Homer boys battled and won third place during the Region III Northern Lights Conference Soccer Tournament in Wasilla last week, and have advanced to the State Championships that start today.
Coach Warren Waldorf foresees a close competition in the Mariners’ future.
“The best guestimates conclude that the 2014 Homer High School Mariner Boys soccer team is within one goal of any team in the state,” he said.
Homer shut out Palmer and sent them home after their first game May 15, winning 3-0 in the single-elimination round. The first goal was scored by Drew Brown, then two and a half minutes after the halftime break Filip Reutov scored, followed by a goal from Max Mangue, exchange student from Mozambique.
The Mariners were beat 1-0 on Friday by the soon-to-be tournament champions, Wasilla.
On Saturday, during their last game, Homer was able to shut out Kenai Central with a final score of 3-0. Mangue scored two goals and Quinn Daugharty scored the third.
“Obviously our defense is tough, talented, disciplined and nearly impenetrable,” said Waldorf.
“High marks go to our goalkeeper, senior Brian Rowe, and to the other key players like seniors Kaec Brinster, John Walsworth and Josh Vantrease and juniors Flynn Bloom, Drew Brown and Filip Reutov.”
Daugharty and Walsworth, both graduating seniors, made the All-Conference 1 Team, and Kenneth Schneider, junior, made the All-Conference 2 Team.
Jake Worsfold received the Good Sportsmanship Award and Brown won the Mariner Coaches Choice Award for Top Draft Pick.
“We know that anything can happen at the State Tournament and we have set our sights on high targets,” Waldorf said.
“We acknowledge the support we’ve received from family, friends, school and the wider community and extend our heartfelt thanks for being there when we needed you most. There is no way we’d have been able to advance to this level of play without your care.”
The Mariners will enter into the state competition with a tab of scoring 42 goals and nine goals scored against them.
Shannon Reid is a freelance writer who lives in Homer.