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By Michael Lasquero. October 24, 2015 - 11:45 am
HPU (6-7, 3-5 PacWest) is coming off a 3-0 win over Chaminade last Saturday and a 3-1 victory over Dominican on Monday. The three goals scored in these contests tied a season-high in points scored in a game.
“The key has been starting up fast and aggressive,” HPU coach Gina Brewer said on her team’s win streak. “We need to be willing to have an attack mentality.”
Maximizing their goal scoring opportunities has also been key for the Sharks.
Prior to their wins over Chaminade and Dominican, the Sharks were in the midst of a three-game losing streak on the road. HPU lost 2-1 against Point Loma, 1-0 against Concordia and 2-0 against Azusa Pacific.
“We’ve been competitive in every game, but we haven’t gotten goals when we needed them,” Brewer said. “We’re really focusing on attacking and continuing to score more goals that we can.”
Brewer credited the play of sophomore forward Sara Romo, freshman midfielder Noelle Mercado and senior midfielder Meghan Cooley in getting the Sharks back in the win column.
Romo scored three goals and had an assist in the past two games, Mercado notched a goal and had two assists in the win over Dominican and Cooley had the first goal in the win over Chaminade.
“Those players have stepped up,” Brewer said. “Sara Romo, one of our sophomore players from California has stepped up and scored a few goals for us in her last couple games. Noelle Mercado has created some assists for us and scored as well. Meghan Cooley has been doing a lot of work for us in the midfield, hustling for the ball both offensively and defensively.”
Another hurdle that the Sharks have had to overcome this season has been the amount of rain that Atherton Field has been receiving on the Hawaii Loa Campus.
“The field in Kaneohe doesn’t handle the rain really well,” Brewer said. “It turns into a muddy mess and we’ve had to change a lot of the practice and game locations.”
Because of this, the team has had to practice at local parks or at Castle High school before school starts.
“They’ve definitely handled it to the best of their abilities but its challenging because the plan is up in the air sometimes,” Brewer said.
In spite of these challenges, the Sharks are looking forward and are eager to finish the season strong. A win over Holy Names will give HPU a .500 winning percentage with two road games, four total, left on the slate.
“It would definitely gives us a lot of confidence because then we would have three wins in a row,” Brewer said on what a win on Saturday would do for her team. “It would allow us to go into this road trip feeling confident at this point, knowing that we can win all the rest of our games and end the season on a high note.”
Photo courtesy of www.hpusharks.com.