SkyHi boys soccer cruises past Nikiski

Posted: Wednesday, April 21, 2004

The Skyview High School boys soccer team notched its second win of the season in as many tries Tuesday, defeating Nikiski 5-0 in a Region III Southern Division match at Skyview.

The Panthers have continued the trend they started last season, moving the ball from wing to wing to create scoring chances in front of their opponents' nets.

"They played pretty well," said Skyview coach Dave Carpenter following Tuesday's win. "They stayed real organized real well today."

Indeed, Skyview was able to control the middle of the park for most the game thinks to the efforts of Chatchay Apaipak, Sebastien Spicher and Trevor Barber.

The trio in the middle was then able to find players open on each wing, and both Jacob Gauthier and Elliott Gauthier responded by sending nice crosses into the box.

The Panthers tested Nikiski goalkeeper Rick Miller early, and a well-placed cross led the Panthers first goal eight minutes into the match.

The Panthers weren't able to capitalize on the initial cross from the left wing by Jacob Gauthier, but Elliott Gauthier was able to collect the ball on the right wing and play it back in front of the net, where it was inadvertently knocked into the Nikiski goal by a Bulldogs defender under pressure from Kyle Eshleman.

The Skyview defense did well to keep Nikiski's attack bottled up for much of the game -- goalkeeper Matt Stalnick was called on to make just four saves -- and the Panthers offense made it 2-0 in the 27th minute when Tyler Thorton received a pass that split the Nikiski defense and touched it to Barber, who scored his first of two goals in the game.

Elliott Gauthier made it a 3-0 lead four minutes later, taking a deft touch in the Nikiski 18-yard box and firing a shot to the upper corner.

Miller made a nice fingertip save late in the first half to keep his team in the game, but Barber netted his second goal with a blast from 18 yards out just three minutes into the second half.

Elliott Gauthier netted his second of the game in the 56th minute, working a give-and-go with Eshleman and finishing the play with a shot to the lower corner.

Miller was able to keep the Panthers out of the goal the rest of the way, and Nikiski challenged Stalnik with a pair of hard shots late in the match, but the Bulldogs weren't able to sustain much pressure.

"We started without three of our starters, but when we scrimmaged Skyview earlier this season, I felt they had more skill on their team than any other peninsula team has had," said Nikiski coach Jim Coburn. "They passed well, they communicated well, and they shot well. We could have used a little more communication."

Coburn did say he was proud to see his younger players step in and play well in the first match of the season for Nikiski. He also credited outside midfielders Robert Doty and Travis McCaughey, midfielder Brett Allemann, and Israel Blatchford, who played forward and also came back to mark up defensively, with solid games.

"We used this game to see what we're lacking and what we need to work on in practice," Coburn said. "Skyview played real well, and they showed good sportsmanship today."

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