Homer girls, Kenai boys notch soccer wins

The Kenai Central boys’ and Homer girls’ soccer teams scored victories in the Peninsula Conference on Tuesday on a windy and cold day at Ed Hollier Field in Kenai.

The Kenai boys pulled off a 4-0 win to move up to 5-0 in the league and 7-5-2 overall. The Mariners are 2-4 and 5-10-1.

The Homer Girls won 2-0, finished 6-0 in conference play and moved to 9-4-2. The kards fall to 2-2-1 and 6-5-2.

Homer Girl 2, Kenai 0

The Mariners recorded a goal and assist from Sela Weisser, a goal from Ava Halstead and a shutout from Felicia Weisser.

Homer ran the table in the conference without allowing a goal.

“It’s definitely something this group of kids can be very proud of,” said Homer coach Mike Tozzo. “I am really happy with the way they have worked throughout the year. It’s good to finish like this.”

The Mariners had a tailwind in the first half and quickly took advantage. In the third minute, Sela Weisser brought the ball down the left side and fired a shot into the corner of the goal.

Just five minutes later, Weisser defender saved in the penalty area and returned the ball to Ava Halstead, who also slammed one into the corner.

“I just think we’ve had a couple of good opportunities and something we haven’t really done in the past is take them right away,” Tozzo said. “I told them, ‘Just take a shot.’ Often we make an extra pass or miss that extra pass.”

The tide turned in the second half when the Cardinals caught wind and forced Felicia Weisser to make some solid saves.

Kenai coach Dan Verkuilen said his team was able to put on a lot of pressure and even headed the ball off the post on a corner kick.

“We had good pressure and I’m proud of that,” said Verkuilen. “Completion is just one of the things we’re struggling with.”

The manager said the whole squad played hard but striker Kori Moore was particularly brave.

Kenai Boys 4, Homer 0

Wade James had two goals and assisted another and Gavin Langham had the shutout in the net for the Cardinals.

“I enjoyed watching them play,” said Kenai coach Shane Lopez of his team. “As a coach, it’s sometimes nerve-wracking. It was a pleasure to watch this one because all the things we are working on just came together.”

The Cardinals pressured Mariners goalie Lucas Story from the start. A little over three minutes into the game, the ball bounced around in the penalty area after a corner. Sam Baisden headed to Aloshia Cross, who scored.

Baisden provided another assist in the 21st minute, delivering the ball to James at the top of the box.

Kenai then took a 3-0 lead before half-time when Ezekiel Yragui headed home a James cross.

In the second half, James completed the goal after a Sawyer Vann pass.

“All the goals were nice,” Lopez said. “The way the boys played was nice. The ball movement was just superb all night.”

The manager said James had a great game, not only scoring but also spreading the ball forward. He added Baisden, Cross and Joe Hamilton did a great job of gaining possession in midfield and distributing the ball.

Homer coach Adam Diaz said the Cardinals won the possession battle and the game.

“Today was unlucky,” Diaz said. “We really didn’t keep the ball that well. Just connecting passes was a big struggle and you really can’t score if you don’t connect passes.”

When the Kards stole something, they took advantage of it.

“I think the counters were what was devastating today and that relentless counter environment that we gave Kenai is what made them succeed,” Diaz said.

Diaz praised Kaitden Bogie at right-back and Jack Hrenchir at right midfield for solid plays.

Rocco Flora of Homer and Ky Calvert of Kenai Central battle for the ball on Tuesday, May 10, 2022 at Ed Hollier Field at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Clarion Peninsula)

Homer's Sela Weisser shields the ball from Kenai Central's Cali Holmes and Kate Wisnewski before scoring an assist Tuesday, May 10, 2022 at Ed Hollier Field at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska.  (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Clarion Peninsula)

Homer’s Sela Weisser shields the ball from Kenai Central’s Cali Holmes and Kate Wisnewski before scoring an assist Tuesday, May 10, 2022 at Ed Hollier Field at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Clarion Peninsula)

Homer goalie Lucas Story makes a save Tuesday, May 10, 2022 at Ed Hollier Field at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska.  (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Clarion Peninsula)

Homer goalie Lucas Story makes a save Tuesday, May 10, 2022 at Ed Hollier Field at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Clarion Peninsula)


Leave a Comment