The Nikiski girls got a needed boost headed into this weekend’s Northern Lights Conference soccer tournament.
After losing at Wasilla 10-0 on Friday, the Bulldogs came back and lost 2-1 at Grace Christian on Saturday.
“Grace is a pretty solid team so we felt really good about our 2-1 loss,” Nikiski coach Troy Zimmerman said. “We did a 180-degree turn from how we played on Friday.
“We had a lot more positive energy, and the players lifted each other up and supported each other.”
Zimmerman said the defense was much better, and kept the game scoreless at halftime. He said freshman Melanie Sexton was solid at sweeper.
A couple of other freshmen, Rylee Jackson and Verity Feltman, played well at forward. Jackson, on an assist from Rachel Thompson, scored in the second half to make the score 2-1.
Nikiski boys get tie, split on road
The Nikiski boys soccer team tied Wasilla 3-3 on Friday before losing 5-2 to Grace Christian on Saturday in a pair of NLC road games.
Against Wasilla, Nathan Carstens scored unassisted, Hunter Holloway scored assisted by Sam Tauriainen, and Christian Riddall put in a corner kick.
Against Grace, the Grizzlies notched two goals in the first half. Nikiski stormed back when Riddall scored on another corner kick, then assisted on a goal by Tauriainen. But Grace scored three goals to close the season.
Nikiski finishes the season 5-8-2 and 1-3-1 in the Southern Division, missing the conference tournament.
An early season loss to Kodiak proved costly for the Bulldogs, who have a win and a tie against Southern Division top seed Kenai and a tie against Wasilla, one of the North’s top squads.
“You’re always striving to get better by the end of the season,” Nikiski coach Jim Coburn said. “But in soccer you have to qualify to get to regions, so early games can be important.
“Sometimes I think a better team is left out, but that’s the way it goes. I’m happy my team was able to play better at the end of the season.”
Coburn said he has a nice group of juniors to mix with next year’s seniors.
Homer girls 4, Seward 0
The visiting Homer girls notched a Northern Lights Conference Southern Division victory to finish 5-9-2 overall and 3-2 in the division. That earns them the No. 3 seed out of the south.
Homer boys 2, Seward 1
The visiting Mariners topped the Seahawks in NLC Southern Division play to finish the regular season at 5-5-3 overall and 3-2-0 in the division. Homer will be the No. 3 seed in the conference tournament.