The Skyview High School boys soccer team opened the season on the right foot, notching a win and a draw on a trip to the Matanuska-Susitna valleys.
The Panthers earned a draw in Friday's game at Wasilla as Mike Sturm scored with three seconds left in the game to level the score at 2.
"He pulled off a miracle," said Skyview coach Dave Carpenter.
Matt Mataresse set up the winning goal while Skyview's Mitch Burdick assisted on a goal by Trevor Barber to tie the game at 1 10 minutes into the first half.
Barber put on a scoring clinic in Saturday's game at Houston, netting five goals -- a Skyview single-game record -- in the Panthers' 7-0 win at Houston.
"They just seemed to come every five minutes," Carpenter said.
Elliott Gauthier notched an assist in the contest, and Tyler Thornton scored a goal.
Matt Stalnik recorded the shutout in goal for the Panthers. Carpenter also credited Chatchay Apaipak with a solid effort all weekend.
"It was a pretty good weekend overall," Carpenter said. "It showed us where we're at and what we need to do to improve."
Grace Christian boys 4, Kenai Central 0
The Grace Christian boys soccer team proved to be an excellent host off the field, though the Grizzlies weren't quite so gracious on the pitch at Anchorage Football Stadium Friday.
Kenai Central coach David Landry said that at the conclusion of the game late Friday night, the Kardinals (0-1-0) got the bad news that their bus needed repair and couldn't be driven home.
"If it had been any other school, we would have been left sitting by the bus," Landry said. "They gave us a place to stay and made us comfortable while we waited for another bus to be driven up from Soldotna.
"Their graciousness was clearly evident, and I'd like everyone in the community to know how much we appreciate what they did."
The Grizzlies were a bit stingier on the field, though. Kenai's Zack Hicks was issued a red card four minutes into the game, and Grace struck for three first-half goals while the Kardinals tried to regroup.
"It's hard enough playing 11 on 11. When you play a man down, anybody that's been through that knows it's difficult," Landry said. "It took 10 to 15 minutes to figure out our configuration to play a man down. That was a hard experience for these kids. We basically have a brand new team on the field.
"... They're just learning the system, but the fact that Grace only scored one goal in the second half demonstrates they're starting to get it."
Landry credited Geoffrey Gemmell and James Haddock with solid efforts across the back and said Cory Janson and Cory Whitely were tireless in their work rate. Landry added he was pleased with the play of both goalkeepers as Tyler Morris and Marcus Reemtsma split time in the Kenai net.
Landry also praised the play of Ju Kim, which had a settling effect on the squad.
"The kids need to be commended -- they worked hard," Landry said. "We had a couple opportunities we didn't capitalize on, but those will come down the road."
Grace Christian girls 3, Kenai Central 1
The Kenai Central girls dropped their season opener Friday at Anchorage Football Stadium.
Kenai's Keely Boyle scored the first goal of the match, stealing the ball and breaking through for a one-on-one with the Grace keeper.
The Grizzlies equalized with about 10 minutes left in the first half, then netted the go-ahead goal midway through the second half.
Grace netted one more late in the match as Kenai pushed players forward in an effort to tie the game.
"This was our first time with 11 players playing new positions," Kenai coach Dan Verkuilen said. "I knew it would take awhile, but (the effort) pleased me tremendously with that many new kids.
"They learned a lot. That's going to be the thing here for the season."
Ally Erving scored twice for the Grizzlies (4-0-0).
Wasilla girls 5, Skyview 0
Skyview girls 6, Houston 0
After opening up their season with a loss to the Warriors Friday, the Panthers recovered for a victory over the Hawks Saturday.
In the game Friday, the Warriors scored two goals in the first five minutes of the game en route to a commanding 4-0 halftime lead.
Despite the five goals, Skyview coach Tony Lewis said sweeper Amber Zuck played a good game. It was Zuck's first time playing the sweeper position on varsity.
Saturday, Marina Holt had a hat trick and Ginny Berg had two goals and an assist in the rout of the Hawks.
Berg got the scoring started with two unassisted goals in the first seven minutes of the game.
Just nine minutes in, Amber Kunz made it 3-0 when she scored on a corner kick from Anna Evanson.
Holt then took over the scoring, notching goals at the 25-, 54- and 59-minute marks. Berg assisted on Holt's second goal, while Ann Verba had the assist on Holt's third goal.
Lewis said Verba and Jenny Carpenter did a good job controlling the midfield in the game.
"It was good to score all those goals, but there still are a lot of basic things we need to work on," Lewis said. "We need to play better than we did today if we want to qualify for regions."
Palmer boys 3, Nikiski 1
The Bulldogs dropped their match against a very skilled Palmer squad at Anchorage Football Stadium Friday.
"We had 27 shots on goal, we just weren't able to finish," Nikiski coach James Coburn said. "The boys were a little disappointed, but Palmer is a skilled team."
Jeremiah Taylor scored for the Bulldogs, assisted by Joey Wicker in the second half. Taylor's goal cut Palmer's lead to 2-1, but the Moose were able to score late in the half.
Nikiski falls to 1-2-1 this season.
Juneau-Douglas boys 8, Homer 1
Juneau-Douglas girls 7, Homer 0
The Mariners traveled to Juneau but opened the season with a pair of tough losses to the Crimson Bears Friday.
Palmer girls 1, Nikiski 0
The Bulldogs dug in on defense against a talented Palmer squad.
"The girls did make good adjustments on the field to lock up their key players, that I was encouraged by," said Nikiski coach Richard Kelso. "We did manage to slow down their key girls, but Palmer played a beautiful game."
Kelso said his squad got the basics right, but the Moose scored what called a beautiful, unstoppable goal.
Peninsula Clarion ©2014. All Rights Reserved.