The University of Hawaii at Hilo women’s soccer team faced a stiff challenge on Sunday against NCAA Division I Drexel University and it played well in a hard-fought loss.
Drexel scored four goals in the first half and held off the hustling Vulcans 4-0 in UHH’s season opener at the Waipio Peninsula Soccer Complex on Oahu.
“We came out a little slow,” first-year Vulcans coach Unity Beddingfield said. “But we made some adjustments at halftime and really controlled the game in the second half. I’m very proud of our team’s effort.
“Now, we’ve got to take how we played in the second half today and put a full game together like that against Western Oregon.”
The NCAA D-II Vulcans play D-II Western Oregon at 2:30 p.m. today at the Waipio Soccer Complex. UHH then returns home before flying back to Oahu to take on Chaminade University on Saturday.
Drexel entered Sunday’s preseason match with five games under its belt. The Dragons’ experience showed in the first half before the Vulcans regrouped and played the visitors on even terms the rest of the way.
Beddington inserted Breegan Saller in goal after Drexel’s powerful start and the 5-foot-6 sophomore from Long Beach, Calif. helped contain the Dragons over the final 45 minutes. In Schrock’s 10-minute stint in goal, she had five saves while Saller finished with three saves.
“In the second half, we attacked more on offense with Teisha Nacis leading and our back line played well,” said Beddington, who took over the UHH women’s program after moving over as an assistant coach at San Bernardino Valley College in California.
Nacis, a 5-6 freshman out of Waiakea High School, had one of UHH’s shots on goal against Drexel goalies Eve Badana and Kelsie Fye. Sophomore Kristine Pasek had the Vulcans’ other shot on goal. The Dragons outshot the Vulcans 12-2 on goal attempts.
Badana (1 save) and Fye (1 save) combined for the shutout.
Sam Greenfield scored off an assist from Caitlin Gottier at the 7:50 mark to put the Dragons (4-1-1) on the scoreboard.
Drexel then added goals from Lauren Stollar (at 17:49), Gabby Dixon (39:09) and Andi Stampone (42:54) to stretch the lead to 4-0. Stollar and Stampone scored on breakaways against UHH goalie Helen Schrock while Dixon scored off a penalty shot.
Also recording assists on the scoring plays were Jes Lowinger and Abby Toner.