Wasilla boys soccer coach Danny Kilanowski was impressed with the players Kenai Central has up front.
He could have many more years to savor their play.
Sophomore Zack Tuttle had two goals and two assists, freshman Damien Redder had two goals and an assist, and sophomore Luke Beiser had an assist as the Kards topped the Warriors 4-0 on Friday in Northern Lights Conference play. Wasilla fell to 5-3-7 overall.
Kenai, which also beat Grace Christian 3-0 on Saturday, is 10-2-1 overall.
“They’ve got some good guys up front we didn’t take charge of,” Kilanowski said. “That’s the sign of a good striker — you can’t keep tabs on them.”
Just three minutes into the game, Beiser played a through ball to Tuttle for a score. After Redder put a header off the crossbar in the seventh minute, he converted a cross from Tuttle for a 2-0 lead in the 17th minute.
“It was his first time really playing in the center,” Kenai coach Joel Reemtsma said of Redder. “That’s a big jump from playing on the outside, and he was still able to score.”
In the 32nd minute, Redder clanged in a left-footed shot off the post off of a Tuttle throw-in.
Tuttle completed the scoring in the 55th minute with a diving header to the far post off of a Redder corner kick.
The four goals were more than enough for a Kenai defense, with Max Dye and Braydon Goodman in the center and Riley McKee and Joe Brighton on the outside, that has given up just five goals this season — one in the run of play.
Tristan Landry recorded the shutout in the net.
Reemtsma said Luke Beiser played in a lot of different positions and did a good job at all of them, while freshman Connor Felchle was impressive in his extended action with the varsity club.
Kilanowski said goalie Nikita Antonov did a good job in trying to thwart the Kenai attack, while Tim Voloshin did his best to create opportunities up front.
Wasilla girls 3, Kenai 2
A matchup of Northern Lights Conference heavyweights saw the visiting Warriors triumph in a game that saw no scores in the run of play.
Wasilla tallied twice on corner kicks and once off the rebound off a penalty kick, while Kenai scored on a corner kick and penalty kick.
The Warriors were 9-2-2 after the win.
“It’s been awhile since we finished on top against Kenai,” Wasilla girls coach Patrick O’Neill said. “We knew it’d be a battle.
“There are always weird goals when we play them and we got a few today.”
In the ninth minute, Wasilla’s Jodie Richey banged a corner kick to the near post. Kenai’s Hannah Drury was stationed there and appeared to head the ball away, but the guess was the ball somehow slammed off Wasilla’s Daija Doughty and into the back of the net.
In the 34th minute, Wasilla’s Abby Crawford earned a penalty kick. Alexis Friesen was stopped by Kenai goalie Alli Steinbeck, but Freisen pounced on the rebound and fed it to Alia Donley for a goal.
“It’s something we talked about at halftime,” Kenai coach Dan Verkuilen said. “She makes a great save and they have two girls and we have seven, and one still gets open to score.”
Just two minutes into the second half, Lara Creighton headed in a corner kick from Drury.
“They scored right away in the second half, which is what we were trying to avoid,” O’Neill said. “They executed the corner kick beautifully.
“Once they scored, we knew they would keep coming.”
Richey blunted that momentum when she scored directly off a corner kick in the 61st minute.
That made the drama far less acute in the 79th minute when Creighton was fouled in the box and Cori Holmes scored on the corner kick.
Verkuilen said Kenai couldn’t make up for a lackluster first half.
“It was a good wakeup,” he said. “We always talk about urgency in practice and playing at game speed.
“The kids sometimes need to get stung to get their heads back in it.”
Verkuilen said Cori Holmes was all over the midfield for 80 minutes, while Sam Morse had her best game due to sharpened toughness.
O’Neill said Friesen, just a freshman, also was all over the field for 80 minutes. He added Donley did a good job of playing varying positions, while Lindsey Cisek was solid at sweeper.
Kenai boys 3, Grace 0
Tristan Landry recorded another shutout in net for the Kardinals.
Tuttle was again involved in all the goals. In the 12th minute, he took a cross from Kevin Ramos and beat the goalie with a header.
In the 25th minute, Tuttle set up Ramos for a rocket from 20 yards out. Then in the 63rd minute, Tuttle set up Max Dye for a score.
“I’m really happy not just with the win and the way we are finishing, but with the way we’re passing the ball around and getting consistent movement,” Reemtsma said.
Kenai honored seniors Michael Alvey, Ean Atchley, Joe Brighton, Chris Hamilton and Draiden McMinn and Cameron Ramos.
Reemtsma said Hamilton did great at right midfield, and Brighton was his usual solid self at outside defense. He said the defender’s ability to set up the forwards is an aspect of the goals that often goes unnoticed.
McMinn played the day after getting his wisdom teeth out, using his shoulder to put a shot on goal instead of his head.
Kenai girls 3, Grace 0
The host Kardinals moved to 9-3-1 with the Northern Lights Conference victory.
Alli Steinbeck had the shutout.
Olivia Brewer started the scoring in the 23rd minute with a goal after a nice series of passes up the middle.
In the 71st minute, Sam Morse scored on a breakaway. In the 80th minute, Cori Holmes finished off the scoring with a left-footed shot from 20 yards out, assisted by Brewer.