Story last updated at 2:25 p.m. Thursday, May 30, 2002

Homer girls soccer run ends at State
by Sepp Jannotta
Staff Writer

The historic run for the Homer High School girls soccer team came to an end at the Alaska State Soccer Championships in Anchorage as the Mariners were bounced from the tournament by Dimond and Chugiak.

The Mariners' first-ever trip to State got off on the wrong foot Thursday as Dimond dominated Homer from start to finish for a 5-0 first-round win.

Mariner Coach Mickey Todd was disappointed that his team didn't maintain any momentum from its fantastic run at the Region III tournament a week earlier. In that tournament, Todd said his team was playing the best soccer of their season, leading to a 3-0 win over Wasilla, a 1-0 win over Palmer and a respectable 4-1 loss at the hands of Colony.

"We just decided not to show up on Thursday," Todd said. "We just had a hard time getting it all put together. We did a lot of standing around and ball watching instead of playing."

Facing the team speed of Dimond, the Mariners' lack of aggressive play was their downfall, Todd said.

Dimond played on to Saturday's final, where it lost 5-1 to Service.

Libby Bushell was named player of the game for Homer.

On Friday, the Mariners recovered some of their on-the-field attitude, playing a tough, mostly-even match with Chugiak.

Unfortunately, despite three excellent scoring chances in the final few minutes of play, the Mariners fell 2-1 to the Mustangs.

After Thursday's lack-luster effort, Todd said he was happy to see his team playing the kind of soccer they had shown much of the season.

"We played both sides of the ball really well," he added.

Chantrelle Cousins found the net for the lone Mariner goal, which came late in the first half.

Kelly Beile was named player of the game for the Mariners.

Syverine Abrahamson and Holly McCune received All-State honors for sportsmanship.

The Mariners as a team did take home one title when they were awarded the tournament's academic award, for a team grade-point average of 3.63.

The opportunity to square off against a couple of the state's top soccer schools proved to be a great lesson for his team, Todd said.

"In the end, we learned what it takes to compete at that level," he added. "It takes peak physical skills and metal preparedness and toughness."

Looking back on the season, Todd couldn't complain, saying a trip to state, the first in the program's history, pretty much speaks for itself.

"We set a goal to make it to state and we made it," he said.

As for next year, with a solid core of juniors from this year's team returning, Todd was upbeat.

"We'll be back," he said.