school history and leading the team in saves (88), shutouts (2) and goals against average (1.70) last year, Churchill has returned to share time with starter Mahie Atay this season. Churchill will complete her Rainbow Wahine career among school leaders in career minutes, saves, solo shutouts, and wins.
After three years as a spot starter and reserve, senior defender Noelle Takemoto has emerged this year as the Hawai`i starter at right fullback, and has added speed and strength to the Rainbow back line.Takemoto has been a strong performer on the field and in the classroom for some time, earning NSCAA Scholar-Athlete and multiple Academic All-WAC team honors. The Universiy of Hawai`i Scholar-Athlete has improved with every match this year, helping Hawai`i post three consecutive shutouts earlier this season.
The top-ranked Stanford womens' soccer program's loss has been the Rainbow Wahine's gain this season. Senior midfielder Quattromani spent her first two seasons starting for the Cardinal before incurring a foot injury as a junior.
After sitting-out a year to get married, the former Erin Maurer has made the jump across the Pacific Ocean to become a standout in the midfield for the University of Hawai`i, currently among team and Western Athletic Conference leaders in assists and assists per game. With five assists thus far, Quattromani could set a new program season assists record this year. That record is shared by current Wahine freshman Carmen Calpo and former Wahine Megan Lytle.
The Wahine remain within reach of posting the program's fourth double-digit win total in five seasons thanks largely to the efforts of a high-octane attack led by strikers Arlene Devitt and Natasha Kai. Devitt, a two-time All-WAC pick, is tied with Kai for the team lead in scoring with 21 points.
Freshman Carmen Calpo has already tied the school's season assist record (6) and broke the Hawaii freshman assist record. Quattromani and Devitt are tied for second on the Wahine with five apiece.
Boise State has struggled a bit after ripping-through the WAC to a 5-3 mark and a runner-up finish last season.At 1-4-0 in conference play, Boise State has its work cutout in trying to qualify for the league championship tournament.
In WAC play, the Broncos have posted a win over Nevada (2-1 on Oct. 11) and have incurred losses against SMU (4-0), UTEP (10-1), San Jose State (4-1) and Fresno State (4-3 in OT). Overall, Boise State has also posted wins over Siena (5-1), Idaho State (3-1), EasternWahington (4-3), and Southern Utah (4-1).
Nevada Head coach Dang Pibulvech is among the NCAA's all-time winningest coaches. He won a cobined 186 games at Colorado College (`83-'91), Washington (`91-'94), and Texas (`94-'99). At Nevada, Pibulvech has had to endure a tough go. After going 0-17-1 last year and finishing last in the WAC with a 0-7-1 conference mark, Nevada has posted four wins this year, including their first conference win a week ago, a 4-3 decision over San Jose State.