Eagle River's Rebecca Boggs dribbles past Palmer's Kendal Venzke during Eagle River's 3-0 win at Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium April 18. Eagle River improved to 3-4 with the nonconference win.
STAR PHOTO by matt tunseth
Perseverance paid off against Palmer as the Eagle River girls ended a four-game losing streak with a 3-0 win over the Moose at Huffer Stadium on April 18.
"I thought we played really well," said midfielder Jackie Klecka, who was the offensive star with a pair of goals for Eagle River.
The Wolves also got a tally from Christine Bottini and a shutout from goalie Kelsey Reeves.
Head coach Lauren Mason said the positive result was nice to get after watching her team play well in recent losses to powerful South and Dimond sides.
"It was nice to get a win," Mason said. "We'd been playing well recently, and just hadn't gotten a result."
The Dimond game on April 14 was particularly tough because Eagle River had played a scoreless draw for 70 minutes before the undefeated Lynx broke through.
Klecka said the tough fight Eagle River handed Dimond proved that the Wolves can play with the Cook Inlet Conference's best teams.
"On any given day, anyone can win," she said.
Klecka was a force against the Moose, using her strong on-ball skills, deft passing and aggressive style to cause Palmer fits.
"She does a good job distributing the ball," Mason said.
But Klecka was on the receiving end for Eagle River's opening goal, which came off a free kick by Rebecca Boggs. Just before striking the ball, Boggs yelled at Klecka to begin her run. The play was timed perfectly, and Palmer's attempt at an offside trap turned into a breakaway goal for the Wolves.
Just two minutes later, Klecka was again the beneficiary of a teammate's heads-up play after Bottini made a steal deep in the Palmer end and flicked the ball to Kaitlyn Bullock. Bullock in turn passed to a wide-open Klecka, whose left-footed shot found the bottom corner of the net to put the Wolves up 2-0 at the half.
Bottini's penchant for picking off errant Palmer passes again paid off in the second half, when she nabbed an awful clearing attempt and cashed in with the Wolves' final goal of the game.
Though pleased with the result, Mason said she would have liked to see her team string more passes together.
"Palmer was giving us more space to dribble into, and we were going ahead and dribbling the ball rather than moving the ball with passing," she said.
Though it didn't cost them against Palmer, Mason said too much dribbling will cost possessions and games in the highly competitive CIC.
"In this league if we dribble the ball we're going to get hammered every time," she said.
Contact Matt Tunseth at 694-2727 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
WOLVES 3, MOOSE 0
April 18, Huffer Stadium
Eagle River 2 1 3
Palmer 0 0 0
Eagle River Klecka (20th), Klecka (22nd), Bottini (46th)
This article published in The Alaska Star on Wednesday, April 20, 2011.