WASILLA — The Kenai Kardinals started their 2013 season with a trip to the Valley, but left without a goal after suffering a 1-0 loss to Colony and playing to a scoreless tie with Palmer.
Friday, the Kards made their second appearance in the Valley of the short season, a trip that produced better results.
Paula Ulreich scored twice and Jenna Calhoun added a goal to lead the Kards to a 3-0 win over Wasilla at Wasilla High School.
“We had opportunities, but couldn’t hit the strike,” longtime Kenai head coach Dan Verkuilen said of his team’s last trip to the Valley after the win over the Warriors. “We’re doing a little better on finishing.”
Verkuilen said the Kards have spent their season working on creating offensive opportunities and finishing. And while Kenai continues to progress on that end, Verkuilen said he has been able to rely on his defense.
“Defense is solid as a rock for us,” Verkuilen said. “If the offense gets one or two in, we have a chance on being successful.”
Wasilla’s best offensive opportunity came late in the match, a shot ripped by sophomore Alexa Starr. Sydney Taylor made the save to preserve the shutout for the Kards.
The Kards were without their starting center midfielder, Allie Ostrander in the win. While Ostrander, a two-sport spring athlete for the Kards, was busy shattering a 27-year old track record en route to a win in the 3,200-meter event of the Region III Championships in Nikiski, Ulreich helped shoulder the offensive load for the Kards, with her two goals.
Ulreich took a feed from Ericka Reynolds early in the match and scored from the left side of the box during the sixth minute to give the Kards the 1-0 lead. Ulreich pushed her team’s advantage to a pair of goals when she knocked in a rebound of a Hannah Drury shot during the 52nd minute.
Jenna Calhoun rounded out the scoring in the 65th minute, placing a shot under Wasilla goalkeeper Crystal Branson, who was diving to make a save.
Branson made a number of tough saves for the Warriors in the loss.
Soldotna girls 4, Wasilla 0
The Soldotna Stars netted a pair of goals in each half en route to a 4-0 win over Wasilla Saturday at Wasilla High.
Wasilla goalkeeper Crystal Branson made 12 saves for the Warriors.
Wasilla will enter the upcoming Northern Lights Conference Championships as the No. 4 seed from the North Division and will face Soldotna in the first round Thursday in the tournament. Soldotna is the top seed from the South Division.
Miranda Wolfe made a successful return from injury. She and sister Kylee assisted a goal from Taryn McCubbins, then Miranda closed with a hat trick. Assists came from Kylee, Shae VanMeter and Katelynn Kerkvliet, who had the shutout in net.