Kenai Central’s Cali Holmes tries to clear the ball from Soldotna’s Caleigh Glassmaker and Caylee Uribe-Koivisto on Thursday, April 14, 2022, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Central’s Cali Holmes tries to clear the ball from Soldotna’s Caleigh Glassmaker and Caylee Uribe-Koivisto on Thursday, April 14, 2022, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Soccer roundup: SoHi boys win; Kenai, SoHi girls tie

The Soldotna and Kenai Central soccer teams got in a good dress rehearsal for conference play with nonconference games Thursday at Soldotna.

The girls played to a 1-all tie. Kenai now sits at 1-1-1, while SoHi is at 0-0-1. The Stars boys scored a 1-0 victory to move to 1-0 overall, while Kenai is 0-3.

Soldotna girls 1, Kenai 1

All of the scoring came in the first half in a game in which both coaches got some younger players some playing time and liked what they saw.

In the 15th minute, Caleigh Glassmaker created good pressure up front, forced a turnover and got the ball to Zayra Poage just outside of the penalty area. Poage was able to finish on Kenai goalie Maddie Malone.

Kenai got the equalizer in the 40th minute. The Kardinals drew a direct kick just outside of the box. When the wall went up in front of Kylie Verkuilen, she passed to Kate Wisnewski at the top of the box. Wisnewski was able to beat Soldotna goalie Sunny Miller with the shot.

“We’re just short-staffed,” Soldotna head coach Jimmy Love said. “That’s going to catch up with us in a game.”

Love said only 25 girls came out for soccer at SoHi, and some haven’t played or haven’t played in a number of years.

“So you’ve got to bring them up to speed and bringing them up to speed at the high school level is not the snap of a finger,” he said. “It’s gonna take a bit of time. But in the five weeks we’ve had, we’ve seen huge growth in what they can do.”

The coach said the strength and experience is on defense, with Jolie Widaman playing behind Katharine Bramante, Alex Lee and Glassmaker.

“That’s what we’re going to lean on this year,” Love said of his defense.

Tuesday, Love actually moved Glassmaker to forward and inserted Kendra Rose at defense. Rose is a freshman who played the entire JV game, then played the entire varsity game. Love said Rose did great in her first varsity start.

The coach added Bay Bloom and Liberty Miller did well in the midfield.

“Overall, I’m pretty satisfied with where we are,” Love said. “This is kind of the beginning point. It’ll be interesting to see where we end up.”

Kenai coach Dan Verkuilen also was missing a few players Tuesday.

“We were playing very few kids,” he said. “You could tell at the end, it was just like trying to stay above water.”

Because the game was nonconference, the coach said it was a good time to get a look at some younger players.

“Some of the younger kids really stepped up in the JV game, and then in the varsity,” Verkuilen said.

Verkuilen said his defense also played really well, led by sweeper Valerie Villegas and Cali Holmes.

Coach Verkuilen said Kylie Verkuilen did a good job of orchestrating in the midfield, and the forwards made some good runs, but that it’s hard to beat Widaman and her speed.

“These are the ones that are nice to have,” Verkuilen said of early nonconference games that allow some experimentation. “We’re in a good place right now.”

Soldotna 1, Kenai Central 0

Midway through the second half, Soldotna’s Brock Poe took advantage of a Kenai miscue on defense to score the game-winner.

“It was just a miscue with guys still getting used to working with one another,” Kenai Central coach Shane Lopez said. “It was definitely a bit unfortunate.

“Sometimes you love the game and it doesn’t love you back.”

Freshman Daniel Heath got a shutout for SoHi in the net. Soldotna coach Erik Dolphin said Heath made several big saves to preserve the shutout. Heath was able to get just enough of a shot to send it off the crossbar, and Kenai had another shot go off the crossbar.

“Our guys had their chances,” Lopez said. “I’m proud of them for keeping their heads in it and playing well.”

Dolphin said it was a physical game with both teams going back and forth and creating good chances.

The SoHi coach said sophomore captain Zac Buckbee played in the midfield, but was all over the field doing whatever the Stars needed him to do. Dolphin added Maleda Denbrock was his usual nonstop self in the midfield, and the defense of Parker Rose, Jace O’Reagan and Hamilton Hunt also played well.

Lopez said freshman midfielder Enrique Mercado had a great game in the midfield, while Sam Baisden played a part in creating a lot of chances from the midfield.

Ketchikan boys 3, Homer 0

The Mariners fell to 1-1 with the nonconference loss in Ketchikan.

“The thing that stuck out with my team is they just didn’t quit,” Homer coach Adam Diaz said. “They stayed competitive despite being down, kept their courage and finished the game the way they started — with that intensity.”

Diaz said freshman Kaiden Bogie had another strong game at right back.

Ketchikan girls 1, Homer 1

The Mariners stand at 1-0-1 after the nonconference affair in Ketchikan.

Homer was down 1-0 at halftime, but scored a crazy goal in the second half to tie it up. Coach Mike Tozzo said it was a weird goal with a bunch of players scrambling near the goal line and nobody knew who actually scored the goal. Homer had another goal in the second half called off due to offsides.

Tozzo said he brought 16 girls on the trip and all of them played well.

“It was a super intense game,” he said. “Every single girl who went in the game played extremely hard and it was unfortunate we didn’t get the win. We had plenty of chances to score and couldn’t quite finish.”

Tozzo said it was one of the best soccer games he’s watched.

“It was a crazy, crazy intense game,” he said. “Both teams were back and forth. Both teams played really well.”

Soldotna’s Maleda Denbrock tries to turn on Kenai Central’s Enrique Mercado on Thursday, April 14, 2022, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna’s Maleda Denbrock tries to turn on Kenai Central’s Enrique Mercado on Thursday, April 14, 2022, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna goalie Sunny Miller makes a save in front of Kenai Central’s Tait Cooper and Kori Moore on Thursday, April 14, 2022, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna goalie Sunny Miller makes a save in front of Kenai Central’s Tait Cooper and Kori Moore on Thursday, April 14, 2022, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

More in Sports

Head coach Taylor Shaw (center) talks to the Kenai River Brown Bears during a timeout at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska, on Saturday, March 23, 2024. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Brown Bears take 8 in NAHL Draft; league schedule released

The start of the North American Hockey League season seems closer with… Continue reading

The field of Late Models slide through a turn Friday, Sept. 6, 2019, at Twin City Raceway in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Joey Klecka/Peninsula Clarion)
Results posted for Circle Track Division race

The Twin City Raceway - Circle Track Division held its second race… Continue reading

tease
Thursday: Miners cruise past Oilers again

The Mat-Su Miners defeated the Peninsula Oilers 10-1 on Thursday in Alaska… Continue reading

tease
Oilers topple Pilots for 1st victory of season

The Peninsula Oilers defeated the Anchorage Glacier Pilots 3-1 on Wednesday at… Continue reading

Allie Ostrander is presented her award by Stacia Rustad at the Alaska High School Hall of Fame's Class of 2023 induction ceremony on Sunday, May 7, 2023, at The Lakefront Hotel in Anchorage, Alaska. (Screenshot)
Ostrander wins tuneup race for Olympic Trials

Allie Ostrander, a 2015 graduate of Kenai Central, set a new personal… Continue reading

tease
Tuesday: Oilers-Chinooks game rained out

Former Oilers pitcher Thorpe makes solid big league debut, but former Oilers pitcher Woo doesn’t make scheduled start

Runners start the fifth lap at the Tsalteshi Backyard Ultra at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Friday, June 8, 2024, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Girdwood’s Behney runs 75 miles to win his 2nd Tsalteshi Backyard Ultra

The Tsalteshi Backyard Ultra is an unusual running race, so it’s no… Continue reading

tease
Monday: Oilers drop close one to Bucs

The Anchorage Bucs defeated the Peninsula Oilers 4-3 Monday in Alaska Baseball… Continue reading

Lee Frey and Niko Zlotnik (501) lead the pack at the start of the 10-mile race at the Run for the River on Saturday, June 8, 2024, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Run for the River nears prepandemic participation levels

The Run for the River, put on Saturday by the Kenai Watershed… Continue reading

Most Read