The Skyview High School boys soccer team was able to rally for a late goal, but the Panthers weren’t able to get the equalizer, falling 4-3 to Ketchikan on Friday in a nonconference match.
Also Friday, the Ketchikan girls defeated Skyview 5-1 on the strength of five goals by Whitney Walters.
The matches were played at Nikiski due to unplayable pitch conditions at Skyview. While the Nikiski field is relatively dry, it has been shortened just a bit this year because of soggy ground, and it took a half for the Panthers to adjust their strategy to the field dimensions.
“We kept trying to make our runs straight up the field,” said Ronnie Kier, the Skyview girls coach who was filling in on the boys bench while Rob Albers wasn’t able to make it to the game due to illness.
Kier said the Panthers tried some diagonal runs in the second half with good success.
“A couple of the goals we scored in the second half were because we went to that game plan. It worked out for us,” he said.
Ketchikan got on the board first when Sean Hovik was on the spot to knock in a ball bobbled by the Skyview goalkeeper in the 23rd minute.
Hovik made it 2-0 three minutes later, getting a foot on a ball bouncing around the Skyview penalty area.
Skyview cut the lead to a goal when Erik Dolphin converted a penalty kick in the 33rd minute, but Ketchikan regained a two-goal margin 15 minutes in the second half on a free kick from 20 yards out. Thanh Nguyen took the shot on the play.
Tyler Thornton kept the Panthers in the game with a goal in the 60th minute, neatly finishing a ball played through the middle of the Ketchikan defense.
The Kings answered just a minute later when Connor Pihl connected on a blast from 20 yards out.
The Panthers scrambled for a goal in stoppage time, but the whistle blew before they could get one more.
Ketchikan coach Chuck Jones said he was very impressed with peninsula soccer as the Kings complete their road trip.
“I just want to compliment the officials on the peninsula. They’ve been outstanding. They do a great job down here, and all the teams have been outstanding. They’ve been terrific,” Jones said.
Ketchikan girls 5, Skyview 1
Every time the Kings ventured near the Skyview goal, the Panthers defense frantically tried to make sure a player was marking Ketchikan’s No. 3, and for good reason Walters, who wears jersey No. 3, finished the day with five goals.
Erika Pearce had a pair of assists, and Amy Wadley and Marissa Medford each assisted on goals for the Kings.
Skyview’s lone goal came on a header from Katie Thornton, who finished a cross from the right wing.
“Each game, it looks like we are a step away from something good. Hopefully, we get there by the time regions roll around,” Kier said.
Kier said the Panthers had made some changes to their lineup and he was hoping his squad would be better able utilize the skills of attacking players Joanna Graves and Amanda Millay.
“I think good things are going to happen once we get used to the lineup we had out there today,” Kier said.
Colony girls 3, Skyview 2
The Knights scored three goals in the final 20 minutes of the game to defeat the Panthers on Saturday at Soldotna Middle School.
Amanda Millay, on an assist by Joanna Graves, and Graves, on an assist by Nicole VanRyzin, scored for the Panthers.
“They just played great soccer,” Kier said of his squad. “It finally seemed like things were coming together, it’s just unfortunate the way it ended up.”
Colony boys 3, Skyview 0
The Panthers dropped a decision to the Knights Saturday at Soldotna Middle School.
Peninsula Clarion ©2014. All Rights Reserved.