ER boys bounced in opening round
7-0 loss to West ends season
Eagle River’s Gus Frankl, right, battles West’s Joshua Contreras for posession during West’s 7-0 win.
After going kick-for-kick with West in a 3-2 loss earlier this season, Eagle River’s boys soccer team entered the Cook Inlet Conference tournament with hopes of shocking the No. 3 Eagles. Not so fast.
West scored three goals in the first 20 minutes of the game, then added four more in the second half to hand the Wolves a 7-0 loss at South High on May 17.
“We started a little slow,” said Wolves head coach Max Solodkii following the match.
Seven different players scored for West, which used a relentless attacking style to keep Wolves on their heels all game.
Solodkii admitted that the Eagles team that showed up at South was much more focused than the squad his team faced just five days earlier.
“They were a lot better,” he said. “Definitely a different West team showed up today. Right from the get-go they came with a lot more intensity.”
Despite playing from behind for almost the entire game, Solodkii said his team refused to hang its heads against what proved to be a superior opponent.
“Nobody ever quit,” he said.
Although the team failed to advance out of the first round of the tournament, Solodkii said he felt like the season was a success.
“I told the boys I wanted to be better than we were last season and we definitely accomplished that,” he said. “We beat Chugiak for the first time, and that was a great accomplishment.”
The Wolves graduate eight seniors from this year’s team. Senior Patrick Prior said the thing he’ll miss the team’s on- and off-field camaraderie.
“I’m going to miss them,” he said. “We’re just all good friends.”
Also leaving the program is Solodkii, who said he’s returning to suburban Atlanta to take a job as a club soccer program’s technical director.
However, he said he has nothing but fond memories of his one season as the Eagle River head coach.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it,” he said.
The former UAA basketball player said he won’t rule out a return to the 49th state in the future.
“Never say never,” he said.
Contact Matt Tunseth at 694-2727 or firstname.lastname@example.org