By Ronell Hugh
The BYU women”s soccer team (12-4-1, 4-1-0 MWC) heads to sunny Hawaii to face the University of Hawaii Rainbow Wahine today at 7 p.m. in Honolulu.
“Hawaii has done well this year,” said head coach Jennifer Rockwood. “They”re a good team, and it will be good for us to go on the road.”
The Cougars have not played many road games this year, and the game against Hawaii will be good for the team, Rockwood said.
BYU has played the Rainbow Wahine three times and have come away with wins on each occasion.
Hawaii (13-4-1, 7-1-0 WAC) comes into this game with the nations leading scorer, sophomore Natasha Kai. Kai leads the nation with 27 goals.
“I think as we go out there and are able to keep possession and to move the ball around, they are not going to have the opportunity to find her,” Rockwood said.
The Cougars plan to do their job by keeping possession of the ball and to mark up on their opponent”s good forwards, Rockwood said.
BYU is coming off a huge 5-1 win over the University of Wyoming Cowgirls on Thursday.
Sophomore midfielder Charlene Lui is a native from Honolulu. Rockwood said it is fun to take Lui back to her home state to play in front of friends and family.
Lui currently starts on the BYU squad as one of the midfielders alongside All-American midfielder Aleisha Rose.
After playing Hawaii today, the Cougars will return early Tuesday to prepare for the Mountain West Conference Championship game.
“We”ll be able to adjust by Tuesday evening and get good practices in on Wednesday and Thursday in preparation for Utah,” Rockwood said.
The big game comes on Saturday at 7 p.m. when the Cougars meet their rival, the University of Utah, at South Stadium.
The Utes are currently ranked 20th in the nation with huge wins over several ranked opponents.
“Definitely Hawaii is going to be challenge for us, but you”re always looking forward to that Utah game,” Rockwood said. “There is more riding on this game than there ever has been in the past nine years.”
The Cougars need to beat the Utes to earn its fifth MWC Championship in five years.