Sea Warriors To Play UH Wahine At Waipio Soccer Park

By the time the Hawaii Pacific University women’s soccer team begins its six-game home stand at Atherton Field on the Windward campus in early October, head coach Gina Brewer should have an even greater understanding of the Sea Warriors’ capabilities.

Indeed, HPU’s pending road trip will ensure as much as the Sea Warriors will play three of the PacWest’s top teams from last year at Azusa Pacific, California Baptist and Point Loma Nazarene colleges. Before that stretch, however, an equally large matchup with University of Hawaii looms on the slate at 7 tonight (Sept. 25) at Waipio Peninsula Soccer Park.

“It’s always a fantastic opportunity to be able to play against your in-state Division I university,” Brewer said of the UH game. “They’ve had some big wins already, and they’re having a good season. They’re very good. It will be a challenging game for us, and it will be good to see how we fare against them.”

HPU’s road trip follows closely on the heels of the UH game, as the Sea Warriors play Saturday at Dixie State University in Utah. Games follow with Azusa Pacific Sept. 30, California Baptist Oct. 3 and Point Loma Nazarene Oct. 5.

Brewer sees the UH game as the perfect tune-up for the Pacific West Conference road dates. “It’s fantastic the way the schedule is set up – we’ll be prepared (for league games),” she said. Adding to the intrigue is that Brewer and UH coach Michelle Nagamine, formerly the HPU head coach, are longtime friends.

“I know her very well,” said Brewer. “Today is her birthday, and I just sent her a message. We’ve coached together in the local soccer community for a while. She lives across the street from me, so we are actually neighbors. They needed a game on their schedule, and it’s a great opportunity for us.”

HPU took a 2-1 record into last weekend’s home game with BYU-Hawaii on the Kaneohe campus. The Sea Warriors defeated Chaminade by scores of 1-0 and 2-0 and dropped a 2-1 decision to California State University, San Bernardino.

The team is led by veterans Lexi Cameau, Nicole Craig, Ashlyn Ubongen and Andrea Aguirre, as well as sophomore Sierra Kadooka, a Kailua High School product, who has become a key contributor as a defender. “Sierra has been very versatile for us,” Brewer said. “She has a fantastic blue-collar work ethic and a never-give-up attitude.”

Cameau already has tal-lied twice in HPU’s first three games to lead the Sea Warriors offensively. “She’s a big threat for us, and Ashlyn understands the game well and is a very creative attacker for us,” Brewer said. “Nikki is our anchor in the back, and Andrea covers a lot of ground and does a lot on both sides of the ball.”

The UH game also will be televised live statewide on OC-16.

“We’re going to have to defend really well. They’re very athletic, and they can attack from a lot of different angles,” Brewer said of UH. “We have to be disciplined in defending in oneon-one situations. If we can defend, that will give us the chance to create opportunities for us, offensively.”