By MATT GERHART
Tribune-Herald sports writer
Like many soccer coaches, Lance Thompson’s first objective is not to allow any goals.
That left him with two reasons to be happy Thursday after he pulled his first dose of double duty.
Justin Szymkowiak scored on a penalty kick and Darwin Ortiz added a second-half goal as the UHH men earned their first win of the season with a 2-0 victory against BYU-Hawaii at the Vulcans baseball field.
“I’m definitely impressed with how we grew over the week,” Thompson said “We did a good job today of not beating ourselves. We limited our mistakes.”
Those words rang true as well for the Lady Vulcans, who fought to a 0-0 tie with the Seasiders in the early nonconference match.
Thompson, in his first year as director of soccer, was pleased with how his women’s team handled what he considered to be a hard draw against a hungry opponent. The No. 7 Vuls (2-0-1) surprised BYU-Hawaii last Saturday on their home field, earning the program its first ranking in the West region poll.
He said UHH matched the intensity of a team that came out looking for revenge.
“We went there and got the result,” he said. “(BYU-Hawaii) came here looking for a result, and our ladies were very resilient.”
Both Szymkowiak and Ortiz are in their first year with the program as UHH evened its mark at 1-1.
Thompson wasn’t quite sure how UHH drew the PK, but he said the right man for the job was Szymkowiak, and the junior from Mellane, Fla., buried his free kick in the 26th minute.
“We work on (PKs) a lot in practice,” Thompson said. “Justin just grabbed it and converted.”
Ortiz, a junior from Canyon County, Calif., corralled a rebound in the 84th minute and scored unassisted for UHH, which held a 6-5 shot advantage.
Senior goalkeeper Yonha Adrabi only had to make one save against the Seasiders (0-1-1).
“We stopped (BYU-Hawaii) before they got to Yonha,” Thompson said.
Perhaps the best scoring chance of the women’s match came when BYU-Hawaii earned a penalty kick in the 29th minute. UHH freshman Jenna Hufford was true to the test, however, stopping Makelle Yates for one of her two saves during the match.
BYU-Hawaii (0-1-1) outshot UHH 4-3, and Kristine Pasek had the Vulcans’ only shot on goal.
“We really grinded it out,” Thompson said.
The Vulcans return to the baseball field Saturday, with the women’s match against Chaminade at 12:30 p.m., followed by the men at 3 p.m.