Houston’s Nico Wilkenson and Soldotna’s Cody Quelland battle for the ball Wednesday, April 18, 2018, at Soldotna High School. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Houston’s Nico Wilkenson and Soldotna’s Cody Quelland battle for the ball Wednesday, April 18, 2018, at Soldotna High School. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna boys soccer bounces back against Houston

The host Soldotna boys soccer team rebounded from a last-minute loss to Kenai Central the day before by trouncing Houston 9-0 on Wednesday in nonconference play.

The Stars move to 2-4 overall, while Houston drops to 5-1-2.

“We were trying to rebound and get in a good mood and shape after yesterday’s game,” Soldotna coach Darryl Byerley said.

Eli Sheridan got the Stars off to a quick start, playing a role in four goals in the first 25 minutes of the game.

In the seventh minute, Sheridan found himself surrounded by four defenders at the top of the box, but still squeezed off a shot that beat goalie Jeremiah Barrett to the post.

About nine minutes later, Sheridan took a corner that bounded into the goal off a Houston defender. Less than two minutes later, Sheridan took another corner kick that was tapped in expertly by Ethan Bott.

Finally, in the 24th minute, Sheridan broke free on the right side of the box and scored again, ending his day.

“Eli had a good game, but it was also nice to see other players take the opportunity to step up and score goals,” Byerley said.

After having a big freshman season, Alex Montague got his sophomore campaign off and rolling in the second half with his first two goals of the season.

Also in the second half, Montague played a perfect cross to Cody Quelland, who is the starting catcher on the baseball team. Quelland tucked the ball into the net off of his head.

“It was nice to see the boys working to set up a teammate,” Byerley said.

Also scoring in the second half were Luke Trammell and Christian Hames.

Hunter Woodward had the shutout in net in his first varsity game as goalie.

“For the goalie, it was his first varsity minutes and he had a couple of stab saves there,” Byerley said. “He did a nice job back there.”

Houston coach John Haley, whose squad has picked up a couple of girls after there were not enough players for a girls team, said the loss was valuable for his team.

“We learned how a team like Soldotna plays good soccer,” Haley said. “We can get better by playing better teams.”

In particular, Haley said the Stars did a good job of covering each other, rather than remaining spread out.

The coach also said the game showcased the abilities of Izaak Goodman.

“He is a beast at defender,” Haley said of the senior. “He’s a one-man wrecking crew and it’s his first year playing.”

Soldotna’s Trenton O’Reagan volleys the ball past Houston’s Maddy Hall on Wednesday, April 18, 2018, at Soldotna High School. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna’s Trenton O’Reagan volleys the ball past Houston’s Maddy Hall on Wednesday, April 18, 2018, at Soldotna High School. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Houston’s Jokob Hodge and Soldotna’s Eli Sheridan tangle for the ball Wednesday, April 18, 2018, at Soldotna High School. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Houston’s Jokob Hodge and Soldotna’s Eli Sheridan tangle for the ball Wednesday, April 18, 2018, at Soldotna High School. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

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