KENAI - Though they didn't lose a match, the U16B Thunder came home empty-handed after being ousted after pool play in the Alaska Youth Soccer Association State Cup, held last week.
The Juneau Youth Soccer Club team finished 2-0-1 in three games, including a 4-0 defeat of Kenai, which advanced to the semifinals with an 0-3 record. Coach Troy Choquette called it "a tough pill to swallow" for his team.
Thunder defeated Homer 4-0 in Game 1 of pool play. Colin Zheng scored from about 18 yards out for a 1-0 lead at the half, and Thunder poured it on in the second half with three more goals, the first two coming from Kyle Phillips. Phillips scored the first from about 6 yards out, and the second from about 20 yards out, both unassisted.
Zheng tacked on his second goal of the match with a 12-yard shot late in the second half.
Keeper Max Lyons had 10 saves on 11 Homer shots, and Thunder peppered Homer's goal with 35 shots.
Game 2 saw Phillips and Edric Carrillo give Thunder a 1-0 lead just before the half. Phillips put a rocket shot of a corner kick in play, which Carrillo headed into the upper corner of the goal.
Zheng redirected a cross from Ben Tamone with his head just past the fingertips of the keeper for a 2-0 lead, and Johnny Joyce made it 3-0 with a solo goal from about 15 yards out, defeating the keeper 1-on-1.
Phillips scored from the right side after following his own blocked shot to set the final score.
Lyons had 10 saves, and Thunder outshot Kenai 25-14.
Thunder played Full Force (Anchorage) to a 1-1 tie in Game 3. Jericho Cristobal drew a foul, and Joyce converted on the penalty kick for a 1-0 Thunder lead in the first half, but Lyons was called for a foul late in the second half, and Full Force tied things up with a penalty kick goal.
Lyons had nine saves, and Thunder outshot Full Force 11-9.
The U17B Jambaars fell 1-0 to Full Force in the finals of the Alaska Youth Soccer Association State Cup, though the team's runner-up finish earned them an invite to play in the President's Cup in June 2010 in Medford, Ore.
Jambaars defeated Phoenix (Fairbanks) 3-2 in Game 1 of pool play after Rhett Bennett scored a hat trick.
Rhett Bennett scored in 30th minute off an assist from Adam Nesheim to give Jambaars a 1-0 lead at the half. Bennett then scored again in the game's 50th minute with an assists to Max Smith. Bennett scored his hat trick with another assist going to Nesheim in the 63rd minute.
Jambaars rolled 11-0 over the Anchorage Youth Soccer Club Reds in Game 2 after four players found the back of the net.
Smith and Nesheim each netted a hat trick, Jackson Lehnhart scored a hat trick plus one with four goals and Bennett had one goal.
Full Force shut out Jambaars 3-0 in Game 3 of pool play.
The Jambaars had an easier time with Phoenix the second time around in the semifinals, picking up a 4-0 shut out win.
After a 0-0 tie at the half, Nesheim scored the match's first goal in the 75th minute off an assists from Sage Thibodeau. Four minutes later, Andy Lawson netted a goal off a Nesheim assist. Bennett scored in the 80th minute off a Smith assist, and Nesheim set the final score in the 87th minute.
Keeper Taylor Lehnhart had four saves in goal.
The U16G Two-Steppers finished 0-4, losing 2-0 to Full Force (Anchorage) in the semifinals to finish fourth overall.
The Two-Steppers also dropped Game 1 of pool play to Full Force, falling 3-0.
Rush (Anchorage) held on for a 2-1 win over Two-Steppers in Game 2, with Solana Ashe finding the net with an assist to Cassidy Davenport.
Chugiak Snow Storm defeated the Two-Steppers 2-1 in Game 3 of pool play. Aubrey Brisco scored an unassisted goal off a direct free kick into the lower left corner of the goal from about 40 yards out for perhaps the shot of the tournament.
Keeper Malin Murry averaged about 10 saves a game.