Homer’s Addi Grimes hits the post in front of Nikiski goalie Emma Weeks on Saturday, May 4, 2024, at Nikiski Middle-High School in Nikiski, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Homer’s Addi Grimes hits the post in front of Nikiski goalie Emma Weeks on Saturday, May 4, 2024, at Nikiski Middle-High School in Nikiski, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Saturday soccer: Homer sweeps Nikiski

The Homer girls and boys soccer teams swept host Nikiski in Northern Lights Conference action Saturday.

The Mariners girls won 3-0 to move to 2-1-1 in the league and 5-2-2 overall, while the Bulldogs dropped to 0-5-0 and 1-7-0. The Homer boys won 6-0 to move to 3-1-0 and 5-2-1, while Nikiski is 0-5-0 and 1-7-0.

The Homer and Nikiski girls played for the third time this season, with the Mariners winning previous games 4-0 and 7-0.

“Every year, we’re in the same spot where we come out and we’ve never played on a field because ours isn’t plowed,” said Nikiski coach Angie Coelho, who is in her fourth year. “And we whittle the scores down.”

The Bulldogs do not have a turf field like Kenai, Soldotna or Homer, but last season Nikiski was able to get the first state berth in school history.

“We do a really great job of improving all year long,” Coelho said. “And right now our eyes are on the prize of that wild card. We want that state berth.

“We want the whole region to go again, which would be incredible. But we’ve got to do some winning and practicing, and clawing our way above a few teams.”

One area where Nikiski has been solid is at goalkeeper with Emma Weeks. Homer coach Mike Tozzo had his team down for 18 shots on goal.

“It seems like ever since that first game of the year against Kenai, we’ve not been able to get that level of play back again,” Tozzo said. “I don’t know what it is. Nothing’s changed. We’re not using a different lineup. People aren’t hurt.

“What we’re searching for is some consistency.”

Lou Wise started the scoring for Homer in the 17th minute when she knocked in a corner kick from Talia Weisser.

In the 45th minute, Wise kicked the ball out to Lily King in the corner of the box. King scored on a nice shot.

In the 79th minute, Addi Grimes scored on an assist from her twin sister, Emma Grimes. Tozzo said Addi normally plays defense, but Tozzo was looking for someone who wanted to get another goal.

“I thought we did a better job of using the space that was given to us,” Tozzo said. “We were connecting quite a few passes and communicating pretty well.”

The coach said Kavindra Johnson and Lily King played well on the back line to help Christi Weisser earn the shutout.

“I really appreciated that they were trying to switch the field and played back to the goalie quite often, and did it calmly,” Tozzo said.

Coelho said the whole team played well, but added that Millie Hornung and Maddie Iyatunguk stood out by playing the whole game in the midfield.

“They have a certain kind of scrappiness to them,” Coelho said. “They go in and fight for the ball.”

With big games looming this week, Coelho said a key will be scoring goals. Nikiski lost its top goal scorer from a year ago, so scoring this season has been by committee.

“Every season, we’re learning and developing,” Coelho said. “Hopefully by the end, we actually have something that’s put together.”

Homer boys 6, Nikiski 0

The Mariners scored three times in each half to take down the Bulldogs.

In the first half, Reid Rauch had a nice left-footed volley set up by Beau Miller, Lucas Story scored unassisted and Kaiden Bogie scored on a penalty kick.

In the second half, Rauch scored on an assist from Brady Shealy, Bogie scored with help from Spencer Dye, and Espen Hennick scored on an Ellis Lorentz assist.

Walden Kraszeski and Nathan Overson shared the shutout in net.

“It’s always an opportunity to work on moving the ball quickly and utilizing space,” Homer coach Kenneth Schneider said. “They play a slightly different version of soccer than some of the other teams on the peninsula, so it’s just something to figure out — how to keep our style of play within that structure.”

Nikiski coach Horst Haunold was proud of the effort his team gave. The Bulldogs did not have any subs.

“There was no quit in them today,” Haunold said. “The last couple of games, there was some, ‘Oh, I’m feeling sorry for myself.’

“Today, there was none of that. We had a good talk before the game.”

Haunold said a few Bulldogs played in their first game Saturday, and the team recently had 11 players at practice.

“It was a team effort today,” he said. “They quit squabbling between themselves and they talked and had a couple of chances.”

Soldotna girls 4, Grace Christian 0

The visiting Stars notched a Saturday nonconference victory to move to 8-0-1 overall.

Ryan Queen had the clean sheet for SoHi.

The goals came from Morgan Lemm with help from Sadie Lane, Emily O’Reagan on assists from Lemm and Bay Bloom, Bay Bloom knocking in a corner kick from Lemm, and Grayson Henry with help from Rowan Peck and O’Reagan.

Soldotna boys 6, Grace Christian 2

The Stars went on the road Saturday to notch a nonconference victory and move to 8-0-1 overall.

Andrew Arthur had a hat trick in the first 25 minutes, with Gehret Medcoff, Simon Willets and Jace O’Reagan collecting the assists.

Also, Willets scored in the 28th minute, Zac Buckbee scored in the 37th minute, and Nuno Venturi scored with help from Willets in the 47th minute.

Kenai girls 3, Ketchikan 0

The host Kardinals are 8-2-1 after taking down the Kings in Saturday nonconference action.

Brynnen Hanson started the scoring in the 22nd minute on a cross by Savannah Hershberger.

Kenai’s next goal came in the 72nd minute, when Kylee Verkuilen got the ball at midfield and dribbled up the field before putting the ball in the left corner of the net.

At 77 minutes, Hanson finished the scoring with an unassisted goal.

Kenai coach Dan Verkuilen wrote in a text message that Maddie Malone was steady in net in chalking up the shutout.

Coach Verkuilen also wrote that the Kards were missing two starting midfielders, but Abby Castillo, Evelyn Cooper, Tait Cooper and Hershberger stepped up.

Coach Verkuilen wrote that his daughter, Kylee, controlled the midfield, while Kate Wisnewski, Grace Beiser, Seanna Swanson and Alexis Taylor played great defense.

Ketchikan boys 3, Kenai 2

The host Kardinals fell to 6-4-0 overall after the Saturday nonconference loss.

Sawyer Vann and Zane James both found the back of the net for Kenai. Kenai coach Shane Lopez said the Kings scored on a pair of penalty kicks, plus a free kick.

Homer’s Goldie Hill and Nikiski’s Maddie Iyatunguk battle for the ball Saturday, May 4, 2024, at Nikiski Middle-High School in Nikiski, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Homer’s Goldie Hill and Nikiski’s Maddie Iyatunguk battle for the ball Saturday, May 4, 2024, at Nikiski Middle-High School in Nikiski, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Nikiski goalie Kevin Love snatches the ball before Homer’s Kaiden Bogie can head it Saturday, May 4, 2024, at Nikiski Middle-High School in Nikiski, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Nikiski goalie Kevin Love snatches the ball before Homer’s Kaiden Bogie can head it Saturday, May 4, 2024, at Nikiski Middle-High School in Nikiski, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Homer’s Reid Rauch dribbles against Nikiski’s Seth Payne and Gavin Carmody on Saturday, May 4, 2024, at Nikiski Middle-High School in Nikiski, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Homer’s Reid Rauch dribbles against Nikiski’s Seth Payne and Gavin Carmody on Saturday, May 4, 2024, at Nikiski Middle-High School in Nikiski, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Nikiski’s Johnny Ralston dribbles against Homer’s Espen Hennick on Saturday, May 4, 2024, at Nikiski Middle-High School in Nikiski, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Nikiski’s Johnny Ralston dribbles against Homer’s Espen Hennick on Saturday, May 4, 2024, at Nikiski Middle-High School in Nikiski, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Homer’s Talia Weisser dribbles against Nikiski’s Zoey Ellis on Saturday, May 4, 2024, at Nikiski Middle-High School in Nikiski, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Homer’s Talia Weisser dribbles against Nikiski’s Zoey Ellis on Saturday, May 4, 2024, at Nikiski Middle-High School in Nikiski, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

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