Wolves fall short in third-place game
Eagle River’s season came to a close with a 1-0 loss to Service in the third-place game of the girls Cook Inlet Conference soccer tournament Saturday, May 19 at Eagle River.
The Cougars scored in the 71st minute to earn a trip to the state tournament.
Illness and injuries hampered Eagle River throughout the tournament, Wolves’ head coach Lauren Mason said. The Wolves, who only have 15 varsity players, were down to one substitute against Service and their backup keeper, Tara Fisher, was playing forward.
“We were held together with spit and fishing and wire,” Mason said. “That makes it hard.
“We ended up defending a ton because we just didn’t have the numbers,” she said.
Eagle River, the sixth seed, upset No. 3 Chugiak 3-1 in the opening round May 17 before falling to second-seeded South 3-0 on May 18.
Against Chugiak, Chris Bottini scored in the first half for Eagle River, and Jackie Klecka scored two second-half goals to put the Wolves up 3-0.
Susan Fleurant scored late for the Mustangs.
Knowing a first-round loss would end their season, Klecka said Eagle River came ready to play against the Mustangs, who swept the regular season series against the Wolves.
Eagle River had no intention of losing three consecutive games to their crosstown rival, Klecka said.
“Beating Chugiak on our home turf is the best way to end the season,” she said.
Klecka and Gabi Mordini earned second team All-Conference honors for the Wolves. Eagle River’s Paulette Mordini and Nikki Boggs were honorable mention.
Mason earned the girls Coach of the Year Award and Eagle River won the girls Academic Award with a team GPA of 3.63.
Eagle River is losing nearly half its team to graduating seniors. Those include Klecka, Paulette Mordini, Kelsey Reeves, Sarah Frankl, Val Stewart, Meaghan Byman and Evan Schmidt.
Despite losing seven seniors, Mason said, next year’s returners are strong players.
“The eight that are coming back are talented,” she said. “They want to win.”
Mason said her team improved quite a bit this season, most notably on offense. Last year, Eagle River was a defensive-minded team, she said. This season, Mason wanted the Wolves to attack more and she switched to a 4-3-3 formation.
“We were moderately successful with that,” she said. “We’ll keep on working on improving.”
2012 Girls CIC All-Conference teams:
Keepers: Samantha Zombro, Service, Beka Zellers, Chugiak
Defenders: Keely Jelinek, South, Alexis Rogers, Dimond, Sarah Fischer, East, Morgan Heppner, West
Midfielders: Holly Brehmer, Chugiak, Jesslin Woolire, Service, Morgan Hoe, South, Anna Woern, East
Forwards: Aaliyah Lewis, Dimond, Ariela Lewis, Dimond, Katelynn Zanders, South, Haleigh Van Allen, Service
Utility: Angela Piccard, Bartlett, Halle Rice, East, Anna-Sophia Roberts, South, Christine Richter, Service
Keepers: Katelyn Sweeney, Dimond, Sarah Johnson, South; Defenders: Gabi Mordini, Eagle River, Mariah Williams, Service, Johanna Jeffryes, Dimond, Rowan Kraft, West
Midfielders: Alex Susich, West, Maddie Mines, South, Lizzy Gogolowski, Dimond, Jackie Klecka, Eagle River
Forwards: Alexandra Rojas-Ayala, West, Susan Fleurant, Chugiak, Bobbye Pendleton, Dimond, Leah Camery, Service
Utility: Grace Woern, East, Catherine Jorgensen, Chugiak, Kylie Street, South, Shelby Namen, Service Honorable mention
Defenders: Asia Herrington, East, Grace Ogden, Chugiak, Kelsie Luddington, South, Alyssa Igtanloc, Service
Midfielders: Zoe Bailey, Service, Leah Swiss, Dimond, Nikki Boggs, Eagle River, Maddie Jungwirth, South
Forwards: Brielle Johnson, East, Robin Hughes, East, Jessi Beverlin, Chugiak, Kayla Sims, South
Utility: Rochelle Jordan, East, Paulette Mordini, Eagle River, Erin Stewart, South, Maya McPherson, West
Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or [email protected]