In his 17th year of coaching Hawaii soccer, Pinsoom Tenzing is still capable of a surprise or two.
Before their match against Wagner last Sunday, Tenzing sacrificed a defender, adding to the Rainbow Wahine’s midfield strength to keep the pressure on the Seahawks. It worked, and UH improved to 1-1 with a 4-0 win.
It was something the team hadn’t practiced, and the coach hinted there could be more tinkering before tomorrow’s match vs. Cal Poly.
"We’re still looking for people to plug into different positions. That work is not finished yet," Tenzing said. "(Having three defenders) just depends what the other team plays."
OHANA Hotels and Resorts No Ka Oi
» When: Tomorrow through Sunday
» Where: Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium
» Tomorrow: Hawaii vs. Cal Poly, 7 p.m.
» Saturday: Cal Poly vs. Long Island, 7 p.m.
» Sunday: Hawaii vs. Long Island, 5 p.m.
» TV/Radio: None
Senior co-captain Chelsea Deptula is normally the anchor of the defense, but with her temporary move to midfield, it fell upon someone else to coordinate the D.
That someone was junior Colleen Burns. Like her teammates, Burns was caught off guard by the move. But she adapted and helped corral defensive teammates Brittani Lum and Tiffany Ikeda-Simao into an effective unit.
"We were surprised," Burns said. "But I think we adjusted pretty quickly to it."
Another position of heavy scrutiny is the striker spot opposite co-captain Mari Punzal. Junior Saeko Nagano has started there both games so far, but has given way to sophomore Skye Shimabukuro for heavy minutes. Getting open up front hasn’t been a problem; both scored against Wagner, and after two matches UH has outshot its opponents 35-7.