In a game that had a multitude of bookings, Wasilla came away with a 2-0 win over host Kenai Central in Northern Lights Conference action on Friday.
"It was a hard-fought and chippy battle," Warriors head coach Blake Livingston said.
"The kids played very, very hard," Kards head coach David Landry said. "It was just a really good, gutsy effort by our boys."
Wasilla's Jake Barber started off the scoring in the 14th minute. Barber timed a lob from Dustin Hout and got a step on Kenai's defenders. He put a low shot in the left side of the goal.
The key to Barber's goal was his quickness, Livingston said.
"Jake Barber was able to capitalize on his speed, and got a good through ball," he said.
"They're a very talented side," Landry said of Wasilla. "They have some serious speed."
The Warriors took a two-goal lead late in the first half on a penalty kick from Paul Sliwa. A foul on Kenai in its box gave Sliwa the penalty kick. He nailed the ball to the right side of the net in the 38th minute for a 2-0 lead at the half.
Both goals were the result of momentary lapses in discipline by Kenai, Landry said.
Kenai's Michael Morin nearly cut the lead in half when he drilled a hard shot off the crossbar. Jeff Narlock launched a close-range attempt over the goal a minute later.
Wasilla then went down a man after Ray Keown was given a red card in the 67th minute. But the Kardinals couldn't get a shot past Wasilla keeper Elijah Tringstad.
Landry said defenders AJ Ewing and Nick Rouswell played well. So, too, did team captain Justin Calhoun, he said.
"The key for us today was Justin Calhoun controlling that midfield," Landry said. "We've been missing that. He showed up today."
The Kardinals lost to Colony 3-0 on Saturday.
Wasilla girls 4, Kenai Central 1
The Warriors came back from an early deficit to claim a Northern Lights Conference victory on Friday.
Jenna Calhoun gave the Kardinals the lead 12 minutes into the game. Wasilla came back with a goal eight minutes later, then Kenai nearly answered on a 35-yard free kick by Shelby Toombs but the Wasilla goalie made an acrobatic save.
After that, for the most part, Kenai coach Dan Verkuilen said the Warriors were able to control the game.
"Wasilla has a very disciplined passing attack," Verkuilen said. "They're not in a hurry. They have really good control at the midfield. That team also is really good at defense in the air."
Verkuilen said his team was up for the Warriors' challenge, but that may have resulted in the Kards running out of position too often.
Colony girls 4, Kenai Central 1
The Knights rolled to a 4-1 advantage in the first half to pick up a conference victory at Kenai on Saturday.
Verkuilen said his team played better in this game than in Friday's Wasilla game. Kenai's goal came from Calhoun on a cross from Ericka Reynolds. Verkuilen also said Allie McGahan worked hard during the game.
"We told them this weekend they'd be playing teams that were faster and a lot more talented," Verkuilen said. "We knew they'd have their eyes opened a little bit. This was a great learning weekend for a young team."
Peninsula Clarion ©2014. All Rights Reserved.