The Hawaii women's soccer team went from the joy of clinching its second Big West tournament berth early Sunday to suffering a heart-breaking 2-1 loss to Cal Poly later in the day.
Olivia Ortiz and Kate Reedy scored goals in the final five minutes—32 seconds apart—as Cal Poly ruined Hawaii's Senior Night at Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium.
"We made two mistakes. We didn't get pressure on the ball and they punished us for it, " Hawaii coach Michele Nagamine said. "This one's going to sting for a while."
"I like our chances as much as anybody else's once we get to the tournament, " Nagamine said.
It appeared Cate Sheahan's goal at 46 :28 off an assist from Fabiola Zamora was going to hold up for the Rainbow Wahine.
But Cal Poly upped the offensive pressure and broke through on Ortiz's left-footed shot from distance at 84 :20.
"She probably had no business taking that shot, but she hit it anyway and it worked, so I'm fine with it, " Cal Poly coach Alex Crozier said.
Before fans could settle back in, the Mustangs went up 2-1 on Reedy's long shot from the top of the penalty area at 84 :52.
"I was kind of on Cloud 9, being one goal up, " Hawaii senior Eliza Ammendolia said. "The first goal was a punch to the gut and the second was even worse. It wasn't a great feeling, but I think we learned our lesson, don't take our foot off the gas."
The Rainbow Wahine nearly equalized in the 86th when Sheahan's shot went off the side netting.
The ending put a serious damper on Senior Night when Mia Foster, Maya Gonzalez, Chaima Khammar, Brynn Mitchell, Nohara Takayama and Zamora were honored after the game.
"I enjoyed myself a lot, " Foster said. "Just being on island with these girls, it's just a great community and school. I had a great time. I really grew and flourished as a person."
The Rainbow Wahine, who conclude the regular season Thursday at Long Beach State, are now playing for tournament seeding.
After Sunday's five conference games, the Mustangs (8-6-3 ; 6-2-1, 19 points ) remain atop the standings and the Rainbow Wahine (5-6-3 ; 4-4-1, 13 points ) are now tied for fifth with UC Irvine. The top six qualify for the tournament, which starts Oct. 29. Hawaii's only other Big West tournament appearance came in 2019.
The Rainbow Wahine are no longer in the running for the top two seeds, which are awarded first-round byes and will host semifinal games.
Early in the second half, the Mustangs couldn't clear the ball, which was possessed by Zamora on the left side. Zamora chipped the ball into the box and it became a race between Sheahan and Cal Poly goalkeeper Mackenzie Samuel. Sheahan got to the ball and kicked it down the center the goal.
"It was beautiful. It gave us a lot of momentum, " Nagamine said.
The Rainbow Wahine nearly added to the lead when Amber Gilbert dribbled down the left side past the defense and placed her shot from in close off the left post at 71 :42.
Hawaii fell to 1-10-3 all-time against Cal Poly.
Hawaii goalkeeper Sophie Augustin made four saves, while Cal Poly's Samuel also had four.
The Rainbow Wahine got the better of play in the first half.
Zoe Park fed Foster, whose header was saved by Samuel at 24 :40. Mitchell made a steal and her shot was saved by Samuel at 25 :55. Takayama's shot from distance went just over the crossbar at 40 :10.