Eagle River soccer sweeps Chugiak
Eagle River swept Chugiak off its own turf Thursday with a pair of prep soccer wins at Ed Blahous Field.
“Our season goal was to beat Chugiak at least once, so it’s awesome to do it in our first game,” said Eagle River’s Mallory Garbe, who scored both goals in her team’s 2-0 Cook Inlet Conference girls soccer win over the Mustangs. “I’m super pumped.”
The mood was simliar two hours before, after the Eagle River boys twice rallied from deficits to take a 3-2 win over the Mustangs.
“Huge win, huge win,” said the Wolves’ Jordan Porter, whose strike in the 80th minute was the clincher.
Chugiak’s Marlon Irias twice staked the Mustangs to leads, opening the scoring with a strike in the 18th minute and putting the Mustangs up 2-1 just before halftime. Irias’ goals were sandwiched around a strike by Eagle River’s Jilito Ramos, who tied the game with a goal in the 27th minute off a pass from Tanner Johnson.
The Wolves owned the second half, tying things up six minutes into the period on a goal by senior captain Dylan Johnson off a Porter rebound. Dylan Johnson said the team worked hard in the preseason on its conditioning, and he felt that paid dividends down the stretch.
“Our hard work is starting to show,” he said.
The game-winner came with the Wolves countering a Chugiak attack during a wide-open stretch in the final minutes. Wolves freshman Andrew Hamilton sent the ball forward to Ramos, who knocked the ball past Chugiak keeper Ryan Lebo, leaving Jordan Porter with a wide-open net in which to bury the game-winner.
The win lifted Eagle River to 1-1 in the CIC this season and equalled the team’s conference win total from a season ago, while Chugiak fell to 0-2. Eagle River plays Dimond at South on Saturday and Chugiak hosts West. Both games start at noon.
While the Wolves aren’t likely to challenge for a state title this season, Dylan Johnson said the team’s goal is to build the program toward respectablity. They took a big step in that direction Thursday, he said.
“This Eagle River team is a new Eagle River team,” he said.
In the nightcap, the Eagle River girls came roaring out of the gates to push their CIC record to 2-0. Garbe struck a rocket from distance in the 30th minute and beat Chugiak goalie Marissa Carrol during a scramble in front of the net just before halftime. Wolves coach Laura Gardner said Garbe — who also scored both goals in Eagle River’s 2-1 win Tuesday over Bartlett — is the type of player who gets better the more she’s challenged.
“She shows up for the big games,” Gardner said.
Chugiak fell to 0-2 in the CIC. Both teams are back in action Saturday, with Chugiak hosting West at 10 a.m. and the Wolves travelling to South to face Dimond, also at 10 a.m.
Gardner had high praise for her entire team, which she said worked extremely hard during a difficult preseason that featured far more indoor conditioning than anyone expected.
“This is the payoff for all that,” she said.
Eagle River boys 3, Chugiak 2
CHU — Irias (18th), Irias (40th)
ER — Ramos (27th), D. Johnson (46th), J. Porter (80th)
Cards — ER: Renner (yellow)
Eagle River girls 2, Chugiak 0
ER — Garbe (30th), Garbe (39th)
Cards — Chu: Moorhead (yellow)