POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Nov 1, 2012
If you beat them, the recognition will come.
The sixth-place Hawaii women's soccer team received a secondary level of recognition in the Big West Conference's 2012 postseason awards announced Wednesday. Sophomore midfielder Krystal Pascua was an All-Big West second-team selection as the most notable of four Rainbow Wahine honored.
Sophomore forward Tiana Fujimoto and junior defender Chelsea Miyake were honorable mentions for the Wahine, who went 3-5-1 (8-9-3 overall) in their debut season in the league. Defender Lidia Battaglia was named to the All-Freshman team.
"It feels really good because we've all been working really hard and it just felt good to get our recognition," said Pascua, an ‘Iolani product. "We couldn't have done it without our teammates."
The first team, coach of the year and position players of the year were dominated by those participating in the four-team Big West tournament — champion Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Northridge, Cal Poly and UC Irvine — starting today in Irvine, Calif. Preseason favorite Long Beach State also had its share.
"The conference is so competitive that it's really, really tough to get conference recognition," UH coach Michele Nagamine said. "Fullerton won the conference and they got three people on the first team and that was pretty much it."
The 5-foot-8 Pascua, UH's best all-around player, had four goals and three assists on the season.
"Krystal, on the second team, she had a physical presence that a lot of coaches remembered," Nagamine said. "She's a big, tough kid, and she's very crafty with the ball at her feet, and I think a lot of people remembered that."
Fujimoto led the team offensively with eight goals. However, only two of those came in Big West play, which the coach felt probably cost her a spot on the first two teams. Miyake was the team's designated ball clearer and had four goals — three on penalty kicks — and four assists.
"There were quite a few people who had very good seasons, but this is another testimony to how competitive the conference is," Nagamine said.