Calvin Williams scored on a penalty kick in the 77th minute to lead Nikiski past Northern Lights Conference Southern Division rival Soldotna 2-1 on Wednesday.
Stefan Krogseng was fouled inside SoHi's box resulting in the penalty kick. Krogseng was injured on the play and had to come out of the game, giving Williams a chance to be the hero. It was Williams' second tally of the game.
"Calvin is our leader," said Bulldogs head coach Jim Coburn. "Everyone follows him."
With the win, Nikiski improves to 3-1-3 overall and 1-0-1 in the division. SoHi is now 4-2 and 2-1. The Bulldogs take on Wasilla today at home at 6 p.m.
Williams' first goal came two minutes after SoHi's Blaine Carver gave the Stars a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute. Blaine intercepted a goal kick from Nikiski's keeper, Jordan Harrison, and passed to his brother Cory. Cory gave a pass back to Blaine in the middle of the field near the Bulldogs' goal and he put it in the back of the net.
Despite several attempts from SoHi, Harrison stayed perfect the rest of the game. He robbed Blaine twice in the final minutes of the first half to keep the score knotted at 1 after 40 minutes of play.
Harrison, a four-year starter, then stopped Blaine on a penalty kick in the 45th minute.
"That stop by Jordan sealed the game," Coburn said. "This is his best year so far. Each game I say, 'This is the best game you've ever had.'"
Coburn said Harrison is the cornerstone of the team's defense.
"He's our anchor," he said. "He's the foundation of the team."
Two minutes prior to Williams' game-winner, Harrison denied a header attempt by Blaine on a feed from Daniel Koch.
The Stars put too many shots right at Harrison, said Stars head coach Jeff Siemers.
"We didn't make it too difficult for him," he said. "It was disappointing not to finish on the opportunities that we had.
"You've got to give Nikiski credit," Siemers said. "They came out, played their game and pulled it out in the end."
The Bulldogs' victory stemmed from players trusting each other, Coburn said.
"I feel we played a good team game," he said. "The whole team just played well."
Sam Taylor was able to limit Blaine's chances, which was a major factor in the win, Coburn said.
"A big part of the play today was Sam Taylor," he said. "If it wasn't for him, the game wouldn't have been close."
SoHi girls 5, Nikiski 0
The Stars remain undefeated with an NLC Southern Division win over the Bulldogs on Wednesday. SoHi improves to 4-0-1 overall and 2-0 in the division. Nikiski is 2-4 and 0-2.
SoHi had more success working the ball around against Nikiski than it did Tuesday against Skyview, Stars head coach Mike Tovoli said.
"We did a better job moving the ball," he said.
The team still needs to improve on distributing the ball from one side of the field to the other, Tovoli said.
"They're a solid team. They're a very skilled team," Bulldogs head coach Mandy Adair said.
She said the Stars controlled the flow of the game. Nikiski started out flat and intimidated, and couldn't snap out of it, Adair said.
Kaili Sholin led her team with two goals. Her first came in the ninth minute. Jenna Redford notched the team's second tally in the 24th minute. Shana Powell had the assist.
T'essa Tovoli jammed a close-range shot past Nikiski keeper Angie Parrish off a corner kick in the 30th minute to give SoHi a 3-0 lead at the half.
Coach Tovoli said his girls are starting to see the entire field and learning how control-oriented the game is.
"Soccer is a control game and you have to pick your spots," he said. "We're developing that aspect of the game."
Emily Rohloff netted a goal in the 52nd minute to give SoHi a 4-0 lead. Sholin ripped a shot in the lower left side of the goal past Parrish for her second tally of the game in the 60th minute.
The Stars peppered Parrish with 24 shots.
"She played well," Adair said. "She's a really great leader for us in the back."
Nikiski hosts Wasilla today at 4 p.m.
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