Warriors sweep Bulldogs

Posted: Friday, May 07, 2010

The visiting Wasilla Warriors swept Nikiski with a pair of 5-0 wins in Northern Lights Conference action on Thursday.

Photo By M. Scott Moon
Photo By M. Scott Moon
Nikiski's Britany Tuttle gets under the ball Thursday evening in the second half against visiting Wasilla. The Warriors topped the Bulldogs 5-0.

In the girls game, sophomore Nicole Vanni led the Warriors with two goals. She opened the scoring in the 10th minute and buried a penalty kick low-left past Bulldogs keeper Angie Parrish in the 60th minute.

Sharon Koss also scored in the first half to give Wasilla a 2-0 lead after 40 minutes.

With the win, the Warriors improve to 5-2-1 overall. Nikiski falls to 2-5.

"Wasilla is definitely a good team," Bulldogs head coach Mandy Adair said. "They were really able to control the ball."

Adair said her team forced Wasilla to make plays on them.

Wasilla came into the game with two goals -- look for passes of 10 or more yards out of the defensive end and attempt more through balls on the attack.

Warriors head coach Amber Craig said her girls will continue to work on those goals this weekend to become a more balanced team for the conference tournament.

"We need some tools if we're going to do well," she said.

Wasilla plays at Kenai Central today at 4 p.m. and at Soldotna on Saturday. Three games in as many days is hard on the team but also good for them, Craig said. It's a good test for the conference and state tournaments, she said.

"Since most only play high school ball, it's the one chance you actually get to do that before the region tournament and state tournament," Craig said.

Sophomores Erin Murray and Mikaela Hull scored 10 minutes apart in the second half to round out the scoring. Murray took a feed from Destynie Millhouse and put a shot over Parrish's head in the 67th minute. Millhouse did the same, launching a long-ranger over Parrish.

Craig said her team failed to convert several rebound opportunities into goals.

"We need to know how to finish," she said. "We need to capitalize on (rebounds) a little more often."

Parrish followed a 19-save performance against SoHi Wednesday with another good outing against Wasilla, Adair said.

"Angie had an outstanding game," she said. "I think she's really developing into a solid keeper."

Senior Jake Barber netted a hat trick to lead Wasilla past the Bulldogs. Wasilla improves to 6-2 overall. Nikiski is now 3-1-4.

Barber's first tally came in the second minute of the game. Barber beat Nikiski keeper Jordan Harrison to the ball, cut left and put it in the empty net. His second came 10 minutes later.

Barber's third of the game came in the 48th minute. On a pass from Paul Sliwa, Barber had a shot blocked by Nikiski's defense. He got the rebound in close to left side of the goal, turned around and buried a shot in the right side. The goal gave Wasilla a 5-0 lead.

The Warriors took advantage of Nikiski's wide field, head coach Blake Livingston said.

"I thought we did a really good job utilizing the width of this field," he said. "We utilized our time and space today."

Nikiski head coach Jim Coburn said he hasn't seen a team with more speed than Wasilla all year.

"They work well together. They communicate well. They're one of the top teams we've played all year," Coburn said.

"I don't have anything bad to say about them," he added. "I thought they played with class today."

Coburn said he's been using just 11 or 12 players to stay as competitive as possible, but played his entire bench against Wasilla. Though some had never experienced the varsity level, Coburn said his team played well.

"They played hard and they had fun," he said.

Sliwa tickled the twine in the 15th minute to give Wasilla a 3-0 lead, which it held at the end of the first half. Off of a free kick from Dustin Hout, Sliwa put a shot off the right goal post and in the net.

Hout netted one in the 43rd minute to start the second half. He sailed a shot top right from the left side of the field.

Playing tough teams like Wasilla benefits Nikiski, Coburn said.

"These games make you better," he said. "They make you play soccer, and you become a better team."

"It's a good start to our road trip," Livingston said.

Wasilla plays at Kenai Central today at 6 p.m. and at Soldotna on Saturday.

The Knights notched a conference victory in Homer on Thursday. The Colony girls also topped the Mariners.

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