All 4 area soccer teams make state semis

Kenai Peninsula soccer squads went 4 for 4 in the opening round of the Division II state soccer tournament at various locations in Anchorage.

The Soldotna girls advanced to the semifinals by defeating Redington 9-0, while the Homer girls defeated North Pole 3-1.

The Mariners face Juneau-Douglas, the defending state champion, in the semifinals at 3 p.m. today at Service. The Stars take on the Redington-Thunder Mountain winner at 5 p.m. at Service.

The Soldotna boys defeated Palmer 4-0, while the Kenai boys topped Grace Christian 3-1. Soldotna faces Juneau-Douglas at 11 a.m. today at Service, while Kenai takes on Thunder Mountain at 11 a.m. at West.

Soldotna boys 4, Palmer 0

The Stars received a pair of goals from Josh Hieber in earning the first-round victory at Eagle River.

Soldotna, which led 3-0 after the first half, also received tallies from Trenton O’Reagan and Maleda Denbrock.

“It was a pretty well-rounded win,” SoHi coach Erik Dolphin said. “We kept good possession and gave a bunch of people a chance to rest.”

Gehret Medcoff had the shutout in net. Dolphin said the defense played really well in front of Medcoff.

The SoHi coach said Ty Wackler, Jose Montague and Dylan Walton also did a great job in the midfield.

Kenai boys 3, Grace Christian 1

For the second time in under a week, the two-time defending Division II state champs went to overtime with their title defense on the line. Both times, Leif Lofquist was ready.

After being the difference in a 2-1 overtime victory over Homer in the Peninsula Conference semifinals, Lofquist scored the first goal of the overtime against the Grizzlies on Thursday at West.

In regulation, Lofquist scored in the first half on an assist from Samuel Baisden. The Grizzlies equalized with about 20 minutes to go off of a set piece.

Overtime starts with two 10-minute periods that are not sudden death. Lofquist scored in the first period on a cross from James Baisden. In the second period, Lofquist assisted a goal by Koa Diorec.

Kenai coach Shane Lopez gave Wade James credit for a great game in goal. He also said James Baisden was great at midfield.

“State games can always be tight,” Lopez said. “Teams are playing like there is no tomorrow, because there isn’t.

“We were able to come back from the stressful situation of losing the lead late in the game. The guys kept their cool, got to work in overtime and made sure they put it away.”

Homer girls 3, North Pole 1

The Mariners overcame an early deficit at Service to advance to the semifinals.

North Pole scored about 15 or 20 minutes into the first half, but with about five minutes left in the first half, Homer’s Debbie Weisser tied things up with a well-placed free kick from 25 yards.

In the second half, Minadora Reutov scored a pair of goals. With Kappa Reutov not available due to injury, Homer coach Mike Tozzo said Minadora did a great job up front. The coach also said Jess Sonnen in the midfield and Homer’s defense came through.

“Overall, we played pretty well,” Tozzo said. “We were definitely on their side of the field for most of the game. It was a good win to start the weekend off.”

Soldotna girls 9, Monroe Catholic 0

The host Stars received four goals from Rhys Cannava and a shutout from Sunny Miller at Service in advancing to the semifinals.

Liberty Miller opened the scoring, assisted by Sierra Kuntz, in the second minute. By the 23rd minute, Cannava had scored four times to put SoHi up 5-0. Assists came from Katie Delker, Kuntz, Jolie Widaman and Lily Coon.

Kuntz opened up the second half with a pair of goals, assisted by Cannava, Delker and Widaman. Bay Bloom then scored, assisted by Morgan Lemm and Kuntz, and Zayra Poage closed the scoring on an assist from Cannava.

Soldotna coach Jimmy Love said his team still has another gear as they chase the first state title in school history.

“I don’t think we played our best,” Love said. “I’d say we played better than we have, but it was definitely not the team I was looking for, the team that played to a tie against Wasilla.”

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