For the first time this season the University of Hawai’i soccer team has not one, but two Big West Conference weekly awards, as senior midfielder Raisa Strom-Okimoto was named Offensive Player of the Week and redshirt junior goalkeeper Alexis Mata was appointed Defensive Player of the Week.
Even though Strom-Okimoto is a two-time BWC first-team selection, this marks the first weekly award of her career, while Mata claims the third weekly award of her career.
Strom-Okimoto continues to be a saving grace for the Rainbow Wahine with her stellar play to begin the 2018 season. On Thursday, against Saint Mary’s she stole the ball from a pursuing Gaels player and marched forward creating a one-on-one situation and beating the goalkeeper for the tying goal at 1-1 in the 87th minute. Her day wasn’t done though as UH went into overtime Strom-Okimoto found sophomore midfielder Leialoha Medeiros in the box for a game-winning score, registering her first-assist of the season off a corner kick. Her momentum carried over just a few days later on Sunday, notching her third goal of the year in a 5-0 thrashing of Pacific.
Mata registered a .889 save percentage against SMC and Pacific, only allowing one goal while saving eight in the process. Mata’s shutout of Pacific was her second of the season and the fourth of her career. In the first four games of the year, Mata has accounted for 18 saves, along with a .783 save percentage.
UH will be back in action at Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium later this week with UC San Diego visiting the island of O’ahu for a Friday matchup at 7 p.m. HT.