Riding a two-match winning streak, the University of Hawaii women’s soccer team is above .500 for the first time since September 2018 and will look to bring that momentum on its next road trip to the Pacific Northwest.

The Rainbow Wahine (2-1) will play matches at Portland and Portland State this Sunday and next Thursday, respectively.

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Dating back to last season, the Lady ‘Bows have won four of their last five matches.

Part of last weekend’s successful two-match home opener in Waipio saw the first career collegiate goal by redshirt freshman Amber Gilbert. The Mililani graduate has proven her perseverance time and again. Due to injuries and the COVID-19 pandemic, she has played in a match since her junior year of high school in 2018. After logging over 200 minutes of playing time though through the first three matches of the season, she’s ready to make up for lost time.

“Honestly, it feels great because I first tore my ACL my junior year of high school and by the time that I recovered, COVID happened and by the time that COVID was over, I tore my ACL again so I had to sit out another season and it was horrible,” Gilbert told KHON2 sports director Rob DeMello. “It’s so hard to just keep going to physical therapy just doing the same thing over and over and being in shape again but finally being able to touch the field, it feels so good and it was all worth it.”

Gilbert’s goal against Seattle on Aug. 25 was an emotional one, not only for Gilbert, but her friends and family in attendance as well. It was also an important day for the person who recruited her and stuck by her through the setbacks: UH head coach Michele Nagamine.

“When she scored her first goal, I think it was one of the most memorable, special moments of my career,” Nagamine said. “Of all the years of coaching to see a player who is so dedicated and so passionate and so committed to fight, claw, scratch, gauge her way back to the starting lineup and it’s been a long time. This is her third year with us and nobody had seen her play yet.”

Gilbert will continue to try and make the most of her playing time this Sunday when the ‘Bows play at Portland (2-0-2). The match starts at 4 p.m. HST and will be available via live stream at WCCSports.com.