The regionals have proven to be a tense challenge for the Mariners. But after Beating both Wasila and Grace Christian, the boys soccer team is forging it’s own path ahead to the state championship.
Thursday was the first round of the regionals in Palmer, and was a sudden death elimination. Teams that lost this first round were immediately knocked out of the bracket. The Mariners faced off against Wasilla for a challenging start to the conference.
Freshmen Charles Rhor scored a fantastic goal against Wasilla with an assist from Kevin Schnieder, senior. Schnieder went on to score a second goal assisted by Flynn Bloom, senior, closing the game with 2-0 victory for Homer.
The win against Wasilla made for a strong start out of the gate for the Marines. That momentum was challenged the next day when the boys faced Kenai Central.
The Mariners have yet to score a win against Kenai. Their first confrontation ended in a 0-0 tie and was soon followed by a loss for the boys team. On Friday, the Mariners met the challenge head on however, playing bitterly against both Kenai and the clock. In the end the boys lost 1-2 to Kenai Central.
While the loss was upsetting, the Mariners remained as resolute as ever. The loss wasn’t enough to knock the team out of standing, and they still have a chance in these final rounds of the regionals. This past season has been filled with inspiring wins and heart breaking defeats, so it’ll take more than a close loss to kill the boys’ spirit.
“Yeah getting to state for the first time in four years? That’s a big deal.” Coach Warren Waldorf said, “That’s big for any state.”
So when the boys faced Grace Christian the next day, they brought with them the ferocity they’ve come to be known for. Grace Christian put up a solid defense, and was even able to score against the Mariners. But in the end they fell to the boys’ momentum, and Homer won 2-1.
This Thursday, the boys soccer team will again face off against Kenai Central. With last Friday’s loss still fresh, this will likely prove to be a intense and close match against their rivals. Should the boys succeed, they stand a chance at heading to Anchorage to compete for state championship.
“We’re in pretty good shape I think we’re healthy, you know? And I THINK WE are a little stronger than we have been. We’ll be rested, but so will be Kenai. I’m expecting a good battle with kenai, I’m looking forward to it.” Waldorf said.