Zack Tuttle netted a second-half hat trick Friday to rally the Kenai Central boys to a 4-2 soccer victory over Thunder Mountain.
The Kardinals moved to 5-1 overall in 2018 and grabbed their second win in a three-day Southeast weekend road trip.
Kenai trailed 2-0 at one point in the first half, which head coach Joel Reemstma attributed to several factors.
“I think we had our travel legs, maybe a bit of overconfidence,” he said. “The main factor was we just came in and just took things for granted and didn’t play good soccer.
“Once the team started passing the ball and moving and finishing, we played well.”
Reemstma said it was only about 15 minutes in that the Falcons claimed a 2-0 lead, but Kenai battled back with a Luke Beiser goal that cut the deficit in half. Beiser was able to convert a free kick from Rykker Riddall.
“I told the guys (at halftime) you don’t win if you don’t play good soccer,” Reemstma said. “The only thing that matters is the game in front of you.”
In the second half, an attack by Kenai resulted in a cross to Beiser, who headed it off the post and right to Tuttle, who headed it in for the equalizer.
The go-ahead shot came on a volley from Tuttle, who collected a shot from Damien Redder on the run. The insurance goal came on a free kick from Redder to Tuttle.
Braeden Pitsch got the win in goal for Kenai, and Reemstma said Braydon Goodman had some good stops on defense.
Homer boys 4, Grace 0
The Mariner boys began the weekend with a victory over conference opponent Grace Christian, although the game was played as a nonconference contest.
Charles Rohr tallied two goals for Homer, while Oliver Beck notched a goal and two assists and Austin Shafford scored as well.
Grace girls 5, Homer 0
The Grizzlies prevailed in a nonconference meeting between NLC opponents, dropping the Mariners to 1-1-2 overall.
“We had a bad day against a really good team, and that’s a bad combination,” said head coach Mike Tozzo in a text.
Seward boys 4, Houston 0
The Seahawks won Thursday at home with a shutout effort over Houston, which is fielding a coed squad this year due to low numbers for girls.