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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, October 28, 2002

Rainbows rout Nevada in soccer home finale

By Kyle Sakamoto
Advertiser Staff Writer

Natasha Kai didn't take long to get her name etched in the University of Hawai'i soccer team's record book.

University of Hawai'i midfielder Joelle Sugai, left, and Nevada defender Leisha Makinano battle in the first half. UH won the Western Athletic Conference match, 5-0.

Eugene Tanner • The Honolulu Advertiser

The freshman forward from Kahuku High School set UH single-season records for goals (14) and points (31) following a 5-0 rout of Nevada in a Western Athletic Conference match last night at the Waipi'o Peninsula Soccer Stadium.

Both records were previously set by junior forward Arlene Devitt last season.

"The records are nothing," said Kai, who scored two goals last night. "As long as we win the game."

Kai scored the Rainbows' first goal at 2:35 after taking a pass from midfielder Wanette Miyashiro and getting a shot past a defender and goalie Megan Tarpenning, who came way off her line to the edge of the penalty box.

Kai also scored at 52:06 off assists from Devitt and Miyashiro.

"She's phenomenal," UH coach Pinsoom Tenzing said. "She has so much speed up top. It's a weapon we use all the time."

Devitt scored at 25:23 and 58:51.

"You have go-to players — you got Kai, you got Devitt," said Nevada coach Dang Pibulvech, whose team fell to 4-13 overall, 1-5 WAC. "That's how the five goals came pretty much, and the solid play of the others to get the ball to those guys."

However, Devitt picked up her fifth yellow card of the season at 40:20 and will miss the Rainbows' next match against San Jose State.

"I have no comment on that," she said.

Sophomore midfielder Kalena Eaton, who redshirted last season after suffering a knee injury, scored her first goal of the season at 76:12 off a corner kick from midfielder Erin Quattromani.

It was the final home match for seniors Miyashiro, Quattromani, defender Noelle Takemoto and goalie Jennifer Churchill, who achieved her first solo shutout of the season last night.

"I can't say enough about them," Tenzing said. "This has truly been a remarkable bunch of kids."

Hawai'i (8-7-2, 4-2) won all four of its WAC matches at home this season, outscoring their opponents 17-1.

The Rainbows conclude their regular season with road matches against San Jose State Friday and Fresno State Sunday.

The team will then head straight to the WAC tournament in Houston, Nov. 7-9.

Hawai'i lost in the WAC final last season, and Tenzing is very optimistic about this year's tournament.

"My sincere feeling is we'll do better than we did last year, which is win the finals," he said.