As announced by the Big West Conference office on Wednesday morning, senior Raisa Strom-Okimoto of the University of Hawai’i soccer program has been named the Offensive Player of the Year.
Sophomore midfielder Leialoha Medeiros, redshirt junior goalkeeper Alexis Mata, and freshman defender Elena Palacios joined Strom-Okimoto, as they all received end of the year honors by the conference.
Along with being named the offensive player of the year, Strom-Okimoto was also appointed to the All-Big West First Team for a third consecutive season. This marks the first time in program history a player has not only been named the offensive player of the year but also been named to the first team three consecutive times.
Strom-Okimoto’s campaign as the player of the year was bolstered by her impressive scoring pace throughout the season, as well as her offense onslaught against conference opponents, notching a total of 12 goals to lead to the conference with seven of those against Big West foes. She registered an astonishing shot on goal percentage of .582, along with a total of 27 points to lead the conference, and three assists.
The ‘Aiea, O’ahu native wrapped up her career in the top 10 of nine different offensive categories. Those include points, goals scored, assists, game-winning goals, shots, shots on goal, multiple assist matches, and overtime goals.
Medeiros joins Strom-Okimoto on the first team squad at the midfield position. This is the second end of the season honor for Medeiros as she was named to the All-Freshman Team last year. She finished her sophomore season as the No. 3 scorer in the conference with seven goals, and was tied for No.2 in the conference with four assists. Much like Strom-Okimoto, Medeiros notched an impressive shot on goal percentage of .529, solidifying the tandem as the top scoring threat this season within the Big West.
Mata was named as an honorable mention at goalkeeper, claiming her first career end of season honor. The two-time defensive player of the week ranked in top three of four major goalkeeper categories within the conference. She was No. 2 in saves with 86, No. 2 in save percentage at .811, tied at No. 1 in wins with nine, and tied at No. 2 in shutouts with six.
Rounding out the seasonal awards is Palacios as she was named to the All-Freshman team. Palacios led the ‘Bows in minutes played as racked up 1,575 minutes of action, anchoring the defensive line. She was one of eight players this season to log over 1,000 minutes on the field of action and was the only player on the roster to calculate over 1,500 minutes. Palacios was an intimidating force on the backline as she towered over offensive attacks at 5’10, of the 17 matches this season, she started all 17 and the only match she did not play every minute of action was against Pacific in a 5-0 lopsided win for UH, where she accounted for 77 minutes of 90 total minutes.