The Mariners began the week with a 6-2 win over Soldotna. Facing Colony, Homer rallied from a 5-0 deficit to win an eight-inning game 7-6. Playing Wasilla, Homer lost the five-inning game with a 14-4 score.
On Monday, the Mariners celebrated an 18-3 win over Soldotna and will have the No. 1 seed going into the conference tournament this weekend. In non-conference play, the visiting Service Cougars scored a 15-8 win over the Mariners.
On Thursday, the Mariner boys celebrated a 1-0 victory over Wasilla. In play against Colony on Friday, Homer took a 2-1 loss, but came back Saturday with a 2-1 win over Soldotna and a trip to state.
“It’s going to be a great experience and preparation for what we hope could happen next year,” said Coach Warren Waldorf of his junior-dominated team. “It’ll be good to get a few games under our belt and see what they’re like. Maybe that will light a fire under them to work hard for next year.”
A pair of long-range shots in the second half of Saturday’s game by Charles Rohr sent the Mariners to their fourth state berth in six years.
Soldotna took the lead in the 33rd minute when Alex Montague scored on an assist from Eli Sheridan.
But in the second half, Rohr scored from 50 yards out in the 57th minute and 40 yards out in the 79th minute to send the Mariners through.
“We pretty much held possession, but soccer is one of those games where time of possession and shots on goal don’t show up on the board,” Soldotna coach Darryl Byerley said after coming up short of a second straight state berth. “When you have more time of possession and shots, those are especially tough losses.”
Homer coach Warren Waldorf agreed that Soldotna has more possession and chances. He said senior goalie Kenzington Cortez came up huge.
“Our goalkeeper played his best game of the season today,” Waldorf said. “It could have easily gone Soldotna’s way today.”
With a solid class of juniors, Waldorf said state experience is just what his team needs.
The Mariner girls suffered a 4-1 loss to Wasilla, with Raisa Basargin scoring the lone goal.
Watch them play
May 25-27: Baseball Region Championships at Palmer
May 25-27: Boys &Girls State Soccer Championships at Eagle River
May 26-27: Track State Championships at Palmer
May 26-27: Softball Region Championships at Jack Gist Park
June 1-3: Baseball State at Mulcahy Stadium, Anchorage
June 1-3: Softball State at Fairbanks