The Australian presence at Hawaii continues to grow, and the Rainbow Wahine have pulled off a massive coup with the signing of former Western Sydney Wanderers W-League and Young Matildas midfielder Eliza Ammendolia. The newest member of the Hawaii roster joins fellow midfielder Kiri Dale and assistant coach Rachael Doyle, and comes in with a glowing resume.
Ammendolia compiled 15 appearances in the W-League from 2015-17, including 9 starts for Western Sydney Wanderers, making the midfielder the third-most experienced W-League player currently in college behind Beattie Goad’s 35 appearances for Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City and Rachel Lowe’s 27 appearances for Western Sydney Wanderers. Ammendolia also represented the Young Matildas at the 2016 AFF Women’s Championship alongside former Oregon State defender Olivia Ellis and Illinois defender Ashleigh Lefevre, banging home a hat-trick in the team’s 20-0 demolition of East Timor on their way to a fourth-place finish.
Ammendolia has also made 58 appearances in NPLNSW over the last four years, firstly for Macarthur Rams, with whom the Griffith-born midfielder reached the 2015 Grand Final. Ammendolia then made the move to the Football NSW Institute for 2016 before switching to Blacktown Spartans for the 2017 and 2018 seasons, scoring six goals in 18 appearances in her most recent campaign. Interestingly, Ammendolia was also a member of the same Australian Schoolgirls side as recent UMBC signings Abi Jordan and Teal Kilbride that toured the US in 2018.
With Hawaii finishing a final-day result away from reaching the Big West Conference tournament in 2018, the addition of a player of Ammendolia’s class could certainly provide the spark that the Rainbow Wahine need to get over the hump in 2019 and reach the post-season for the first time since making the switch from the Mountain West in 2012.