The Soldotna boys found themselves in the way of a tough Dimond squad on the soccer pitch Thursday at Chugiak High School, as the Lynx dominated in a 9-0 rout of the Stars at the ASAA state soccer tournament.
The Lynx used their depth to their advantage, as eight players notched a goal. The only footballer to score twice? Jack Sedor.
“The first half of the season, we looked at our stats and we saw that three guys were scoring and finishing for us,” said Dimond coach Barat Killian. “We needed a bevy of players to do that and the talent we had here, I didn’t doubt one bit. We just needed to get in that flow.”
Sedor opened the scoring with a goal five minutes in that came from a cross pass from a teammate, and Matt Froelich notched a second goal in the 32nd minute on a free kick.
At halftime, the Lynx held a precarious 2-0 lead, which Killian said only continued to motivate his team.
“We told them the next goal is the most important, and if they scored it, they would be down 2-1 and be right back in it, and if we get that third goal, that’s usually checkmate in soccer,” Killian said.
In the second half, the Lynx got goals in the 46th, 51st, 54th, 56th, 63rd, 66th and 74th minutes to blow the doors off the Stars, and goalkeeper Kayne North. Three of those were second-chance opportunities, as North was able to stop the ball, only to have Dimond put in the rebound.
North faced 28 shots on goal Thursday, while Dimond’s goalie only dealt with five chances from Soldotna.
“Once you get to a certain point, it’s about keeping the morale up and getting them ready for the next day,” said Soldotna coach Jeff Siemers. “We’ve got a game tomorrow and our guys got some good rest, we were able to pull our starters off and made it work.
“I thought we played well until the third goal, and after that we started losing some momentum.”
SoHi will try to extend its season one more game on Friday with a consolation matchup against Wasilla — which lost 2-0 against South on Thursday — at 6 p.m. at the Eagle River High School field. Wasilla beat Soldotna 3-2 one week ago in the semifinals of the Northern Lights Conference tournament.
Even when the final whistle sounded Thursday, it was apparent that SoHi wasn’t about to let the loss affect them, as smiles could be seen on the sideline, and Siemers said the team’s goal now is to play on Saturday.
“That’s what we want to be doing,” he said. “We just need to recollect and gather up what we have for tomorrow. We have a good group of guys to do that.”