The Cook Inlet Academy coed soccer team moved to 12-1 overall and 10-0 in the Borealis Conference with wins Friday and Saturday at the Kenai Sports Complex.
The Eagles defeated defending conference champions Wasilla Lake Christian 2-0 on Friday and celebrated senior day Saturday by defeating Birchwood Christian 5-0. CIA leads the conference and is in good position to get the top seed at the conference tournament from Sept. 26 to 29 in Anchorage.
Friday, Wasilla Lake showed it meant business by showing up early to prepare for the game and outshooting Cook Inlet 5-3 in the first half.
“We were moving the ball well, but if you don’t put it in the back of the net, you’ve got a problem,” CIA coach Kenny Leaf said in an email.
Leaf said his team was getting opportunities, but not putting those opportunities on net. Just three minutes into the second half, Adara Warren got the ball to Hunter Moos, who put the shot on target for a 1-0 lead.
CIA’s back line of Jiabao Leaf, Isaac Johnson, Landon Vyhmeister and John Peterson stayed strong, and in the 62 minute, Leaf took the ball into Wasilla territory and sent a cross to Moos to make the score 2-0. Lucas Cragg would record the shutout in net.
Saturday, coach Leaf was able to start 11 seniors to celebrate senior day.
“I don’t know that I’ve ever started 11 seniors,” Leaf wrote.
The defensive line was Jiabao Leaf, Peterson, JL Wahl and James Anderson. Alex Van de Grift played goalie. The midfield was made up of Sophie Nelson, Brianna Hammond, Warren and Alex Emery. The forwards were Addie Nelson and Moos.
Nelson assisted Moos twice in the first 14 minutes as the Eagles took a 2-0 lead into halftime. Underclassmen Denali Jackson, Genna Nelson, Eddie Erickson, Leah Dillingham, Annika Castenholz, Linnaea Dohse and Jamie Hyatt were mixed in as the first half proceeded.
In the 62nd and 65th minutes, CIA did a replay on the field as Sophie Nelson broke free on the right and delivered the ball to Hyatt, who found Isaac Johnson for his first two goals of the season. The final goal came in the 80th minute, when goalie Jared Vyhmeister punted the ball to midfield and Moos did the rest to complete the hat trick.