Last week girls of the Homer Mariners soccer team traveled to Juneau to compete in their first three games of the season against competitive Thunder Mountain High School and Juneau-Douglas High School, all while battling moody spring weather conditions.
The first game last April 9 against Thunder Mountain ended a cold and windy game in a 0-0 tie. Despite some goal scoring opportunities the Mariners couldn’t connect the ball to the back of the net.
Head Coach Mickey Todd applauded the team’s goalie, junior Samantha (Sam) Draves, and defense for their performance.
“Our defense was staunch and persistent the entire game,” said Todd. “Sam Draves was exceptional in the net and made some outstanding saves and kept our defense anchored.”
He reported that the following game versus Juneau Douglas was played in the worst weather conditions he had ever coached or played in.
“There was so much rain, wind, sleet, hail, and snow it was difficult to see across the field,” he said. “The grit, determination and true desire to compete was outstanding. I was extremely proud of the girls for their determination to not quit or let up. They kept a positive attitude and enduring outlook regardless of the conditions or the score.”
The Mariners suffered a 4-0 loss in the game.
In the final game against Thunder Mountain, freshman Alissa Cole volunteered to replace the starting goalie Draves who was unable to play because of a stomach flu. Todd said that Cole, who had no previous goalie experience at the high school level, had many great saves and was well supported by the defensive players lead by seniors Aspen Daigle and Jane Rohr.
The close game ended with Thunder Mountain goal in the second half and a Mariner loss of 1-0.
Todd said it was the first time many of the girls had been to the Capital City and felt that Homer was well represented and the players improved their touch on the ball with every game.
“The trip was a great show of why I feel so privileged to be able to coach athletes here at HHS.” said Todd.
“After playing 240 minutes of soccer in three days the girls were whooped and sore but smiles were abundant as they knew they competed with two of the better teams in the 4A schools.”
Shannon Reid is a college student and freelance writer for the Homer News.