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HILLSBORO, Ore. — Freshman defender Megan Myers scored off of a goal-mouth scramble following a corner in the 28th minute, and redshirt senior goalkeeper Angela Haluska saved a career-high 11 shots as the Portland State women's soccer team broke through with its first win of the 2015 season, beating Hawai'i 1-0 Friday at Hillsboro Stadium.
"We played a solid 90 minutes and created a lot of scoring opportunities," PSU head coach Laura Schott said afterwards. "The team earned the shutout today, facing a very dangerous Hawai'i attack. Angela made some nice saves today as well and her play was key in the win."
Myers' goal came after junior defender Nikia Evans sent a dangerous corner deep inside Hawai'i's box. Evans' corner bounced off of Hawai'i goalkeeper Monk Berger's hands and found senior forward Tamia Hasan inside the six-yard box on the back post. Hasan tried to flick a shot on goal from there, but a wall of Hawai'i defenders blocked it. However, the rebound fell right to Myers, who was right next to Hasan, and Myers' shot found the path through the wall of players and into the net.
The goal marks the first goal of Myers' Portland State career, and gives the Vikings their first goal of the season after they were shut out over their first three matches of 2015.
Portland State (1-3-0) very easily could have scored another goal Friday, especially in the second half, when the Vikings outshot Hawai'i (1-3-1) 8-6.
Freshman forward Morgan Matthews had a number of chances in the second half, starting with a chance in the 66th minute, when Matthews got a ball just off the six-yard line from junior midfielder Bianca Munoz. Matthews timed her run well and beat the last Hawai'i defender on the play, but Berger was right there to block Matthews' shot.
Matthews had another chance come a little later in the 70th minute, when Munoz found junior midfielder Aurora Bodenhamer up the right flank, who then sent a beautiful cross into Matthews, who was making a run right in front of the face of the goal. Matthews again timed her run perfectly, receiving the ball just inside the six-yard box, but her flick shot went straight up and hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced out.
Matthews got a third chance at a goal in the 78th minute, when she again connected with Bodenhamer, who sent a long ball up to Matthews, allowing the freshman forward to run onto it past the Hawai'i defense. Matthews beat Berger to the ball, who came well out of her goal on the play, but tried to take a touch past Berger, and Berger got just enough of the ball to mess with Matthews' timing. As a result, Matthews' shot came a bit later than she was hoping, allowing Berger to get back in front and block it away.
Additionally, Bodenhamer had her own chance at a goal come in the 39th minute of the first half, when she picked the ball off of Hawai'i's back line. However, Bodenhamer lost her balance just as she got an opening to take a shot and her attempt sailed wide right.
Hawai'i created several of its own scoring opportunities throughout the match, but the Viking defense held tough for its first shutout of the 2015 season.
Hawai'i nearly tied it up at the end of regulation on another goal-mouth scramble, this time in front of the Vikings' goal. Junior Storm Kenui sent a long ball to teammate Sonest Furtado with just over four minutes remaining, and Furtado took the ball all the way up to the six-yard line on the left post. Haluska came out to meet her there and made contact with the ball while knocking Furtado to the ground. The ball stayed near Furtado, though, and Furtado tried to play a shot into the net from the ground. The Viking defense blocked Furtado's shot, but Hawai'i's Tiana Fujimoto was there to send another quick shot towards the Vikings' goal. Portland State freshman defender Dallin Esmond was there to block the shot again, however, and the ball eventually rolled safely to Haluska, who picked it up and punted it away.
Hawai'i also had a good chance to score the first goal of the match in the 22nd minute, when a beautiful cross in from T.J. Reyno found Fujimoto with an open goal on the back post. Fujimoto didn't make good contact with the ball, however, and her shot sailed past the left post.
Overall, Haluska's 11 saves in the match marks the most by a PSU goalkeeper since Lainey Hulsizer recorded 14 saves against Sacramento State on Sept. 30, 2011. Haluska also had 10 saves in the Vikings' season opener against Arizona State, and had six saves in each of the Vikings' matches against Cal State Northridge and UC Davis, giving her an average of 8.25 saves per match so far this season.
The Vikings now head back on the road for their next match, as they play at Long Beach State Sunday at 12 p.m. (PT). The Vikings' next home match will be a week from Sunday, when they host Air Force at Hillsboro Stadium at 1 p.m. (PT).
Match Notes: The Vikings improve to 2-2-1 all-time against Hawai'i with their win Friday, and have now won the last two matches in the series…The Vikings goalkeeper has had double-digit saves in each of the Vikings' last two matches against Hawai'i, as Caitlin Plese had 10 saves in the Vikings' win over Hawai'i in 2013, while Haluska finished Friday with 11 saves…The Vikings had been 0-2 against Big West teams this season going into their match Friday, but raised that record to 1-2 with their win over Hawai'i.