The Mariner boys and girls soccer teams ended the regular season with back-to-back home games of mixed emotions. Friday’s senior night honored 10 graduating players, while the team honored themselves with wins against Palmer.
Lady Mariners 1; Moose 0
Colony 3; Mariners 0
The Lady Mariners won 1-0 against the Moose making it goalkeeper Zoia Basargin’s first shutout game.
“This was Zoia’s third game ever as goalie. She did an amazing job stopping Palmer’s goals,” said senior Hanna Mikois.
Assisted by Maggie Koplin, Mady Gerard scored the team’s only goal into the game with only three minutes on the clock in the first half.
“I had a perfect pass from Maggie. It went between two defenders and I made a left foot kick,” said Gerard.
The Mariners continued to play a strong first half allowing the Moose only a few shots on goal. The second half saw a lag in ball possession for Homer, but the team claims that was by design.
“We came out ready and had strong ball possession in the first half. We let up a little in the second in order to keep the win,” said Maggie Koplin.
The team’s personal struggle is keeping intensity in the second half, said Hanna Mikois, and, according to Hope Hudson, the Lady Mariners worked hard to keep that intensity going against Palmer.
“We are getting to know how to play better as a team and I think this game today showed that,” said Ivy Bloom on Friday.
Saturday’s game against Colony changed the pace for Homer. The Lady Mariners lost a hard fought game of 3-0. Although it was a shutout game for Colony, it did not shut down Homer’s spirits.
“Colony is an extremely talented team. We worked hard to hold them back and we did the best we could,” said Gerard.
Mariner Men 2; Moose 1 Colony 4; Mariners 1
The Mariner Men’s solid 2-1 victory over the Moose was considered one of the best games this season, according to Head Coach Warren Waldorf.
Homer scored big in the first half with a goal by Peter Ellert, assisted by Carson Duggar in the 16th minute. Eight minutes later Duggar shot one in the net himself, putting Homer on the board for two. Homer held Palmer for the rest of the first half and into the second. The Moose were able to get away with one goal in the 37th minute of the second.
“Palmer is a fast physical team, but we played a better game. We had lots of strong defense, midfielders were setting up our strikers, and our strikers were taking a lot of shots on goal,” said John Walsworth.
Despite the teams shallow bench due to players with injuries, the Mariner Men continued to play a strong game.
“We hustled to the ball, our passes connected, and we put in a lot of energy. It was a great game,” said Josh Vantrease.
Homer didn’t allow state championship contenders Colony take a shutout game on Mariner home field on Saturday. The Knights won 4-1 in the tough battle.
Kostantin Reutov made Homer’s lone goal.
“Colony is a good team and they definitely give us competition when we play them. At this point in the season have figured out where we all fit on the team and how we play with each other which gives us a better edge on teams like Colony,” said Reutov.
Reutov’s brother, Filip Reutov, said that the many injuries on the team hurt them overall when it came to playing Colony.
“We have a lot of players down so that affected our performance,” said Filip.
Unlike previous years, the 2013 season scheduled the Mariners more home games to the benefit of the Homer team, parents, and local businesses. Waldorf expressed his thanks to the referees who have made home games possible and says he have visions of developing a strong and experienced referee pool in Homer for home games to come.
The Mariners soccer season draws to a close starting with Regions tournament today in Kenai. The top three teams at Regions will advance to State tournament in Anchorage the following weekend.
The pressure is on for Homer who will have to win their first game in the tournament in order to advance.
“We are going to have to get through this without anymore injuries if we want to make it to State. There are some kids on the team that went to State last year and they want to go back,” said Waldorf.