The Soldotna boys reeled off a 5-1 victory against Skyview on Thursday at Skyview. With this victory, Soldotna picked up the second seed out of the Northern Lights Conference Southern Division entering the conference tournament.
The Stars got an early goal from Cory Carver, who had two scores overall in the game.
“Scoring early always helps, and being able to keep the pressure on them helps,” Soldotna coach Jeff Siemers said.
In the 16th minute, Sebastian Gabriel was able to shoot the ball past the Skyview goalkeeper, with a strategic assist play from Dagen Walton and Cory Carver, which left Soldotna up 2-0 at halftime.
“The wind definitely didn’t help, we had a lot of shots going way over, but the keeper had a lot of good saves,” Siemers said. “We were a little timid on the touches because of the weather, but the guys were playing well, and we have two hard games coming up, so we’re trying to finish the season strong.”
Skyview came out charging in the second half, and Carl Hatten scored in the 52nd minute to close the gap by a goal.
“I think it just took us a little while to wake up and realize we were in a soccer game,” Skyview coach Brandon Goggia said. “That’s what I blame the first two goals on. SoHi’s third goal was nicely played, but the first two were on us.”
However, Soldotna scored three more times in the second half to ice the game early.
All game long, the conditions were cold and windy, and that led to the team facing the wind with a possible disadvantage.
“I think the wind played a factor, not the biggest factor, but it definitely played a part,” Goggia said. “I don’t think the scoreline reflects entirely the way a game goes.”
In addition to Carver’s two goals and Gabriel’s goal, Soldotna picked up scores from Charalambos Asimakopoulos and Cameron Grothe.
“Both Cory and Cameron have been scoring most of our goals, and keeping strong in the midfield,” Siemers said. “I told the guys we have to anticipate a lot of difficult teams later on in the tournament, and to make sure we have good quality team play and good touches on the ball, and playing with all 11 guys.”
With the loss, Skyview now is eliminated from the conference tournament.
“We’d like to finish off strong against Seward on Saturday, and just get ready for next year,” Goggia said. “We want to get all the guys playing with the ball over the summertime.”
Soldotna holds 7-2 overall record now, and will play Palmer on Friday at 5:30 p.m. Skyview sits at 1-9 after the game and plays Seward at 1 p.m. Saturday at Skyview.
Soldotna girls 7, Skyview 0
The Stars shut out the Panthers in Northern Lights Conference play Thursday at Skyview.
Julie Litchfield and Skylar Shaw racked up two goals, and Miranda Wolfe, Taryn McCubbins and Kylee Wolfe each had a score.
“We weren’t very happy with the first half, we came out kind of flat,” Soldotna coach Jimmy Love said. “We got to show up and play our game, they’re not the best team, and nor are we, but if play down to our opponent’s level, you know, we can’t do that.”
With a halftime score of 3-0, Litchfield was able to boot the ball in at the 45th minute, after a long pass from Kylee Wolfe deflected off of
McCubbins and to Litchfield, and Skylar Shaw converted on a penalty kick in the 61st minute.
“We played pretty well, you know, if you give them the advantage of the wind, they’re going to be hard to keep up with in the second half,”
Skyview coach David Carpenter said. “In the first five, six minutes, we came out strong, it was like, ‘Wow what’s going to happen here today?’, but they settled down and got in their rhythm and showed us how to play.”
In the 74th minute, Litchfield was able to score off an assist from Kelci Benson, and Kylee Wolfe was able to finish the game off in the 78th minute with an assist from Litchfield.
“Our finishing problem still exists, because we had some really nice looks in the first half that we should have scored on,” Carpenter said.
“We’d get an open look and they get excited and start swinging for the fence.”
Like the boys game, it was cold and windy.
“We weren’t really even addressing the wind, we were focusing on playing the ball at our feet, because when we start getting the ball in the air, I would say we’re not the best tracking team, and so I’d rather have them play the ball down,” Love said. “But we certainly could’ve had a much bigger advantage taking some shots outside, because the wind could’ve carried the ball.”
Soldotna holds an overall record of 9-0, and will play Palmer at 3:30 p.m. Friday. Skyview has a 1-5-3 record and will face up against Seward on Saturday at 11 a.m.
Palmer girls 3, Nikiski 0
The visiting Moose scored once in the first half and twice in the second half to wrap up a Northern Lights Conference victory Thursday.
The Bulldogs dropped to 4-6-2.
Nikiski coach Mandy Adair said 10 minutes into the game, forward Cydney Spurgeon and the Palmer goalie arrived at the ball at the same time. Spurgeon was able to get the ball and score.
Adair said she thought the goalie was still bobbling the ball, but the referee ruled the goalie had possession, nullifying the score.
“After that, it seemed like the tempo changed,” Adair said. “Palmer was pressing the ball, and they were winning 50-50 balls. It came down to they just worked harder than us.”
Adair said Rachel Thompson had a great game in net, and kept the Bulldogs in the game in the first half. The coach also said Brittany Scott continues to provide good leadership on defense.
The Bulldogs host Homer in a pivotal Northern Lights Conference Southern Division game Saturday.
Palmer boys 3, Nikiski 0
The visiting Moose scored three times in the first half to lock up an NLC win.
“We held them in the second half,” Nikiski coach Jim Coburn said after his team dropped to 3-7-1. “We had lots of opportunities, but we weren’t able to finish.”
Coburn said Colton Anderson played well in goal. Anderson moved into the net because Lincoln Johnson was participating in track.
Coburn also said Josh Crouse had a good game at defense.
Nikiski hosts Homer in a game at 6 p.m. Saturday.