Hawaii soccer coach Michele Nagamine was today named the Big West Coach of the Year for the 2019 season after leading her team to the conference’s postseason tournament for the first time.
She is the first UH soccer coach to earn a conference coach of the year honor since Pinsoom Tenzing in 2007. Nagamine is in her ninth season in Manoa.
UH (6-7-4, 4-1-3 Big West), which was picked to finish seventh in the preseason, instead finished in a three-way tie for second place in the conference regular-season standings and was assigned the No. 4 seed in the four-team tournament starting Thursday at Cal State Fullerton. UH faces host Fullerton in a 5:30 p.m. semifinal.
The Rainbow Wahine had not qualified for the BWC tourney in their previous seven years in the league.
Also today, senior Alexis Mata was named Big West Goalkeeper of the Year in recording a conference-high 96 saves and holding a 1.15 goals-against average. She is the first UH keeper to win the award.
Mata was joined on the all-conference first team by forward Kayla Ryan and midfielder Eliza Ammendolia. Forward Kayla Watanabe and defender Elena Palacios were named to the second team, and freshman Kelci Sumida was an honorable mention. Sumida and Ammendolia were named to the BWC All-Freshman team.