By BILL O’REAR
Tribune-Herald sports editor
Vincent Muscarella scored two goals and Ian Watanabe added a score as the University of Hawaii at Hilo snapped a 21-match winless streak with a 3-1 victory over Point Loma University on Monday.
The hard-fought Pacific West Conference men’s soccer match was played in San Diego.
The Vulcans improved to 1-7-1 overall and 1-6-1 in the PacWest. Point Loma fell to 2-8 and 1-7, respectively.
“It was a fantastic team effort by everybody today to get the win,” a thrilled Vulcans head coach Ziggy Korytoski said. “We were limited to 13 guys for various reasons and the group stepped up despite the adversity. I’m very proud of the guys. They rallied together as a team and came through.
“I think today’s win sends a message to everybody on the team that if we can do everything the right way and play as a team, we can be successful.”
Point Loma got a goal from Daniel Ten Bosch in the 8th minute and carried a 1-0 lead into the intermission.
“At halftime, I told the guys that we weren’t aggressive enough and had to fight harder for the ball. Then once we regained possession of the ball, we needed to keep it. We did a much better job in the second half and put up the 3-spot on the scoreboard which isn’t an easy task on the road.”
Muscarella, a 5-foot-8, 160-pound junior midfielder from Camarillo, Calif., broke free in the 56th minute and got an assist from freshman James Yamane to score and tie the match at 1-1.
“That was great transition by our guys and a fantastic goal by Vinny,” Korytoski said.
UHH then took the lead in the 61st minute when junior Aaron Sanchez had a free kick from 50 yards out and the hustling Muscarella fought off two defenders to score on a header.
In the 84th minute, Korytoski replaced Muscarella with Watanabe, a junior out of Waiakea High School, and he scored the Vulcans’ third goal on a header. The goal followed a Phillip Sakaba corner kick and half volley from a teammate that went back to Watanabe, who used his head to put the ball in the net.
“After Ian scored, we really locked down the rest of the game,” Korytoski said. “Those 13 guys who played today were committed to get it done together and they did. It’s been a long time since the UHH men’s team has won a game — something like 21 games stretching back to last year — and it gives us some momentum coming back home.”
The Vulcans outshot the hosts 13-11, including 8-4 in the hard-fought second half.
UHH goalie Luis Romero went the distance, allowing the one Point Loma goal and recording four saves. Point Loma goalie Carter Phillips also played 90 minutes in the net and gave up all three UHH goals to go along with three saves.
The Vulcans play five of their last six matches at home. They first play at Brigham Young University-Hawaii on Oct. 17 in Laie before playing their last five games in Hilo, starting with Chaminade University on Oct. 20.
“We’re really looking forward to those final six matches,” Korytoski said. “We want to remain committed to what we’re trying to do as a team, on and off the field, and build a successful program. We hope the community will come out and support us in those final home games and see that some good things are happening.”
The first-year UHH head coach called the just-completed PacWest road swing to the West Coast “a good trip.” Besides playing matches, the Vulcans also got to watch the Los Angeles Galaxy play a match.
• Point Loma 4, UHH 0: Kelly Christerson scored two goals and Tara Kracy and Kaycie Hanlan one apiece to lift the hosts over the Vulcans.
The PacWest match was played in San Diego.
Point Loma improved to 8-2-1 overall and 6-1-1 in the PacWest. UHH fell to 3-8 and 1-7, respectively.
Point Loma got goals from Christerson and Hanlan in the first half, then from Christerson and Kracy after the intermission.
The hosts outshot UHH 13-4. Kracy and Lupe Herrara combined in goal for the Point Loma shutout. Vulcan goalie Breegan Saller went the full 90 minutes, allowing four goals to go alng with one save.
Like the UHH men, the Lady Vulcans play five of their final six matches at home.
At San Diego
UHH 0 3 — 3
PLU 1 0 — 1
UHH 0 0 — 0
PLU 2 2 — 4
The University of Hawaii at Hilo rode the strong play of sophomore Kacie Harada and was in second place after the first round of the Western Washington Golf Invitational on Monday in Bellingham, Wash.
Harada carded an even-par 73 at the Bellingham Golf and Country Club and was in second place heading into today’s second round. She had a 39 on the front nine and closed with an impressive 34 on the back nine.
Grand Canyon’s Kelcey Tate was the individual leader, after shooitng a 1-under 72.
British Columbia leads in team scoring with a 307 total, followed by UHH (309), Grand Canyon and Tarleton State (310), Chico State (322), Victoria-BC (326), Cal State East Bay (327), Western Washington (332), Point Loma Nazarene (336), Montana State-Billings (343), St. Martin’s (345), Simon Fraser (369) and Northwest Nazarene (386).
Rounding out the Vulcans’ first round scores were Erika Morihiro (77, tie-8th), Nyssa Aoki (78, T-11th), Kristen Sawada (81, T-21st) and Shannon Abarra (83, T-32nd).
The 13-team tournament wraps up today.