The Soldotna soccer teams swept the first-year varsity squads from Kodiak on Monday at Justin Maile Field in Soldotna.
The Soldotna girls rolled to a 15-0 victory to move to 10-0 overall and 2-0 in the Southern Division, while Kodiak fell to 0-4 overall and in the Southern Division.
The Stars boys pulled away in the second half for a 6-0 victory. SoHi is now 9-2 overall and 2-0 in the Southern Division, while Kodiak is 2-2 overall and in the Southern Division.
The Soldotna girls were led by the two goals and five assists of Miranda Wolfe, plus the hat trick of Whitney Wortham.
Despite the dominant victory, SoHi coach Jimmy Love said his team still has some things to clean up heading into the postseason.
“After the first goal, I thought we got kind of lethargic,” he said. “We weren’t checking to the ball, we weren’t communicating, at least that I could hear, and we weren’t making runs into open space.”
Love said he realizes it can be tough to do those things as the score rolls up in SoHi’s favor, but noted all those tactics don’t involve scoring goal after goal.
“It can be difficult playing opposition that is not as strong, but you’ve still got to play your game,” he said.
Also for SoHi, Reagan Schoessler and Trenity Griffin had a pair of goals, and Alex Ashe, Bailey Rosin, Emmalee Johnson and Ella Stenga had a goal and an assist.
Others in the scoring column for the Stars were Elena Bramante with two assists; Alyssa Wolfe and Abi Tuttle with goals; and Makenna Rosin, Sarah Federle, Kyle Hastings, Brianna Bennett, Andrea Krol and Trinite Ames with assists.
Maddie Kindred and Darrion Derflinger shared the shutout in net.
“It was a good opportunity to break in the JV players,” Love said. “A couple of them got in on the scoring and that’s a big deal for them. It was good to see that happen.”
Goalie Emily Hart was hurt in the first half for Kodiak, but coach Kate Korrow said Hart will be OK after the bruised knee. Sophia Sannito came on in relief of Hart.
“Every game we play is an opportunity for the kids to get better,” Korrow said. “On the island, the kids just get to play against each other.
“It’s great to see an established program do what they are able to do.”
Soldotna boys 6, Kodiak 0
Ty Fenton had a hat trick as the Stars wore out the Bears as the game went on to claim the victory.
Kodiak actually had the first sparkling opportunity of the game as Daniel Omar Beltran sent one off the post from close range just four minutes in.
Then 10 minutes into the game, SoHi’s Charalambos Asimakopoulos had a header off a corner kick that was saved off the line.
Fenton finally broke the ice in the 23rd and 27th minutes, taking balls from Dylan Kuntz and Asimakopoulos and scoring on goalie Yasent Oliver.
With just a minute left in the first half, Kodiak’s Jose Cortez broke in for a point-blank shot on Cameron Knowlton, but he made the save.
“We were happy with the first half,” Kodiak coach Eric Waltenbaugh said. “We got a lot of chances, we just didn’t convert.
“We got a little mixed up in the back and left two guys open and they punished us for it.”
SoHi coach Darryl Byerley said earning opportunities and finishing opportunities are two different things entirely. He said that is what makes Fenton so good.
“‘If they can finish’ is huge in soccer,” Byerley said. “That 8-by-24-foot goal can get small.”
Byerley said his squad’s play was a bit choppy in the first half, perhaps due to expectations of an easy win.
But the attacking line led by Beltran showed that it can be dangerous if given the space.
“We have a number of dangerous players,” Waltenbaugh said. “I’m happy with the year we’re having.
“We’re building and learning, but we have a ways to go if we want to play 80 minutes with the top teams in the region.”
Byerley said he was emphasizing moving the ball quickly, because SoHi had trouble holding onto the ball against hard-charging teams Palmer and Colony last weekend.
The coach said his team’s play got better in the second half, and that’s largely because moving the ball so much wears out the other side.
“Take the legs off a soccer team and they’ll be less of a threat,” Byerley said.
The goals in the second half for the Stars were Gavin Goggia from Eli Sheridan, Asimakopoulos from Sage Hill, Fenton from Ryan Winter and Sheridan from Drew Kant.
Byerley said it was nice to see Goggia get a goal in the freshman’s first start.