The Soldotna girls soccer team defeated host Kenai Central 2-0 Monday in Peninsula Conference action.
The Stars move to 5-1-1 overall and 2-0-1 in the league, while the Kardinals fall to 1-5-1 overall and 0-2 in the league.
Rhys Cannava got both of the goals in the first half for the Stars. In the 22nd minute, she scored on assists from Liberty Miller and Jolie Widaman. About 11 minutes later, Cannava scored again on assists from Lily Coon and Widaman.
Soldotna coach Jimmy Love said his team started with good possession, but was selective in taking shots. He said the two goals opened up the game a little more with opportunities for both sides.
“At halftime, we talked about moving to space and taking shots outside of the box if we had to,” Love said. “We started doing that, but missing the net.”
He added that Kenai had some great scoring chances in the second half, including on a scramble in front of the net and a free kick that went off the crossbar with about two minutes left.
“We were getting a little complacent and lazy toward the end of the game,” Love said.
Sunny Miller finished off the shutout for SoHi in net.
Kenai boys soccer 3, Soldotna 3
The visiting Stars scored three goals in the final 20 minutes of the game to secure a Peninsula Conference tie Monday.
Soldotna is now 4-1-1 and 2-0-1, while Kenai is 4-2-1 and 1-0-1.
“It was the most dramatic game I’ve been a part of in a while,” Soldotna coach Erik Dolphin said.
Kenai coach Shane Lopez echoed those comments.
“It was certainly an exciting, thrilling, classic SoHi-Kenai battle,” Lopez said. “I thought both sides played really well.”
Dolphin said his team was flat in the first half and for the first part of the second half in falling behind 3-0. Kenai went up 2-0 in the first half on goals by Leif Lofquist and Lucas Tunseth. Lofquist then pushed the lead to 3-0 with a strike in the second half.
Maleda Denbrock got the Stars going with 20 minutes left by scoring on a cross from Trenton O’Reagan. Dolphin said it was fitting those two players got the Stars going, because they both were playing hard all game.
From there, O’Reagan scored on a set piece from Jose Montague and a breakaway for a tie game. Dolphin said SoHi even had some chances at a win in the final minutes.
“I was proud of the guys,” Lopez said. “Defensively, they held strong and limited their opportunities. The opportunities they had, they were able to put away.”
Dolphin said that, as usual, defenders Aiden Willets, Zac Buckbee and Tyler Johnson were solid.
Lopez said Joe Hamilton kept the defense organized, while Tucker Vann was all over the field at midfield.
Soldotna baseball 9, Homer 8
After hitting a walkoff single to defeat Homer 11-10 on Thursday, freshman Derrick Jones did something similar Monday in Soldotna.
The Stars are now 2-3 overall, while the Mariners are 0-6.
The Stars entered the bottom of the seventh inning trailing 8-7. With one out, Josh Pieh and Dylan Davidhizar walked. The two were on second and third when Soldotna coach Robb Quelland called for Jones to put a bunt down.
His bunt would have scored Pieh, but an errant throw to first base by pitcher Austin Ceccarelli also allowed Davidhizar to cross with the winning run. Quelland said the win was huge, especially with Harrison Metz drawing the start for Homer.
“We’ll take the win any way we can get it,” Quelland said. “I can’t say enough good things about Harrison Metz’s qualities and abilities as a pitcher. We were lucky to pull out a win against him. He’s just that good.”
Metz pitched the first five innings for Homer, giving up seven runs — three earned — on five hits while striking out seven and walking four.
Quelland said defense also let down his starter, Atticus Gibson. Gibson went 5 2-3 innings, giving up eight runs — one earned — on six hits while striking out five and walking five.
Quelland was impressed with Jacob Belger, who controlled the running game at catcher before switching to pitcher and closing out the game with a perfect seventh inning.
Daltyn Deborski was 3 for 4 with three runs and two RBIs for SoHi, while Belger had two runs and Pieh was 2 for 3 with two runs.
For Homer, Ceccarelli had three runs, while Metz was 2 for 2 with two runs and two RBIs.
Quelland said it was nice to see the community come together for SoHi’s home opener. He said about 100 fans were in attendance.
Soldotna softball 14, Kenai 13
The host Stars improved to 1-2 while dropping the Kardinals to 1-1. Soldotna avenged a 20-18 loss to Kenai on April 23.
Soldotna coach Kelli Knoebel said the Kards got off to a good start by taking a 3-0 lead after the top of the first, but Soldotna got the upper hand by scoring once in the first inning and 11 times in the second inning.
“We did a great job in the second inning,” Knoebel said. “We had some patient at-bats and a couple of doubles. After that, we just got cold.”
SoHi would scored just two runs the rest of the game as the Kards tried to come back. Kenai scored four runs in the top of the seventh to come up just short.
“There were a lot of walks in that first and second inning,” Kenai coach John Manley said. “That put us in a big hole, but they only gave up two runs the rest of the game and I was really happy with that. We were able to get back in it.”
Manley said Caitlin Crabb came in to pitch in the second inning and did a great job.
Zaharah Wilshusen and Andie Galloway had big game for the Kards, with Wilshusen getting six putouts and three runs, and Andie Galloway getting two hits, three runs and four putouts.
Kyana Griskevich had a bases-loaded double for Kenai, while Maggie Grenier had a pair of putouts and Taylor Carver played a solid first base.
For the Stars, Knoebel said Miah Mead went the distance and had seven strikeouts and eight walks. Knoebel said the important thing is Mead finished with a strikeout.
Makynzi Deborski was 3 for 3 with an RBI, walk and four runs for SoHi from the No. 7 spot. Ashlyn Asp was 2 for 3 with two doubles, three RBIs and a walk, while Brook Fischer made good contact without a lot to show for it, and Bailey Conner had a solid game at catcher.