A chilly, dreary afternoon turned up sunny for Kenai Central High soccer teams playing Skyview Friday, as both the Kardinals boys and girls teams blanked their Panther opponents 4-0 and 1-0, respectively in Region III Southern Division play.
Both the Kenai and Skyview girls teams had ample opportunities at goals in the early going of their game. But a combination of staunch defensive play and some slight miscues kept the match scoreless.
"We had so many great crosses," said Kenai's Jamie Montgomery. "Somebody just (had) to get their feet on the ball."
Kenai coach Dan Verkuilen attributed the low scoring to his defense and said they helped Kenai control the game.
"Kirsten Ehrhardt, Janna Krein and Rachel Popp were just a solid wall," he said of his starting back line. "One to nothing puts you in the win just like 20-0. We pretty much dominated the game."
This was the case as the Panthers spent much of the game playing from their own backfield. Taking shots from all over Skyview's side of the playing field, the Kardinals came up with the game's only goal in the 17th minute.
Kenai's Montgomery got the ball at the top of the penalty area and displayed a bit of offensive maneuvering around Skyview defenders before making a 5-yard strike on the Panther goal.
"I was dribbling around, trying to find someone to pass to," she said.
Kenai's missed shots included attempts throughout the game that were foiled by Panther defense. But Skyview coach Tony Lewis said his lack of transition from the defensive third of the field in the second half made the difference. He said injuries to key defensive players -- halfback Jenny Carpenter, who pulled a hamstring, and stopper Jamie Beever, who rolled her ankle -- took their toll.
"Both were gone for most of the second half," Lewis said. "We weren't able to move the ball to the middle of the field."
Soccer referee Kenny Leaf stops Friday's game at Skyview to request sportsmanship from fans who were jeering and threatening players from the sideline.
Photo by M. SCOTT MOON
Lewis also credited the Kardinals' effort in making points where there probably weren't any.
"They go hard to every ball and take advantage of mistakes," he said.
In the boys game, offensive attack, among other things, was the key to the Kardinal's success over Skyview.
"We just wanted to get back to what we were doing," said Kenai coach David Landry. "Short passes, talking to each other and challenging the ball."
The game opened as a physical cat and mouse (bird) affair with each team chasing the other's advances toward scoring attempts and reversing the pursuit. The game's first points came on a punt from Kenai goalie Eric Nyce that was collected up by Kardinal Richard Alexander in the 19th minute.
Alexander took the ball to about 20 yards out from the goal before passing it over to Nick Barnes, who scored from the wing.
"Richard made a good pass," Barnes said. "I just got lucky."
Following a second roughing penalty to Skyview's Chatchay Apaipak, Kenai's Carlos Carreon made good on a penalty kick with two minutes to go in the first half.
In the second half, scoring became more one-sided as Skyview shots on goal were quickly punted forward to Kardinal midfielders and forwards. This set up a 47th-minute Kenai goal from Adrian Borchgrevink off a cross from Owen Brewer and an unassisted score from Alexander in the 66th minute.
Landry acknowledged the efforts of his defense to prevent Skyview from scoring and gave a nod to the Panthers' performance.
"My backfield played solid defense," Landry said. "And Skyview is to be credited. They played a nicely controlled game."
Kenai boys 6, Homer 1
The Homer High School boys soccer team hosted Kenai Central Saturday in a Region III Southern Division match, losing to the Kardinals 6-1.
The win gave Kenai the Southern Division crown. Kenai finished 4-1 in the division, and is now 8-2 overall.
"We continue to have a whole lot of firsts in this program," Kenai coach David Landry said. "We were the first ones on the peninsula to come out of the region and go to state, we were the first ones to do it twice, and now we're the first ones to win the division in the new configuration."
Jamie Beever beats Kenai's Angelica Carreon to the ball for Skyview during Friday's game.
Photo by M. SCOTT MOON
The Kardinals were led in scoring by Jose Araya, who netted goals in the third and sixth minutes of the first period.
Contributions from Adrian Borchgrevink (10th minute), Owen Brewer (17th), Richard Alexander (51st) and Marcus Webster (60th) helped the Kardinals close out a victory over the Mariners.
Webster's goal came on a unique play. Homer was taking a corner kick and put all of its players, including its goalie, in the penalty area in an attempt to score. Webster picked up the corner kick, carried it outside the box and saw only green and the goal ahead of him.
With Homer in hot pursuit, Webster dribbled to the center stripe and launched a shot that dribbled into the Homer net.
"That was one of the most bizarre plays I've seen," Landry said.
Homer girls 3, Soldotna 2
The Homer High School girls soccer team defeated Soldotna in a Region III Southern Division match Friday in Homer.
Homer's Syverine Abrahamson netted the first goal of the match in the 24th minute of play, assisted by Candi Findino.
Soldotna answered right back a minute later with a tally from Katie Jones.
Homer scored two goal to open the second half, though, with Abrahamson converting a corner kick in the 11th minute and Kelly Bielle netting an unassisted goal six minutes later.
Skyview's Katie Lockwood makes a save in front of Kenai's Karie Burk and Skyview's Ashley Waldrip during Friday's game.
Photo by M. SCOTT MOON
Annie Penner cut Soldotna's lead to one with a goal in the 25th minute, but the Stars could get no closer.
Soldotna boys 2, Homer 2
After playing to a scoreless draw in the first half, each team scored twice in the second half of Region III Southern Division match.
Soldotna's Johnny Mills scored twice in the space of a minute to open the half but Homer's Ivan Bucher matched the feat with a pair of goals in the final five minutes, including one of a corner kick that curled into the net, to earn the tie.
Kenai girls 2, Homer 1
The Kenai Central girls soccer team defeated Homer 2-1 in a Region III Southern Division match in Homer Saturday.
The Mariners were the first to get on the scoreboard with a penalty kick from Syverine Abrahamson at the 38th minute.
Kenai rallied in the second half, converting a pair of penalty kicks. Katherine Amen hit both shots, the first in the 68th minutes and the matchwinner with just a minute left to play.
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