The Lady Seasiders won their first game outright since the first week of October defeating the Hawaii Hilo Vulcans 2-1 on Thursday at the BYU-Hawaii soccer fields.
“We had some girls back this game from injuries and other reasons and you could really see the increased speed with our offense,” said head coach Dan Dummar.
Dummar felt this win was a little more special since it secured for the Seasiders the unofficial title of island champions since they have the best record against the opposing Hawaii Division II schools.
The Seasiders offense appeared to control the game putting pressure on Hilo’s backline most of the afternoon. The Seasiders were led in scoring by Kristine Behrens and Sydney Eddy, each scoring a goal apiece. BYUH outshot Hilo shooting thirteen shots to the Vulcans five.
The Seasiders struck first when the cross pass from Rebekah McCarthy off a corner kick found midfielder Behrens in the box where she headed the ball past Hilo Goalie Jenna Hufford giving the Seasider’s the advantage early in the game.
“When Becca went and got the ball I told her ‘right to my head’ because they were playing zonal defense so I knew I would be wide open so if it just got to me I knew we had a chance to score,” said Behrens, a senior from Utah majoring in exercise science.
Behrens thought it was strange that the Hilo keeper was standing inside the goal but her well-placed header glanced off the keeper’s hands into the side of the net.
The Seasider’s defense was able to hold onto the lead through the remainder of the half with Seasider keeper Jaylie Jensen, who had some key stops during the day with three saves.
The Seasiders kept the pressure up after halftime scoring seven minutes into the second half in the 52nd minute.
Midfielder Mackenzie Moore placed a lob pass to forward Sydney Eddy who controlled the ball, maneuvering it past Hilo’s goalie before shooting the ball on the empty net.
But after going down 2-0 Hilo came back with a new energy putting the pressure on the Seasider defense. The Vulcans were able to convert a goal in the 65th minute when Hilo forward Abcde Zoller collected a rebounded shot off of Seasider keeper Jensen’s deflection, allowing her to score Hilo’s first and only goal of the match.
After Hilo’s score both teams went back and forth with each team getting their scoring opportunities. In the last minute the Vulcans had two opportunities to tie the match and force overtime but were unable to convert against the BYUH defense giving the Seasiders the 2-1 victory in regulation.
Seventy-two BYUH fans attended the game braving the cloudy, brisk weather to cheer on the Seasiders.
“They looked really good,” said spectator Shaylene Perez, a sophomore from North Carolina majoring in psychology. “My favorite part was being able to watch my friends out there play. They played so hard so I’m glad they had great win.”