Story last updated at 2:51 p.m. Thursday, October 10, 2002

Middle school booters place 2nd in tournament in Kenai
by Sepp Jannotta
Staff Writer

photo: sports

  Photo courtesy of Greg Siekaniec
Homer Middle School soccer player Taneeka Hansen dribbles around an opponent as Erika Gavenus looks on during the Kenai Peninsula Borough Middle School Soccer Tournament last weekend in Kenai.  
In pro football there are those certain games -- the "ice bowl," the "fog bowl" -- remembered as much for the weather as the outcome.

Now for the soccer moms and dads of the Homer Middle School soccer teams, there are the games of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Middle School Soccer Tournament, which unfolded last weekend in the cold rain and wind at the Kenai Middle School.

The Homer Huskies took second in both the boys and girls tournaments.

The boys, who entered the tournament as the top seed, fell to host Kenai 2-0 in the championship after knocking off Nikiski by the same score. Sam Neace scored both goals for Homer in the Nikiski game, including one that was made possible by a nice assist from Sam Satre.

On the girls side, with a 3-0 win over Soldotna fueled by a pair of goals from Claire Siekaniec and one from Erika Gavenous, the Huskies advanced to face Kenai in a most-memorable championship game.

With the wind-chill pushing the freezing mark, Kenai opened with a pair of first-half goals, but Homer countered with two of its own -- from Rachel Bornheimer and Siekaniec -- in the first six minutes of the second half.

Kenai scored again, and again the Huskies answered, as Bornheimer tied the game with four minutes left.

With parents running their kids' soaked warmups into the school to use dryers, the game went through a pair of 10-minute extra-time sessions and remained tied 3-3.

Finally, after a five-ball shootout failed to decide it, Kenai won it on its second kick of sudden death.

Coach Saundra Hudson said she was amazed at the heart and toughness her team showed.

"The wind's just whipping and it's raining and they're crouched down at midfield (during the shootout) just trying to stay warm," she said of her players. "We could not have asked anything more of them, they gave everything they had."

Sepp Jannotta can be reached at sjannotta@homer