Kenai's Dusty Ward kicks under Skyview's Matt Stalnik during Saturday's game at Kenai.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
Haley Mishler booted the Kenai Central High School girls soccer team to its third win in as many days, scoring twice and adding an assist in the Kardinals' 3-2 Northern Lights Conference-Southern Division win Saturday at Kenai.
In Saturday's boys game, the Panthers easily handled the Kardinals, winning 6-0.
"Haley Mishler did awesome she was the star of the game," said Kenai midfielder Chelsie Harris.
Mishler netted the match-winner with six minutes left in the game, receiving a ball that had been worked up the right wing by the Kardinals and firing it into the net.
The Kardinals created chances early in their match, springing the speedy Keely Boyle with balls played through the Skyview defense. Boyle got herself free behind the Skyview defense eight minutes into the match and pulled the trigger from about 20 yards out, but Skyview keeper Chantal Schefers got her hands on the shot and tipped it up and off the crossbar.
Kenai's Samantha Calderwood and Skyview's Cady Bon get under a ball in the second half Saturday at Kenai.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
Skyview scored the first goal of the match when Ginny Berg received the ball with some space around her to settle it and turn toward goal. Berg took a couple of touches before sending a hard shot to the back of the net in the 17th minute.
Kenai responded with a pair of goals in the last seven minutes of the first half. After the Kardinals were turned aside Rochelle Stretch tied the game in the 33rd minute, knocking in a cross from the right wing sent in by Mishler.
Mishler gave Kenai its first lead of the game six minutes later, collecting a ball deflected by a Skyview defender and bolting toward the goal before tucking it neatly into the net.
Berg again knotted the game 12 minutes into the second half, nicely finishing a ball worked up the wing and played into the middle.
Schefers made several more saves to keep the score tied before Mishler put the Kardinals back on top.
"We had a couple breakdowns where our intensity wasn't up, but I think we're playing pretty good," said Berg. "We're putting together passes, making some through-balls and some nice runs."
Skyview coach Ronnie Kier was pleased with the play of Schefers, a sophomore playing her first season of soccer, in goal.
"I've never played soccer before. As the games go on, I'm more comfortable. I know my limits, and where I should be positioned," Schefers said, adding that the position comes with a lot of pressure.
"She's getting better and better with every game. That's all you can ask for," Kier said. "She gets out there and gets the job done."
For the Kardinals, Harris said it was exciting to put together a three-win weekend over some tough opponents.
"It's very exciting, especially since it's my and Rochelle's senior year," Harris said while chatting with Stretch following the match.
Harris said the team was drained after three close games, though.
"I'm ready to go home and sleep," Harris said.
Kenai's Jessica Summer and Skyview's Malarie Millay struggle for the ball in the second half Saturday.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
The Skyview boys scored early and often against the Kardinals, with Jason Smith getting things started just five minutes into the match.
Trevor Barber made 2-0 in the ninth minute, Kyle Eshleman knocked in a cross from Barber for a 3-0 lead in the 24th minute, and Smith gave his side a 4-0 lead with a nice move and nicer shot in the 31st minute.
Barber made it 4-0 just before the half, converting a penalty kick. He scored the only goal of the second half, also on a penalty kick.
"I didn't expect that. I think we were clicking really well from the very start. We just seemed to be a step ahead," said Skyview coach Dave Carpenter.
Skyview midfielder Sean Mallette said the team had a couple of days to reflect after a tie against Ketchikan Wednesday and was determined to put together a solid match against Kenai.
"This was our test. We came out and played our hardest today," Mallette said. "We've always had a little bit of a mental breakdown. Today, we just got it together. We got some goals early, and that fueled the fire."
Kenai's best scoring opportunity came in the middle of the second half when Ju Kim labeled a shot for the lower corner of the Skyview goal, but the goal was disallowed due to an offside player.
Kenai coach David Landry said his young team continues to improve a little bit at a time. The Kardinals face a make-or-break stretch of the season this week with division matches against Soldotna, Nikiski and Seward.
"We improved a little bit more it's those baby steps," Landry said.
Landry said he was pleased to see Brad Fusaro play well in his first varsity match and added that seniors Cory Whiteley, Ryann Hansen and Marcus Reemtsma were providing good leadership for younger players learning Kenai's system.
Skyview girls 3, Seward 0
The Panthers improved to 1-1 in the Northern Lights Conference-Southern Division and 2-3 overall with the victory over the host Seahawks Friday.
Ginny Berg had two goals for the Panthers, while Amber Kunz had the other goal. Chantal Schefers had the shutout in goal for Skyview.
Skyview coach Ronnie Kier said his squad came out slow in the first half, but that the team really responded well to a halftime speech.
After losing their first three games, Kier said things are coming together for the Panthers. In Wednesday's 3-2 victory over Ketchikan, Kunz scored two goals and Jesse Kloote added another. In addition, Nicole VanRyzin had four or five solid shots against Seward Friday.
"We're starting to have people other than Amanda (Millay) and Ginny score, and that's making us a better team," Kier said.
Skyview boys 7, Seward 0
The Panthers picked up a Northern Lights Conference-Southern Division victory Friday in Seward.
Kyle Eshleman led the Panthers with three goals. Van Jones scored twice and Trevor Barber, Aaron Singleton and Richard Derkevorkian each netted a goal.
Kenai girls 3, Homer 2
With about four minutes to play Friday, Kenai's Keely Boyle scored her second goal of the match to break a 2-2 tie and send the visiting Kardinals to a key Northern Lights Conference-Southern Division victory over the defending conference champion Mariners.
"The girls knew it was a big game," Kenai coach Dan Verkuilen said. "Homer has been cleaning house on a lot of teams.
"I told them, 'If you want to make a statement that you guys are here, you need to take this one.'"
Homer's Claire Siekaniec started the scoring 20 minutes into the match, but Taylor Brewer, on an assist from Branda Gabriel, answered five minutes later. Boyle then scored the first of her goals with four minutes to play in the first half to give the Kards the lead.
At the 22-minute mark of the second half, Homer's Bailey Lowney scored on an assist from Amanda Conley. Boyle then put the game away on a play where she crossed the ball into the box, then somehow ended up with the ball again after what Verkuilen called a "barrage in front of the net."
Verkuilen said Chelsie Harris and Haley Mishler played solid games in the midfield, and goalie Kyla Steward did a great job in relief of starter Kassi Kiel.
Homer boys 3, Kenai 2
Homer's Francis Carvalho had two goals and assisted on another as the host Mariners edged the Kardinals Friday in a Northern Lights Conference-Southern Division matchup.
Homer went up 2-0 on a goal by Carvalho and a goal by Keith Bell assisted by Carvalho.
Kenai's McKenan Steinbeck then scored just before the half and at the beginning of the half to knot the score at 2.
Carvalho then clinched the game with a penalty kick.
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