The Soldotna girls soccer team defeated North Pole 2-1 on Friday at Palmer High School in nonconference play to move to 1-0-1 on the season.
The Stars received a pair of goals from Zayra Poage, assisted by Morgan Lemm, in the first half before the Patriots scored once in the second half.
“We came out a little flat, but that can be expected after the long bus ride and on a cold day,” SoHi head coach Jimmy Love said. “We started playing better in the second half but we didn’t score because we were constantly dealing with the wind.”
After playing to a 1-all tie with Kenai on Thursday, Love said his team was better Friday. Love said the four players on defense were really good Friday, moving off the ball and communicating well. The coach said that type of play is starting to move to the midfield and strikers, as well.
Soldotna boys 1, North Pole 1
The Stars overcame a tough first half to earn a nonconference tie at Palmer on Friday. Soldotna’s record is 1-0-1 overall.
“I’m not happy with how we played in the first half, but I’m happy we battled back,” SoHi coach Erik Dolphin said.
With about 10 minutes left in the game, Zac Buckbee took a free kick and the rebound went to Brock Poe. Poe put a shot on net and the goalie went to the ground to make a save. With both players on the ground, Poe rolled and used his head to score the goal.
“It was silly looking, but it counted,” Dolphin said.
The coach said defenders Hamilton Hunt, Jace O’Reagan and Parker Rose worked really hard to keep North Pole from scoring more goals, while Buckbee played well in the midfield.
Dolphin said the slow first half was understandable after an emotional victory over Kenai on Thursday. At the same time, Dolphin said the state tournament is three days in a row, so the team will have to learn how to rebound from emotional games.
Homer girls 0, Thunder Mountain 0
The Mariners stand at 1-0-2 after the nonconference game at Thunder Mountain on Friday.
“Before the game we talked about the purpose of this trip being simply to get better,” Homer coach Mike Tozzo said. “As a team, we’re not 100% concerned with winning and losing, we’re just hoping to get better.
“Today, we played really, really well against a good Thunder Mountain team. They put a lot of pressure on, and we stuck together as a group.”
Although a few players weren’t available due to injuries, Tozzo said everybody available subbed in and out.
Defensive midfielder Debbie Weisser did not play due to injury. Tozzo said Olivia Glasman did a great job filling in, with Izzy Dye also playing well in the defensive midfield.
Felicia Weisser had the shutout for Homer.
Thunder Mountain boys 7, Homer 1
The visiting Mariners fell to 1-2 with a nonconference loss to the defending Division II state champions.
Homer’s Mo Techie scored in the 31st minute to make it 5-1.
Considering it was the second of three games in a row, Homer coach Adam Diaz was happy with his team’s play.
“We played the best we could,” Diaz said. “It’s the most proud I’ve been of one of my teams just for the sake of them not quitting.”
Despite the score, Diaz said the Mariners played to the final whistle.
“I’m looking forward to bringing what we learned from this experience back home and seeing what we can do in our conference,” the coach said.