The Kenai Central girls and boys soccer teams picked up sweeps in Kodiak on Friday and Saturday.
The Kardinals girls won 8-1 on Friday and 9-1 on Saturday to move to 8-2 overall and 2-0 in the Northern Lights Conference Southern Division, while the boys took a 5-0 decision Friday and a 2-0 decision Saturday to move to 8-1 overall and 2-0 in the division.
For the Kenai girls on Friday, Emily Halstead had four goals, while Olivia Brewer had two, and Rebecca Miller and Samantha Morse each had one. Kailey Hamilton had the win in net.
“They’re starting to play some soccer,” Kenai coach Dan Verkuilen said of the Bears. “They’ve really improved over the last few years. They’ve got a few girls starting to understand the game. It’s nice to see the improvement.”
Verkuilen said his main point of emphasis for the game was to work on finishing. After some missed opportunities early on, he said the team got better as the game wore on.
Saturday, Brewer led the way for the Kardinals with a hat trick.
Kenai boys 2, Kodiak 0
Luke Beiser scored for the fifth time in five games and Tristan Landry had the shutout as the Kards prevailed in slick conditions.
In the 25th minute, Beiser scored unassisted to notch the first goal of the game for the fourth time in five games.
“He’s just incredibly fast and light on his feet,” Kenai coach Joel Reemtsma said of the 6-foot-5 Beiser. “Most people don’t think a guy with that length will have a light touch and be able to control the ball in tight areas.”
Tomas Levy-Canedo finished off the scoring with five minutes left on a long shot.
“I’m really pleased Tomas has stepped up and began to be a factor in the midfield,” Reemtsma said. “He’s playing physical and distributing the ball well. For him to step up and bury a long shot is a whole new level. I’m excited about that.”
Reemtsma said he was missing four starters in the game. He was happy with the way young players stepped in to fill those roles.
Kenai boys 5, Kodiak 0
The Kardinals grabbed a 4-0 lead at the half Friday and Landry locked down another shutout in net.
Kalvin Daniels started the scoring in the 15th minute, converting a pass from Luke Beiser.
“It was nice to see Kalvin get on the scoresheet,” Reemtsma said. “He’s such a good athlete and he’s working hard.”
Just five minutes later, Beiser scored on a cross from Damien Redder. Before the end of the half, Titus Riddall drew a penalty kick that Max Dye converted, and Nate Beiser pounced on a loose ball in the box for a 4-0 lead.
In the second half, Braydon Goodman, known for scoring with his head, got his first of the season off a corner kick from Tomas Levy-Canedo.
“The game started competitive, but we were able to maintain pressure and open up gaps in the midfield,” Reemtsma said.
Ketchikan girls 5, Homer 2
The host Mariners fell to 2-5 overall after giving up a 2-1 lead in the second half to the nonconference Kings on Friday.
“We played really well but kind of gave the game away a little bit in the end,” Homer coach Mike Tozzo said.
Uliana Reutov and Raisa Basargin had the goals for Homer.
Ketchikan boys 3, Homer 0
The visiting Kings continued to improve during their trip to the Kenai Peninsula.
“Their coach said they played their best game of the year,” Homer coach Warren Waldorf said.
Waldorf said the players on his team did not come out with much fire in their bellies.
“They played a good game,” Waldorf said of the Kings. “Their passing game was better than ours, and they were more dangerous in our area than we were in theirs. They connected on three, and we didn’t.”
The coach added the Mariners look at each mistake that leads to a goal, but the problem is Homer is not correcting those mistakes.
Grace Christian girls 5, Nikiski 1
The visiting Bulldogs dropped the contest despite a scoring strike from Kelcei Zoda.
Grace Christian boys 3, Nikiski 0
The visiting Bulldogs dropped to 0-3 in competition, or 0-7 including forfeits, with the loss.
“We played our best game yet,” Nikiski coach Harrison Deveer said. “I’m very impressed with the boys.”
Deveer said Grace scored twice quickly in the first half, then his team woke up and held the Grizzlies off until the final minutes. Nikiski started the game with 10 players and ended with just nine. The Bulldogs even earned a penalty kick, but were not able to convert.
Deveer said George Napoka and Clayton Larson were stars on defense, while Michael Mysing held down center midfield and Michael Eiter stood out in goal.
Houston girls 5, Nikiski 2
The host Hawks defeated the Bulldogs on Saturday. Nikiski received goals from Zoda and Melanie Sexton.
Houston boys 3, Nikiski 1
The visiting Bulldogs had a lead in the second half until shortage of numbers caught up with them Saturday as they fell to 0-4 in competition and 0-8 including forfeits.
Michael Mysing put Nikiski up 1-0 in the second half. The Bulldogs started the game with 10 players, but injuries had them down to nine late in the second half when Houston scored three goals for the win.
Nikiski coach Harrison Deveer said he is happy his team keeps playing hard despite the low numbers. He said goalie Michael Eiter and Mysing stood out in the game.