The Mariner boys and girls soccer teams started the season on the right foot with dual shutout games against Houston on Friday. The girls dominated Houston 8-0 and the boys followed suit with an 11-0 win.
“It’s always good to score in the first game of the season,” said Head Girls Coach Mickey Todd.
The teams traveled to the Valley for a mixed bag in field conditions. The Houston game was hosted on Colony’s new turf field — a bittersweet luxury, according to Todd.
“It was nice to play on some of that new turf that all the other high schools are getting, which is something we don’t have in Homer,” said Todd.
The Mariners had a change of pace on Saturday, going from pristine turf to an icy and uneven field in Wasilla. Despite the adverse conditions of wind and cold on Saturday, the Lady Mariners pulled through for a 2-2 tie against the Warriors. The Mainer men had less success on the field and lost to Wasilla 4-0.
On Tuesday, the Soldotna High School Stars rolled past the Lady Mariners 8-0 in Northern Lights Conference Southern Division action.
The Stars are now 2-0-1 overall and 1-0 in the division, while Homer falls to 1-1-1 and 0-1.
The Soldotna boys also made it a clean sweep of the Mariners, coming back from an early deficit to notch a 3-1 victory. SoHi moved to 1-2 and 1-0, while Homer is 1-2 and 0-1.
The Homer girls looked solid in drubbing Houston on the road and earning a tie with Wasilla, but SoHi showed the Mariners another level of soccer.
“I’ve always had the philosophy that you play the best teams in order to get better,” Todd said. “It’s hard to play really good soccer until you see what really good soccer can be.”
Todd said he is missing three starters to injury right now, but added that even a healthy squad would not have stopped the Stars.
“They have great ballhandling skill, they’re well-disciplined and they know the game well,” he said.
Peninsula Clarion Sports Editor Jeff Helminiak contributed to this report.