The hosting Homer soccer teams rolled over both teams from Nikiski Middle-High School on Tuesday in Peninsula Conference action.
Still recuperating from a full weekend of soccer games against Southeast teams last weekend, the boys beat the Bulldogs 5-1 while the Lady Mariners steamrolled Nikiski for a 9-0 victory.
These wins bring the Homer boys to 2-1-1 in the conference and 4-3-2 overall this season. The Homer girls have not lost to a fellow conference team yet, and Tuesday’s game brought them to 2-0-2. The Lady Mariners are 4-1-4 overall this season.
The Nikiski boys are 0-3-0 in the conference and 2-3-0 overall. The girls are also 0-3-0 in the conference, and are 0-3-2 overall this season.
In the boys’ game, Daniel Reutov came out of the gate strong by earning Homer’s first goal unassisted less than two minutes into the first half. Reutov then assisted the second goal, which went to Austin Shafford about 4 1/2 minutes into the second half. Reutov scored again on an assist from Phinny Weston about 14 minutes into the second half, followed by a goal from Ethan Pitzman on an assist from Shafford.
Homer’s final goal was netted by Dexter Lowe late in the second half on an assist from Reutov.
Nikiski’s lone goal came from a penalty kick made by Isaiah Gray, which slipped past goalkeeper Xander Kulhanek.
Homer coach Warren Waldorf said the team is still recovering from a three-game stint in Southeast Alaska, in which his main goalie, Tucker Weston, got hurt during the first game. In Tuesday’s game, Waldorf said it looked like his team had a better idea of what they were trying to accomplish on the field.
They moved the ball better against Nikiski than they did last weekend, he said. Waldorf said he’s looking forward to giving his varsity team a rest and time to train over the next week or two.
On the girls’ side, the Lady Mariners steamed ahead to a decisive victory against Nikiski, starting with three unassisted goals in the first half from Laura Inama, Kappa Reutov and Sela Weisser.
In the second half, Reutov scored again about 3 1/2 minutes in on an assist from Weisser. Inama then had two goals in a row, with assists from Reutov both times. Aiyana Cline netted a goal of her own later in the second half, unassisted, before assisting a goal by Jessica Sonnen.
In the very last minutes of the game, Paige Jones took the ball up the field from the back to score her own unassisted goal.
Coach Mike Tozzo said there were some things the team was focused on improving coming into Tuesday’s game. He said that in the Southeast games, the team had struggled with balancing the right number of players to get back on defense. They did a better job of that against Nikiski, he said.
“I also thought that we were winning a lot of 50/50 balls, and you know, really keeping our passes along the ground,” Tozzo said.
Homer chose to play into the wind during the first half on purpose, he said, so that they could work on keeping the ball low.
“I thought we accomplished a lot of the things that we set out to do today,” Tozzo said.
Still, Tozzo isn’t getting comfortable just yet. He said the team will still need to play a bit better to keep up with other teams this season, and to make sure the team is ready for the region tournament.
The girls soccer team next plays at 6 p.m. today, Thursday at home against Voznesenka. Both the Homer boys and girls teams will host Grace Christian this Friday at 5p.m. and 7 p.m.