Sports
The Soldotna girls soccer team proved itself the class of the Northern Lights Conference this season. 052711 SPORTS 1 Staff Report The Soldotna girls soccer team proved itself the class of the Northern Lights Conference this season.

Photo By Joshua Borough/For The Clarion

Soldotna's Heidi Westerman, right, is beat out for the header by Dimond's Madison Richards, left, during the state soccer tournament Thursday at Dimond High School.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Story last updated at 5/27/2011 - 1:24 pm

SoHi soccer loses at state



The Soldotna girls soccer team proved itself the class of the Northern Lights Conference this season.

Unfortunately for the Stars, the best soccer teams in the state proved they are a class above the NLC on the first day of the state soccer tournament in Anchorage.

Soldotna absorbed a 4-0 loss to defending state champion Dimond in the opening round and will face Wasilla today at 11 a.m. at Chugiak in a loser-out game.

The NLC came up winless Thursday as the Chugiak girls topped Wasilla 6-1, the Juneau-Douglas girls topped Colony 3-0, the Juneau-Douglas boys topped Colony 3-1, the West Valley boys beat Grace Christian 2-0 and the South Anchorage boys notched a 2-0 win over Wasilla.

"What truly needs to happen for soccer on the peninsula is we need to see these teams more," Soldotna coach Mike Tovoli said, speaking of Anchorage squads. "It's tough to get these games with Anchorage teams because they stay here. Same with Fairbanks and Juneau."

The Stars went 13-1 in the regular season, with the lone loss coming to Dimond. SoHi outscored opponents 46-6 in the regular season. In the NLC regular season, no team came within a goal of SoHi.

The Stars then had shutouts in the three games of the NLC tournament and came into state riding a seven-game shutout streak.

That dominance quickly came to an end when Dimond scored on corner kicks in the 19th and 20th minutes. Jackie Latourneau scored the first goal, while Aaliyah Lewis had the second goal.

"We didn't do a good job marking up," Tovoli said. "Once the ball left, we watched the ball and didn't keep marking players."

In the final minutes before the first half, Colleen Fairchild made it 3-0.

"To be honest with you, my team didn't show up," Tovoli said. "They were timid and scared. Midway through the second half, they started playing really hard."

Madison Richards scored in the 58th minute to complete the scoring for the Lynx. Alexis Rogers was the player of the game for Dimond, while Kylee Wolfe netted the honor for SoHi.

Tovoli said the bright spot was getting all of his players into the game.

"It gave them time to understand what physical soccer is all about," he said.

But the coach said that Kenai Peninsula players need more than a few games each year to understand this higher level of the game.

"Good things won't happen until we get turf outside," Tovoli said. "We'll continue to have this disparity."





THE REC GUIDE

WINTER ACTIVITIES

If you think the Kenai Peninsula is beautiful in the summer, you should see it when cloaked under a thick blanket of white with the aurora borealis rippling through the celestial canopy above.

BERRIES OF THE KENAI PENINSULA

Whether intentionally seeking berries for jellies and jams or just out for a casual hike, residents and visitors will find the 50-some varieties of wild berries in Alaska hard to resist.

COMMON SENSE SURVIVAL

There’s adventure and beauty in the wild country, but also an element of risk.



2010 Peninsula Clarion award winners

Best Education Reporting
1st Place – Dante Petri, “All under one roof

Suzan Nightingale Award: Best Columnist

2nd Place – Will Morrow, “Voices of the Clarion”

Best Sustained Coverage

3rd Place – Dante Petri, “Mt. Redoubt Eruption”

Best News Photo

3rd Place – M. Scott Moon, “Bear Rescue

Best Photo Portrait
3rd Place – M. Scott Moon, “Ear Gauger

Best Audio Slideshow
2nd Place – M. Scott Moon, “Learning to ski

Best Use of Story and Photos by a Journalist
2nd Place – Joseph Robertia, “Dipnet disaster averted

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