The Nikiski girls and boys soccer teams traveled to Kodiak for games Friday and Saturday.
On Friday, the Nikiski girls played their JV team and came up with a 2-2 tie.
“For my JV, being able to compete with a varsity team — that was a thrill for them,” Nikiski coach Troy Zimmerman said.
Saturday, the Nikiski girls moved to 1-0 in the Northern Lights Conference and 1-3 overall with a 3-1 NLC victory over Kodiak.
Co-captain Rachel Thompson led the way with a first-half hat trick, scoring in the fifth, 23rd and 38th minutes.
“She just seems to pick up the intensity of the other players on the field as well,” Zimmerman said. “Even though she had three goals, I also saw quite a bit of improvement in midfielders and forwards. There was more passing and the spacing was better.”
In the second half, Zimmerman put Thompson in goal. Kodiak (0-2, 0-3-1) was able to cut the gap to 3-1 off a corner kick.
Zimmerman said the before the Saturday game against Kodiak, he named Chloe Braun a co-captain.
“She’s an all-around solid player when it comes to academics, work ethic at practice, what she brings to matches and leadership qualities,” Zimmerman said.
Zimmerman also said the defense was very solid in the first half in helping Brianna Vollertson keep a clean sheet.
Friday, the Nikiski boys started the weekend with a 5-2 nonconference victory over the Bears (1-1, 1-3).
Saturday, things started out well for the Bulldogs in the NLC contest, as Nico Castro and Sam Tauriainen had first-half goals for a 2-0 game at the break.
But Kodiak stormed back in the second half behind two strikes from Jose Cortez and another from Daniel Beltran for the 3-2 victory.
Cortez’s game-winner came in the 78th minute from 32 yards out. The ball bounced off the head of a Nikiski player and into the goal.
Today, the Bulldogs travel to face Soldotna, with the girls playing at 4 p.m. and the boys at 6 p.m.