By BILL O’REAR
Tribune-Herald sports editor
During his 13-year coaching career, Lance Thompson has seen a lot of things and it takes a lot to surprise him.
But on Saturday, his University of Hawaii at Hilo women’s soccer team did just that in surprising perennial powerhouse Brigham Young University-Hawaii 1-0.
The collegiate match was played at the Waipio Soccer Park on Oahu.
Thompson was named the UHH Director of Soccer in mid-August and is coaching both the Vulcan men’s and women’s teams. The women are off to a 2-0 start this season, with both victories coming on the road.
“It’s a big win — and yes, these girls are surprising me with their play,” a pleased Thompson said. “They’re playing within themselves. They were pretty excited about this win, I guess it’s been awhile since they beat BYU-Hawaii.”
UHH senior forward Analysa Rodriguez scored off a short rebound at about the 25-minute mark to break a scoreless deadlock. The Vulcans then held the Seasiders scoreless the rest of the way to record the impressive win.
“Analysa did it again, scoring the goal,” Thompson said. “She was right there when the ball rebounded out and she kicked it in.”
But just as important as Rodriguez’s timely goal was the Vulcans’ stingy ability to contain the dangerous Seasiders.
“Our defense played really well,” Thompson said. “We did a good job limiting their chance and Jenna Hufford did a phenominal job in goal. She came up with some crucial saves.”
Hufford is a 5-foot-9 freshman goalie from Shingle Springs, Calif. She has allowed only one goal in two matches.
Thompson also said a key so far to the unbeaten start is that “We’re not beating ourselves.”
The win over BYUH was the Lady Vulcans’ first over the Seasiders since Oct. 11, 2008 when UHH prevailed 4-1 in Laie, according to UHH sports information director Kelly Leong.
Thompson’s squad opened this season with a 2-1 win over Cal State San Bernardino on Thursday at the Waipio Soccer Park. Rodriguez, a 5-5 fireball from Chino Hills, Calif., and McKenna Hughes, a sophomore forward from Garden Grove, Calif., each scored a goal.
It was a satisfying win for Thompson, who coached the Cal State San Bernardino men’s team last year before accepting the UHH job. He also previously coached at Cal Poly Pomona, Alliant International, Holy Names University and Notre Dame de Namur.
On Friday, Cal State San Bernardino got some revenge for the Vulcan women winning Thursday. The visitors edged the UHH men 2-0 in a match at the Waipo field. It was the season-opener for the Vulcan men.
The UHH soccer teams next host BYUH on Thursday and Chaminade University on Saturday at the UHH field. The women play at 12:30 p.m. and the men at 3 p.m.
At Waipio, Oahu
UHH 1 0 — 1
CSSB 0 0 — 0