Homer High School senior Eyoab Knapp dribbles the ball toward the goal during the Homer vs. Redington game May 14. The host Mariners won 5-1. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)

Homer High School senior Eyoab Knapp dribbles the ball toward the goal during the Homer vs. Redington game May 14. The host Mariners won 5-1. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)

Soccer roundup: Area teams conclude regular season

The host Kenai Central boys soccer team finished up the regular season 7-3-2 overall with a 9-0 victory over Redington on Saturday.

James Baisden had four goals for the Kardinals, while Koa Diorec had two and Joe Hamilton, Wade James and Leif Lofquist added tallies. Aidan Milburn had the shutout in net.

“Redington wasn’t bad, but we were moving the ball well,” Kenai coach Shane Lopez said. “I was happy to see that going into regions.”

Lopez said Daniel Sheldon and Ky Calvert continue to impress coming off the bench — Sheldon in a center defensive role and Calvert with an impressive assist to Baisden.

The Kenai coach also was impressed with Tucker Vann winning a Kachemak Conference wrestling title in the morning, then playing the second half and nearly scoring.

Kenai girls 4, Redington 1

The host Kardinals finished the regular season 4-8-1 after toppling the Huskies in Saturday nonconference play.

Kenai grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first half when Kylee Verkuilen scored on an assist from Neveah Olson.

In the second half, the Kards stretched the lead to 4-0 when Kori Moore was assisted by Bethany Morris, Morris was assisted by Verkuilen, and Olson scored unassisted. Redington broke up the shutout in the last 10 minutes.

Soldotna girls 1, Wasilla 1

The visiting Stars finished the regular season 8-2-3 with the Saturday nonconference draw.

After Wasilla scored seven minutes into the second half, Rhys Cannava equalized with about 20 minutes left with help from Jolie Widaman.

Soldotna coach Jimmy Love said when the Stars play like they did Saturday, they can play with anybody.

“To finish out the regular season with a draw against a Division I team that is generally a strong team is a big plus,” Love said.

Homer boys 3, Nikiski 0

The visiting Mariners notched the Peninsula Conference victory Saturday to finish the regular season at 2-3-1 and 3-3-2. The Bulldogs fall to 0-6 and 0-10.

Homer’s scores were Casey Otis from Eyoab Knapp in the seventh minute, Knapp from Parker Lowney in the ninth minute and Owen Pitzman from Clayton Beachy in the 20th minute.

Lucas Story and Theo McDonough shared the shutout in net.

Homer coach Adam Diaz said the team was trying some things for the conference tournament.

“We earned our spears going into regions,” Diaz said. “The team is really looking forward to regions.”

Nikiski coach Harrison Deveer said those quick three goals showed some inexperience, but then his players woke up and played their best game of the season.

“That’s what you want as a coach,” Deveer said. “Even when you lose, you want to be playing better every game.”

Deveer said Gavin White was really good up front, while Christopher Druesedow led the defense.

Homer girls 10, Nikiski 0

The visiting Mariners closed their regular season Saturday by moving to 4-1-1 in the Peninsula Conference and 7-1-1 overall. Nikiski falls to 0-5 and 0-11.

Sela Weisser had three goals and an assist for the Mariners, while Jess Sonnen also had a hat trick. Kappa Reutov added two goals while Izzy Dye and Minadora Reutov also scored. Felicia Weisser made two saves for the shutout.

“In our last stretch of games, we’ve built good momentum,” Homer coach Mike Tozzo said. “Our goal was to score goals — finish in front of the net, look for opportunities and take advantage of opportunities. I felt like we did that the last three games.”

Nikiski coach Angie Coelho said in an email Emma Weeks was in net and had to face over 30 shots. Coelho added Lillian Carstens and Julia Smith played hard on offense.

“I’m looking forward to seeing Julia and all our freshmen grow in the next few years,” Coelho wrote. “They’re very promising.”

Soldotna boys 1, Wasilla 1

The visiting Stars finished their regular season at 5-0-3 overall with the Saturday nonconference tie.

Missing some key players and resting others due to nagging injuries, SoHi got an early goal from Brock Poe. Quinn Cox played the ball to Dennis Taylor, who assisted Poe. Wasilla equalized late in the game.

Soldotna girls 1, Palmer 1

The Stars and host Moose played to a draw in the Friday nonconference match as SoHi’s record went to 8-2-2.

Palmer led 1-0 after the first half on a penalty kick. Early in the second half, Rhys Cannava equalized on an assist from Bloom.

“We had pressure in the first half and just couldn’t sink it,” Soldotna coach Jimmy Love said. “We stopped playing our normal game.”

Love said the Stars got more and more individual in their play, and thus less and less effective.

Kenai Central girls 2, Houston 0

The Kardinals moved to 3-8-1 with the nonconference victory Friday.

After a scoreless first half, Neveah Olson broke the ice 15 minutes into the second half. Kylee Verkuilen started the sequence by playing Kori Moore to the corner. Moore crossed to a header by Rylie Sparks and Olson finished. Moore then scored unassisted.

Emma Beck had the shutout.

Kenai coach Dan Verkuilen said three seniors were missing, so it was a chance for a good chunk of next season’s team to play together.

Verkuilen said Kenai was not getting to the ball first in the first half, but the Kardinals showed more spark getting to the ball after halftime.

Homer girls 6, Redington 0

The host Mariners moved to 6-1-1 with the Friday nonconference victory over the Huskies.

Kappa Reutov and Sela Weisser each had two goals and an assist, while Laura Inama and Emma Grimes added goals. Jess Sonnen had two assists, while Zoe Stonorov added an assist.

“For the second day in a row, we played calm and collected the way we’ve been preaching,” Homer coach Mike Tozzo said. “We worked the ball around the field and waited for chances.”

Seniors Aiyana Cline, Inama, Harmony Davidson, Sonnen, Paige Jones, Mya Houglum, Katlyn Vogl, Hailee Alexander and Zoe Stonorov were honored on senior night.

“I’m proud of the seniors,” Tozzo said. “Not every one plays 80 minutes. Some are role players or don’t get in the game. They got a lot of playing time yesterday and today. We’re coming together as a team at the right time and I’m excited about the region tournament.”

Soldotna boys 1, Palmer 1

The visiting Stars and Moose played to a tie in Friday nonconference play as SoHi’s overall record went to 5-0-2.

Soldotna coach Erik Dolphin said it was a tough road trip, with Friday school then a long bus ride.

The coach said his side did not perform well, but was able to take the lead in the second half on a penalty kick by Trenton O’Reagan. However, Palmer tied it up late on what Dolphin said was “a gift of a goal.”

Homer boys 5, Redington 1

The host Mariners stormed back from an early 1-0 deficit to claim a Friday nonconference win. Homer moves to 2-3-2.

Homer went up 2-1 in the first half when Eyoab Knapp scored on an assist from Parker Lowney and Clayton Beachy scored on an assist from Hunter Green.

In the second half, Knapp finished his hat trick by scoring on assists from Green and then Beachy, and Casey Otis scored on an assist from Lowney.

Homer coach Adam Diaz said Knapp is back in form after starting the season injured.

“He’s one of the guys that helps keep up communication,” Diaz said. “It’s always a pleasure having him out there.”

Diaz said the team wanted to say three things after the game: In the words of King Leonidas, we fight in the rain; the Spartan mentality has helped us evolve over the season; and we earned our shields today. Diaz explained it was raining in Homer for the game, and that the Spartan mentality is fighting until the end.

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