A quick two-goal deficit was too much to overcome. The deep postseason hole that the loss puts the University of Hawaii in might prove to be even more insurmountable.
In a must-win match for the Rainbow Wahine that turned sour early, Cal Irvine held on for a 2-1 victory Thursday night at Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium on Oahu.
UH (7-8-1, 2-4-1 Big West) remained in a tie for sixth in the league standings, and time is slipping away with one match left to try and crack the four-team playoff.
All of Thursday night’s scoring took place in the opening 15 minutes.
Laura McGrail got the Anteaters (9-6, 4-2) on the board a little more than two minutes into the match after gathering a chip from Jordan Bruce. Just eight minutes later, Bianca Frontino scored from about 10 yards out when UH failed to clear a corner kick.
Hawaii freshman T.J. Reyno provided instant offense in the 15th minute, stealing the ball from goalkeeper Corey Tobin for the first goal of her career.
The Wahine were down player for the final 30 minutes of the match after Kama Pascua drew her second red card of the season.
Even with a win, UH (seven points) would have needed help to reach the playoffs. Cal Santa Barbara (3-3) and Cal Santa Barbara (3-4) are tied for third with nine points, and Long Beach State (2-1-2, eight points) and Cal State Fullerton (2-2-1, 7) each have two games in hand on the Wahine.
UH closes the regular season with a home match at noon Nov. 3 against Cal State Northridge (0-4-1).