The Soldotna girls and boys soccer teams opened up the season with Northern Lights Conference victories Friday and Saturday at Kodiak High School.
The Soldotna boys notched a 6-0 victory Friday and a 6-4 victory Saturday, while the girls games fell 11-0 on Friday and 14-0 on Saturday to the Stars.
The Stars took a plane to Kodiak, and boys coach Darryl Byerley said his squad got off the plane ready to play Friday.
SoHi went up 3-0 in the first half as Johnny Smithwick scored unassisted, Timmy Smithwick scored on an assist from Johnny Smithwick, and Andrew Hammond scored on an assist from Timmy Smithwick.
In the second half, Dylan Kuntz scored unassisted, Johnny Smithwick scored on an assist from Ben Godfrey, and Sean McMullen scored unassisted.
Drew Kant kept the clean sheet in goal for the Stars.
Saturday, Byerley said a night sleeping on the gym floor showed as SoHi fell behind 3-0 in the opening 12 minutes of the game, but came back for a 6-4 victory. Byerley also gave credit to an improved Kodiak team for coming out strong in the game.
“It’s always nice to come back after digging a hole the way we did in an away game,” Byerley said. “That did show good spirit for the team overall. The drive and the chin stayed up.
“Hopefully, they learned an important lesson about letting a team in a game.”
The Stars had a 4-3 lead at halftime thanks to a Hammond goal assisted by Kuntz, a Johnny Smithwick goal, a McMullen goal and a Kuntz goal.
With 12 minutes left to play in the game, Kodiak tied the game by getting a free kick past Kant.
But Kunz scored with six minutes left and Johnny Smithwick connected with Timmy Smithwick on a corner kick with two minutes left to restore order for the Stars.
“I was very happy with our defensive play in the first games of the season,” Byerley said. “We learned a lot about what we need to learn.”
Soldotna girls coach Jimmy Love also was relatively happy with the weekend.
“Overall, of course, starting the season off with a couple of victories is a positive,” he said. “It also gives us an idea of key items we need to work on.”
Friday, Whitney Wortham and Jaela Hubbard each had tricks, while Elena Bramante and Reagan Schoessler had two goals apiece. Kearsten Yarnes also had a goal for the Stars.
Ella Stenga and Trenity Griffin shared the shutout in net.
Love said his squad arrived in Kodiak 20 minutes before the scheduled start time, and there was a brutal 24 mph wind blowing, but his side persevered.
Saturday, with the weather much better, Alyssa Wolfe and Torri Hensley each had hat tricks, while Marlayna Saavedra and Stenga each had two goals. Hubbard, Wortham and Schoessler added goals, while Stenga and Griffin again shared the shutout.
The SoHi squads travel to face East on Friday, with the girls game at 4 p.m. and the boys game at 6 p.m.