Chalk this one up to Soldotna making up for lost time.
In their first action since a scoreless tie at rival Kenai Central on Saturday, the Stars vented their frustration with five first-half goals on their way to an impressive 7-1 win over Skyview on Tuesday in Northern Lights Conference Southern Division soccer action.
"I think they were definitely frustrated by the fact that we didn't win that game, but it's good that they can come out and do well," SoHi coach Jeff Siemers said referencing the second 0-0 game against the Kardinals in as many years. "Getting a win in the south is always important for the region tournament. So it's good to do it."
Jeff Mullen recorded a hat trick and Blaine Carver, Anthony Griglione, Taylor Jackson and Kyle Van Ryzin all found the back of the net for Soldotna, which improved to 3-2-2 on the season but now travels north on Thursday for three games in three days against Palmer, Colony and Wasilla.
"Anytime you're winning it's good," Siemers said. "So it's good to be able to take this into the Valley trip where we're going to meet three tough teams up there."
Skyview coach David Carpenter, whose team already fell to the highly touted Knights, expects a battle.
"We've seen Colony and I think it will be a premier match when these guys go up there," he said. "That would be worth the trip to go watch."
The Panthers (1-6) watched the Stars jump on top of them early when Carver scored unassisted in just the third minute of action and Griglione followed that with another unassisted tally in the 15th minute.
Carver, who scored 22 goals as a freshman and 29 last year, has been dubbed by many as one of the best players in the state. Carpenter, however, wanted to talk about Soldotna's center midfielder.
"Griglione, I think, was just a real bright spot for them today," he said. "He played just a superb match, clean as can be, which a lot of times you can draw him into some nonsense. He didn't have anything to do with that today. But when he plays that match, I think he's as good as anybody.
"Anybody that can put that type of physical kid in the middle of their whole mix and then have his skill, if he doesn't get into trouble, he can really create havoc."
Mullen picked up his first goal of the game in the 20th minute off an assist by Matt Grubb and then Jackson, a defender, got into the act five minutes later off an assist from Van Ryzin. Mullen made it 5-0 entering halftime when he volleyed a Van Ryzin corner kick into the back of the net.
"We had a lot of guys in the mix and so it's good to able to work the ball around and get some good opportunities and have some goals," Siemers said. "Having good goals, too, team passing goals and being able to use the entire team to create the goals is good."
Van Ryzin and Mullen capped the scoring in the 51st and 53rd minutes, respectively, before Skyview mustered its only tally of the game when Brad Lapp's hard shot from the right side was deflected and sailed high into the air and over SoHi keeper Daniel Geller in the 64th minute.
"It just kind of went up and went in and ... I think we thought it went over the top. So I was kind of confused. The call came late, too, so it was funny," Carpenter said of the unusual goal. "It was good for these guys.
"I thought transition went real well a couple times. We put the ball down in front of their net a few times," he added. "They've just got so many weapons, here they come. They were crisp on their shots.
"Moral victory that we finally chipped one in there at the end. That was good."
Carpenter said at one point he had five freshmen playing at once, a sign of things to come.
"Hopefully these guys learned something playing them today," he said. "Just learning for these guys. We've kind of turned it over to these younger kids and hopefully build from there."
Soldotna girls 11, Skyview 1
Jessi Stenga and Emily Rohloff each scored twice in leading a strong showing by the Stars in a victory over the crosstown Panthers in NLC action.
"It was good to come out here and get a run in and come out and play soccer against another team instead of practicing all the time," said SoHi coach Mike Tovoli. "It's nice to have that opportunity to play another team that's not ourself."
The Stars, like their male counterparts, are also in for a crucial three-day test beginning Thursday against Palmer.
"The girls played well today," Tovoli said. "We've been trying some new things in practices and picking up the intensity, so we're hoping to get ready for a tough Valley trip because this Valley trip means a ton. It basically has to do with where we're going to be seeded in the regionals.
"They passed the ball much better today than we have in a while, so it was good to see that."
Stenga, Rohloff, Kelsey Van Antwerp and Kaili Sholin staked Soldotna (3-3-2) to a 4-0 lead just 11 minutes into the game before Rohloff and Stenga picked up their second tallies at the 17th and 29th minutes, respectively. Sydney Goggia made it 7-0 entering halftime.
T'essa Tovoli, Kaiti Van Meter, Becca Satathite and Leah Garske extended the lead to 11-0, but the Panthers (0-6) finally broke through with less than a minute remaining in the game when Rebecca Egan's shot bounced off the right post and into the net.
"We somewhat came to play today and we got that goal at the end and that felt a lot better," said Skyview coach Rustin Hitchcock. "We've got three more games this week so keep moving forward.
"That (goal) was just a breath of fresh air."
Nikiski girls 2, Seward 2
The visiting Seahawks scored with 10 minutes left to forge the tie on Tuesday in Northern Lights Conference Southern Division action against the Bulldogs.
Nikiski is now 1-4-1 overall and 1-1-1 in the south. The Seahawks are 1-1-1 overall and 1-1-1 in the south.
After Seward scored the first goal of the game, Dyann Wik came back with an unassisted tally for the Bulldogs to tie the game at 1 at the half.
"We came out a little slow and Seward definitely took advantage of that," Nikiski coach Mandy Adair said.
The Bulldogs took the lead early in the second half. Angie Parrish had a breakaway, but raced ahead of the ball on the dribble. Parrish recovered and passed to Britany Tuttle, who tucked home the shot.
Adair also said Hillary Bogard had a nice game creating scoring opportunities for Nikiski.
Nikiski boys 2, Seward 0
The host Bulldogs peppered the Seahawks net with shots throughout the game, but Nikiski coach Jim Coburn said the Seward keeper was able to make 35 saves Tuesday in NLC action.
"It was a good game by him, but we should have been more patient with our finishing," Coburn said.
Nikiski is now 2-4-2 overall and 2-1 in the south, meaning the Bulldogs will qualify for the NLC tournament. The Seahawks dropped to 0-3 overall and 0-3 in the league.
Stefan Krogseng had both of the goals for the Bulldogs. Coburn added that Jordan Harrison had a solid game in net.
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