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CHUGIAK -- When Wasilla was pushed backward into the consolation side of the bracket with a quarterfinal loss to Chugiak, the Warriors fixed their sights on a new set of goals. 052911 PREPSPORTS 1 Frontiersman CHUGIAK -- When Wasilla was pushed backward into the consolation side of the bracket with a quarterfinal loss to Chugiak, the Warriors fixed their sights on a new set of goals.

Photo By Joshua Borough For The Clarion

SoHi's Kaitlyn Van Meter, right, vies for the ball against Wasilla's Ashlyn Frizzelle, left, during the state soccer tournament Friday at Chugiak High School.


Photo By Joshua Borough For The Clarion

SoHi's Kaili Sholin, center, moves to settle the ball as Wasilla's Erin Murray, left, and Brooke Morgan, right, close in during the state soccer tournament Friday afternoon at Chugiak High School.

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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Story last updated at 5/29/2011 - 2:15 pm

SoHi soccer falls to Wasilla



CHUGIAK -- When Wasilla was pushed backward into the consolation side of the bracket with a quarterfinal loss to Chugiak, the Warriors fixed their sights on a new set of goals.

There's finishing in fourth place. But maybe even more important than that was the chance to get the best of Soldotna.

And on Friday, the Warriors finally shot down the Stars.

Senior Kendra Miner netted the hat trick to help lead her team to the 3-1 win over their Northern Lights Conference rival during the state soccer consolation semifinals at Chugiak High School on Friday morning. Soldotna ended its season at 13-3 overall.

"It was an outstanding effort on her part," Soldotna coach Mike Tovoli said of Miner. "They did a nice job. They came out really wanting to compete, and it's hard to beat a team three times in a row.

"We came out a little flat and lethargic. We didn't come out ready to play."

With Miner's three goals and a handful of key Kamarae Kaina saves in the Wasilla net, Wasilla was able to exact some revenge against a Soldotna team that has, in recent years, become a painful thorn in the Warriors' side.

The Stars became a nemesis that could rival Colony or Palmer, beating Wasilla twice this season alone. Soldotna scored a 3-1 regular season win, and after scoring during the opening minutes, held on for a 1-0 win over Wasilla in the NLC semifinals last week.

Last season, the Stars beat Wasilla in the NLC title game.

Typically, the rule around Wasilla High is you don't lose to Colony. But on the bus ride to the game Friday morning, Wasilla head coach Amber Craig set a new rule.

"I said we don't lose to Soldotna, starting today," Craig said. "Soldotna's a team we've battled with for years now and it was our time to come out on top for sure."

Tovoli also said the Warriors were playing without Nikki Vanni, the 2010 NLC Player of the Year. He said that may have added to Wasilla's inspiration.

"I think we may have been looking past them a little bit," Tovoli said. "I told them it's not easy beating a team three times in a row. I guess they didn't listen. I guess they thought it would be easier than what it was going to be."

Miner scored twice during the first 15 minutes to give her squad the 2-0 lead.

Miner snuck a shot inside the near post during the ninth minute to score her first goal of the game. During the 15th minute, Miner took advantage of the aggressive play of Soldotna goalkeeper Rebecca Satathite.

Satathite played deep onto the field. Miner was able to get the ball and chip a shot right over the head of the SoHi keeper.

"I talk all the time about taking advantage of what you're given," Craig said. "Soldotna has got a great keeper, and she came out high onto the field. Kendra saw that."

The Stars came into the state tournament riding a seven-game shutout streak. Tovoli said he was not surprised that ended against Dimond on Thursday in a 4-0 loss. He was a little surprised Wasilla was able to get three goals.

"What goals they did score was all about us not being first to the ball and not competing," Tovoli said.

Soldotna drew to within 2-1 with about eight minutes left in the first half on an unassisted strike from Julie Litchfield, who also was named SoHi's player of the game.

Miner completed her hat trick in the 46th minute, tallying a score set up by senior Amy Jo Coonrod.

Coonrod rushed the ball down the field and passed back into the slot to Miner, who knocked a shot into the right side of the net.

"Amy Jo did a great job taking the ball down the side. She knew she was at a bad angle. She slotted it back and Kendra placed it," Craig said.

Tovoli said his team started playing hard after falling behind 3-1, but it was too late.

"For the last 30 minutes, we totally dominated the game," he said. "We talked about it all season. If you come out and give a team a spark, it makes it tough to battle back."

The coach said the loss should not overshadow what recent graduates Erica Byerley, Satathite, Christina Tachick, T'essa Tovoli, Kaitlyn Van Meter and Kaili Sholin accomplished at SoHi. The group won three NLC titles.

"They are a great group of girls," Tovoli said. "They're hard workers, and I wish it could have been a different ending, but I'd like to thank them all.

"They really put Soldotna soccer on a pedestal on the Kenai Peninsula and in the region."

At the same time, Tovoli said the future is bright. He said the younger players got a chance to learn a lot from the losses to Dimond and Wasilla.

Clarion sports editor Jeff Helminiak contributed to this report.





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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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