Wahine, Ore­gon bat­tle to a draw

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - - SPORTS - By Brian McIn­nis bm­cin­nis@starad­ver­tiser.com

It felt like a win, and that was plenty enough for this team on this night.

The Hawaii Rain­bow Wahine bat­tled Ore­gon evenly for 110 min­utes in its 2016 opener Fri­day, a state­ment wor­thy of some cel­e­bra­tion.

The 1-1 dou­ble-over­time draw at Wai­pio Penin­sula Soc­cer Sta­dium snapped the pro­gram’s eight-game los­ing streak go­ing back to last sea­son, when UH fin­ished 3-14-1 and win­less in the Big West.

“Tonight I will take it,” sixth-year coach Michele Nagamine said. “I’m not a moral vic­tory type of per­son, but tonight I’m go­ing to take it be­cause I thought that my team showed a lot of char­ac­ter and a lot of guts.”

UH set out to snap its sixgame los­ing streak in open­ers, and did, but not quite the way it was hop­ing.

Sev­eral at­tempts just missed in over­time for UH, which trot­ted out sev­eral new­com­ers. That in­cluded North­west­ern trans­fer Ad­die Steiner, who had a slid­ing at­tempt at the sec­ond-over­time horn go inches wide of the post.

“I knew I didn’t have time for a sec­ond touch. I tried to get it off as fast as I could … it was a bum­mer,” Steiner said. “(The opener) was bet­ter than I ex­pected. I think we worked very hard and our en­ergy level was very high. The bench kept us go­ing.”

The Rain­bow Wahine will try to notch their first vic­tory since last Sept. 24 at 4 p.m. Sun­day against Ne­vada (0-1) to con­clude the first of three Out­rig­ger Soc­cer Se­ries. Ne­vada lost 1-0 to Gon­zaga ear­lier Fri­day.

The Wai­pio field was in pris­tine con­di­tion for Day 1 of the tour­ney and Ore­gon, sport­ing ba­nana-smoothie-es­que yel­low uni­forms, wasted lit­tle time try­ing to avenge its 2013 1-0 loss to the Wahine in Eu­gene. Kyra Fawcett put one past goal­keeper Monk Berger at close range in the third minute.

The Wahine struck back in the 17th minute, as ju­nior Son­est Fur­tado broke away and slid one around fresh­man keeper Kate­lyn Carter unas­sisted. It was her sixth ca­reer score and sec­ond straight in a sea­son opener.

“I’m glad we didn’t let down,” Fur­tado said. “To be hon­est, I didn’t see that goal com­ing. The adren­a­line was go­ing, and as soon as I scored I knew we were back in the game.”

But Ore­gon, 6-13 a year ago and picked to fin­ish last in the Pac-12, had the run of play in the sec­ond half and a 22-9 ad­van­tage in shots go­ing into OT. Berger kept UH in it with a ca­reer-high nine saves.

Raisa Strom-Oki­moto had two great blasts from long range, one just be­fore half­time and one with 15 min­utes to play. But they were both saved by Carter.

Strom-Oki­moto had an­other deep launch de­flect off the keeper’s hands and the cross­bar in the sec­ond OT as the crowd groaned.

The Wahine had tan­ta­liz­ing shots for the win by Bo Sam­son and Paige Okazaki in the first over­time, both blocked.

The 2016 state player of the year out of Mililani, Tia Fu­ruta, came in off the bench. So did Sam­son, a re­cent pickup from North­east­ern and a Sa­cred Hearts Academy grad­u­ate.

‘Iolani alum Tay­lor Kuroda came in as a re­serve for the Ducks. The sopho­more played 19 min­utes.

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