UH Hilo Women’s Soccer Senior Night

Eleven of UH Hilo’s finest soccer players play their last home game at Kamehameha Schools in Keaʻau

Staff Writer Clara Scheidle
Photos Courtesy of Mirei Sugita

Soccer players in a group photo at the Kamehameha schools stadium

It’s senior night for the Vulcans- the stands of the stadium at Kamehameha Schools are decorated in streamers and balloons boasting our colors. Fans arrive with war-painted faces, facing wet benches head on with towels and plastic bags, sporting vuvuzelas and big foam shakas. There’s a designated spirit section that remains loud and boisterous from beginning to end.

Two soccer players collide as they both go after a ball

The opposing team, Point Loma Nazarene University, is visiting Hilo from San Diego. The two teams are pretty evenly match, and the enter the half time with no goals on the scoreboard. Ten minutes into the second half, however, the referee calls a foul against the Vulcans in the box, and PLNU scores their PK. The game finishes 35 minutes later with a score of 0-1, a PLNU win.

Lucy Manif walks by herself on the field

Lucy Mainif, captain and senior, says of the match, “I think that we put our hearts out there. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find the back of the net, but I’m still proud of this team and how we ended. I’m very proud of this team.”

A vulcan dribbles the ball with opponents surrounding

After the game, the Hilo team gathered in a huddle on the other side of the field for several minutes. It’s anyone’s guess what’s going on, but the camaraderie is evident; they’re all standing close together with arms around their shoulders. Eventually, a few of the players break off, and head towards a covered tent where they retrieve lei’s, signs, and inner tubes to begin the senior night celebration. Fans begin streaming onto the field, equally laden with gifts.

Lucy hits the ball off her forehead

There are eleven seniors who played their last home game tonight. Each one of them walks down a path surrounded by teammates, celebrating their years playing for UH Hilo.

A vulcans soccer player advances the ball on the pitch

“Watching the team grow has been amazing,” Mainif says. “As the captain, I’m just so proud of them.” Mainif also has words of wisdom for the team: “Keep up the energy and keep playing the style we’ve been playing. Be confident in your talent and the abilities that you have.”

Closeup of all the soccer players smiling with their signs

The Vulcans have three more games this season, all being played in Northern California.