BOISE, Idaho (10/31/08) The University of Hawaii defeated Boise State University 2-1 in a Western Athletic Conference women’s soccer match Friday afternoon in Boise. After Randi Baker had tied the match in the 51st minute scoring off a free kick from 20 yards out, the Rainbow Wahine rallied with a decisive strike in the 73rd for the win.
The two teams entered the day tied for third in the conference standings knowing that the winner would clinch a berth into next week’s conference tournament in Reno, Nev. The top six teams in the conference standings advance to the league’s championship tournament. The win guaranteed Hawaii a berth with a 3-2-1 league record and 7-6-4 overall mark. The loss dropped Boise State to 2-3-1 in conference and 9-7-2 overall. However, with both the University of Idaho and Louisiana Tech University dropping home matches today that meant the Broncos could finish no lower than sixth place. That gives them a bid into next week’s championship event as either the fourth, fifth, or sixth seed depending on Sunday’s results, the last day of the regular season.
Friday’s contest was tightly contested with both teams attacking continuously. Hawaii stuck first with a goal in the 13th minute. The Rainbow Wahine attacked down the right flank with Tehane Higa taking the ball into the corner where she turned and fired a cross to the top of the six-yard box. Mari Punzal was waiting seven yards out from goal where she volleyed the pass into the left side of the net for a 1-0 Hawaii advantage.
Down one at half, Boise State picked up their pressure and controlled the play in the second half. The Broncos drew even in the 51st minute when Randi Baker fired a free kick from 20 yards out over the defensive line and into the far left post to knot the score at one apiece.
Unfortunately, Hawaii rallied in the 73rd minute with the match-winning strike. The play was started by a free kick near the right sideline about 40 yards out. The kick was lofted high to the center of the box where it deflected off the head of a defender to Hawaii’s Nichole Mikula’s head. She touched it forward to Chelsea Deptula who headed the ball past Boise State’s keeper Liz Ruiz for the decisive score.
Both teams had solid chances to score more in the second period but came up short. Ruiz made several keys saves to keep Boise State in the match in the final 45 minutes. On two occasions she touched high shots by Hawaii off the crossbar for saves.
Boise State’s Andrea Huerta and Brandy Hickcox each had chances late in the contest to tie the score beating defenders for one-v-ones with the keeper. Huerta’s shot was denied by the keeper while Hickcox’s sailed high over the bar in the final minute of the match.
Boise State wraps up the regular season on Sunday when they host San Jose State University for “Senior Day” at the Boas Tennis and Soccer Complex. The Broncos will honor their three seniors, Randi Baker, Emma Boyack, and Katie Derden with a short pre-game ceremony, kick-off is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. (Mountain).
Final Match Summary
Hawai'i (7-6-4, 3-2-1 WAC) at Boise State (9-7-2, 2-3-1 WAC)
Date: Oct 31, 2008 Attendance: 213
Weather: 58 degrees, overcast
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Hawai'i............. 1 1 - 2
Boise State......... 0 1 - 1
1. 12:29 UH Punzal, Mari (Higa, Tehane) - volleyed cross in from 7yds
2. 50:14 BSU Baker, Randi (unassisted) - free kick from 20 yds out.
3. 72:47 UH Deptula, Chelsea (Mikula, Nicole) - Header in from 6 yds
Shots: Hawai'i 12, Boise State 11
Shotsongoal: Hawai'i 7, Boise State 4
Saves: Hawai'i 3 (Lu, Kori 3), Boise State 5 (Ruiz, Liz 5)