Exactly one week away from opening their schedule, the University of Hawaii women’s soccer team opened training camp on lower campus on Tuesday afternoon.
Head coach Michele Nagamine and company will return to action after missing the entire 2020 season due to the pandemic. As one could imagine, nearly two years removed since their last match the Lady ‘Bows were chomping at the bit to compete.
“It’s absolutely phenomenal. It’s almost indescribable for me and for the team. To be out here, gorgeous weather, I mean it a little hot today but just the vibe overall. Everyone is so excited and pumped to get back to things. It’s really really, it’s been great,” said Nagamine.
Among the returnees for UH will be senior defender Kayla Ryan. The All-Big West first team selection in 2019 played in 16 matches and started in eight, racking up 783 minutes of action on the season. Ryan led the team in goals with seven and points with 14 as UH paved its way to the conference tournament in 2019 with a 4-1-3 conference record, including a 2-1-1 mark at home.
“We’ve just been waiting for this for such a long time,” said Ryan. “We didn’t get to play last season. There is a lot of pent of energy and excitement to just get out there and play in a real game and practice towards something. I think today there are some nerves because we’re starting up again, first time in front of the coaches, but overall I think everyone is just super excited to be back out here.”
The season will officially begin with two home exhibitions on the Lower Campus grass practice fields against Tusculum University and Hawai’i Pacific University on August 17th and 22nd. The regular-season non-conference schedule will roll into action at Waipi’o Peninsula Soccer Stadium on August 27th against North Texas, followed by an encounter with South Dakota State on August 29th. Both matches will serve as the only two home non-conference matches of the season.