The West Valley High School boys soccer team advanced while three other Interior teams suffered losses in Thursday’s first-round games of the Alaska School Activities Association/First National Bank Alaska State Championships in Anchorage and Eagle River.
The West Valley Wolfpack won 1-0 over the South Anchorage Wolverines in an opening game of the Division I boys state tournament at West Anchorage High School. The West Valley girls team lost by the same score to the Dimond Lynx in a Division I contest at the West Anchorage field.
The Monroe Catholic Rams boys team and the North Pole Patriots girls team each lost in their Division II state openers.
The Rams, in their school’s first appearance in a soccer state tournament, lost 4-1 to Juneau’s Thunder Mountain Falcons at Service High School in Anchorage.
North Pole returned to the Division II girls state tournament after making its debut last year. The Patriots came up short on Thursday, falling 3-2 to the Kenai Kardinals in overtime at Eagle River High School.
The West Valley boys team, 16-0-2 overall, scored at the 19th minute against South Anchorage with Ethan Raygor’s head shot off a corner kick from Garrett Crane.
Wolfpack goalkeeper Kristaps Bareika’s 10th shutout of the season included stopping a penalty kick in the 78th minute.
“The Second half turned into a little of us hanging on rather than dictating like in the first half,” West Valley head coach Howard Maxwell said in an email. “Great backline play from (Vaughn) Simpson, Raygor, (Gabe) Zayon and (Logan) Hite. All four played full 80 minutes.”
West Valley meets West Anchorage in a semifinal at 7 p.m. today at Service High School. The winner plays in the championship game at 5 p.m. Saturday at Service while the loser plays in the third-place game at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at West Anchorage.
The West Valley girls play the Service Cougars in an elimination game at 3 p.m. today at West Anchorage after Thursday’s loss to the Lynx.
“It was probably our best of the season against one of the top contenders for the state championship,” Wolfpack head coach Sven Grage said. “I don’t say that often, but today I was proud of the team.
“They stuck to our plan to play from a strong defense and wait for our opportunities, of which we had some but we couldn’t convert any.”
In the Division II girls tournament, North Pole led 2-1 before Kenai scored on a penalty kick in the last minute of regulation. The Kardinals produced the game-winner at about eight minutes into overtime.
North Pole got goals from Breeauna O’Rear in the first half and Chalayna Culler in the second half.
“They (Patriots) knew were good enough to win the game,” North Pole head coach Damon Crutcher said by phone. “We set ourselves up to win the game but we had mental lapses at the end.
“This teaches them a lesson that you have to play to the bitter end and do everything fundamentally sound.”
North Pole meets the Kodiak Bears at 9 a.m. today at West Anchorage.
Nathan Walsh scored in the second half for the Monroe Catholic boys team in its loss to Thunder Mountain.
“Thunder Mountain was a top-notch team with good passing and making through-balls,” Rams head coach John Mayer said. “We played hard but they overwhelmed us.
“Tre Puryear did an awesome job in goal; he made a whole bunch of spectacular stops. It (score) could have been a lot worse without him and our defense working hard.”
Monroe plays the Palmer Moose at 1 p.m. today at Eagle River.