Saturday soccer: Kenai sweeps Soccerfest titles

The Kenai girls and boys defeated Homer for Soccerfest titles Saturday, while Nikiski lost in the fourth-place matches and the Soldotna girls and boys tied Juneau-Douglas: Kale in Anchorage.

At the boys Soccerfest at Houston, the Kardinals topped Homer 2-1 for the title. The Kards are 5-2-0 overall, while the Mariners are 4-2-0.

Zane James and Aloshia Cross had the goals for Kenai, while Trae Pitsch had an assist. Kenai coach Shane Lopez said Pitsch, Cole Langham and Cross did great work in the midfield. Lopez said his team stuck to the plan and communicated well, resulting in a lot of pressure on Homer.

Spencer Dye scored on a penalty kick for Homer.

The Nikiski boys lost 10-1 to Thunder Mountain in the fourth-place game, falling to 1-5-0. Kazu Yakuwata had the goal for Nikiski. Nikiski coach Horst Haunold texted that his team was tired.

The Kenai girls defeated Homer 3-0 for the title at girls Soccerfest at Redington. The Kards are 6-1-1, while the Mariners are 4-2-1. Kenai scored 16 goals in the tournament, while nobody got a shot past Kenai keeper Maddie Malone.

After a scoreless first half, Kylee Verkuilen scored just two minutes into the second half on a corner kick. At the 63-minute mark, Sarah Baisden scored on an assist from Brynnen Hanson. With just two minutes to play, Hanson finished a cross from Tait Cooper. Kenai coach Dan Verkuilen texted that Kenai controlled the play in the game.

The Nikiski girls lost the fourth-place game 3-2 to Palmer to fall to 1-5-0.

Nikiski coach Angie Coelho texted that it was an emotional and physical game, and also wrote her team scored a third goal that was disallowed. The coach wrote her team is looking forward to playing Homer on Saturday after losing to the Mariners 4-0 and 7-0 this week.

“We’re looking for a rematch for sure, hungry for a chance to show that we are competitors,” Coelho wrote.

Evelyn Reichert and Ashlynne Playle had the goals for Nikiski, while Emma Weeks was solid in net.

In Anchorage, the Juneau and Soldotna boys played to a scoreless tie in a rematch of the 2023 Division II state title game, which was won by the Crimson Bears. SoHi coach Erik Dolphin texted that it was a great game, with both teams creating lots of chances. Dolphin said the Stars hit the post three times, while Juneau had a goal called back for fouling SoHi keeper Luke Hillyer.

The Juneau and Soldotna girls played to a 2-all tie. Morgan Lemm scored twice, once unassisted and once assisted by Sadie Lane and Emily O’Reagan.