The Mariners’ 2015 soccer season drew to a close Friday. The boys team had a fantastic season and reached state for the third time in Mariner history, before ending the season with a 2-1 loss against Bartlett.
The team put up a solid defense against Bartlett, refusing to go down without a fight. Senior Kenneth Schneider scored a penalty kick against Bartlett.
“You know it was a tough game. It ended up being our last, but the boys never stopped playing. … We went out very well,” said Head Coach Warren Waldorf.
Losing against Bartlett was the final blow of the season for the team. Only a day earlier on Thursday, the Mariners had faced rival team Kenai Central and lost 1-0.
Over the course of this season the boys team faced Kenai three times, unable to take home a victory. Kenai remained impenetrable on Thursday and would not allow the Mariners to score a single point.
With that loss, the Mariners were done.
On Saturday, Dimond won the state championship, defeating South Anchorage.
Under Waldorf’s leadership, the boys placed third in the Northern Lights Conference, and second in the South Division. With a grand total of seven wins this season, the Mariners trailed behind only Soldotna in the south and Colony in the north.
After their loss against Bartlett, the Mariners came home from the State Championship in seventh place.
“It was a good season, the team was the best they had been. … This was the culmination of four years of practice, playing, working,” Waldorf said.
Several players stood out as having strong seasons. Filip Reutov, senior, proved to be a reliable, hardworking midfielder, along with senior Drew Brown.
Charles Rohr, a freshman, made a splash this year. Even though this was his rookie season, Rohr led the team in goals. Waldorf hopes that Rohr and other talented players continue to pursue the sport.
“You know the season is over, and it’s hard to know how to react. I think these boys are fantastic, the team is great and works well together. It’s really up to them to pursue it, and to decide how seriously they want to take it,” Waldorf said.
This was the third year the boys have reached state, and the eighth year that Waldorf has been the boys coach.
Fermin Martinez is a freelance writer who is living in Homer.