In what has become an average performance, the Soldotna boys soccer team used an array of attackers to defeat host Skyview 4-1 on Monday in Northern Lights Conference action.
The Stars, who are averaging four goals a game this year, received goals from four different players.
“They just have too many different weapons,” Skyview head coach Dave Carpenter said. “If you cover up one, another one will come along and scorch you.”
The Stars moved to 6-1 overall and 2-0 in the NLC Southern Division, while Skyview dropped to 1-7 and 1-3.
In the girls contest, the Stars notched a 1-0 victory to move to 3-3-1 and 1-1-0. The Panthers dropped to 2-4-2 and 1-2-1.
The SoHi boys went into a steady, cool wind in the first half, but they were still able to apply steady pressure on Skyview goalie Tanner Hansen. Skyview took eight goal kicks in the first half, while the Stars earned three corners. In the 14th minute, Blaine Carver put the Stars’s first solid attempt on goal, but Hansen responded with a diving save.
“It’s been nice,” Soldotna coach Jeff Siemers said. “We’ve really been emphasizing possession this year. When you play like that, a lot of people have a chance to score. That’s what we had happen tonight.”
In the 25th minute, Skyview nearly took the lead when Jake Bauer rocketed a direct free kick, and Soldotna goalie Dan Geller made a diving save. Skyview had a player there for the rebound, but Geller recovered to make another diving save.
In the 28th minute, Kyle Van Ryzin played a corner kick into the middle of the box, and Anthony Griglione nodded it into the right corner as he was sinking to his knees. Just six minutes later, Griglione made a run down the right side and crossed to Van Ryzin on the far side. Van Ryzin one-touched the ball into the net.
In the 48th minute, two new players got into the scoring act when Brook Carver attempted a shot that was blocked to Christos Asimakopoulos. Asimakopoulos corralled the ball and defeated Hansen.
Skyview continued to press for a goal. In the 52nd minute, Buck Kunz played a cross to Bauer. Bauer headed the ball down to the goal line on Geller’s left side, but Geller scrambled to make the save. Twelve minutes later, Bauer had another solid opportunity but went wide right. In the 75th minute, Kunz finally solved Geller when he beat several players at the top of the box and drilled the ball into the net.
Blaine Carver finished up the scoring in the 78th minute when he beat two defenders and clanked a shot off the side post and into the goal from the top of the penalty area.
Despite SoHi’s four goals, Carpenter said sweeper Zach Walgenbach continues to do a great job.
“We’ve given up a lot of goals this year, but if we didn’t have Zach back there, we would have given up a lot more,” Carpenter said.
Soldotna girls 1, Skyview 0
Jenna Redford scored in the 22nd minute and Soldotna defenders Rainy Sirois, Whitney Ischi, Shana Powell and Monica Maryott, and goalie Becky Warton, made that goal stand up for the victory.
As it has in many games this year, the wind played a big factor.
“I’m sick of the wind,” Soldotna coach Jimmy Love said. “We’ve had wind for every game and every practice this year. We need somebody to get some decent weather around here.”
Soldotna had the wind in the first half and used that wind to control the game. Skyview’s one sign of life came in the 10th minute, when Joanna Graves tore down the right side and blasted a shot off the crossbar.
“That’s the sound a forward hates to hear,” Skyview coach Ronnie Kier said.
Redford got her goal as a result of a free kick by Holly Perkins. Perkins boomed a shot toward the upper portion of the net and Chantel Schefers made the diving save. Jessi Stenga got her foot on the ball, but her shot also was turned away. Redford finally banged the ball into the back of the net.
Just four minutes later, Perkins again had Schefers scrambling after a well-placed free kick. This time, though, there were no attackers within 10 feet of the goalie.
“We’ve got to do a better job helping Holly out,” Love said. “When she takes shots like that, we have to be there to crash the net.”
In the final 10 minutes of the first half, Soldotna twice hit the crossbar, once off a shot by Mikala Smith and once after a mad scramble in front of the net.
“The outplayed us and beat us to a lot of loose balls in the first half,” Kier said. “I challenged them at halftime and I think they did a good job responding.”
Schefers got the first big test of the second half when three minutes in she was forced to make a diving save when Jordan Love crossed the ball to Jessi Stenga. After that, Skyview would test Warton in looking for the equalizer.
In the 49th minute, Claudiii Sohns got off a shot off a corner kick, but it was right at Warton. Just six minutes later, Amanda Millay again forced Warton to make a nice save on a shot off a free kick. In the 71st minute, Nicole Van Ryzin ripped a free kick at Warton, who barely handled it with a couple of Panthers breathing down her neck.
“It was nice to win after the way we played Saturday,” Love said of the loss to Kenai. “They needed a boost and they got it.”
Kier said sweeper Melissa Massey once again did a stellar job for the Panthers.
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