Wahine soccer team aims at attendance mark
By Kyle Sakamoto
Advertiser Staff Writer
The University of Hawai'i women's soccer team is going for a record Sunday, but it has nothing to do with wins, losses or goals.
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Coach Pinsoom Tenzing's team's last home match was Sept. 22.
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A pregame ceremony entitled "A Tribute to Heroes" will start at 4 p.m. at the Waipi'o Peninsula Soccer Stadium, according to Manny Menendez, executive director of the city's Office of Economic Development.
The ceremony will honor those who died in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on New York's World Trade Center on Sept. 11, and Honolulu's police officers, firefighters and emergency services personnel.
Honolulu Police Chief Lee Donohue, Fire Chief Attilio Leonardi and Mayor Jeremy Harris are scheduled to speak.
"It's a chance to pay tribute to our heroes," Harris said. The Sept. 11 events have put a sharp focus on how much we rely on these people. It's our chance to say thank you."
Setting the record is a lofty goal considering the Wahine have drawn 1,012 fans in two home matches this season. The school single-match attendance record is 1,772, set Sept. 3, 2000, against Oregon State.
Despite the numbers, UH coach Pinsoom Tenzing thinks the record is within reach, especially against a quality opponent like Southern Methodist.
"It's entirely possible," he said. "To all soccer fans it would be foolish not to go to the game. We always play them tough. Anybody who remotely likes soccer should be there."
Tonight, the Wahine will play a WAC match against Texas-El Paso (3-7-2, 1-2-1) at 7 p.m. Sunday's match against Southern Methodist (9-3, 4-0) is at 5:07 p.m.
Hawai 'i (4-7, 1-1) enters the matches having dropped seven of its past eight. The Wahine's last six matches have been on the road, and they haven't played at home since Sept. 22.
"We're struggling in terms of wins-losses, but we're playing good soccer," Tenzing said. "The quality of their game is good. We've had chances, but we haven't learned how to convert yet. We just need to be more stingy about giving away goals."
Notes: Both matches will be televised live by K5. ... Local recording artist and firefighter Jesse Rivera will sing the national anthem Sunday. ... Also, Kahuna will perform a drum show, and UH assistant coach Hee Yong Woo will perform his soccer ball juggling act. ... The UH band, cheerleaders and ROTC, and numerous soccer organization will attend Sunday's match. ... The women's single-match attendance record was set Sept. 13, 2000, in a match between North Carolina and Notre Dame at Chapel Hill, N.C.