The Rewind: Anchorage’s Jeremy Swayman leads Bruins to next round, Wolverines go up 2-0 in Midwest finals and South soccer teams roll

Welcome to The Rewind, a weekly digest that puts a spotlight on the biggest stories and best performances from Alaska’s world of sports.

This past week featured several notable individual and team performances across the Alaska sports landscape at the high school, collegiate and professional levels. The latest slate of games from 2024 baseball and soccer regular seasons saw the same trio of teams remain undefeated in their respective sports. On the college scene, the University of Alaska Anchorage track and field team saw one of its stellar freshman claim a conference title. Outside the state, several Alaskans had impressive performances and career achievements worth recognizing and celebrating.

Headlines and highlights

There are only two weeks left in the 2024 high school soccer regular season, and both the boys and girls varsity teams from South Anchorage are still undefeated. The defending Division I champion Wolverines girls squad improved its overall record to 10-0 after outscoring rival Service and Kenai Central by a combined 6-0 between the two games they played and haven’t given up a goal in their last seven contests. Meanwhile, the Wolverines boys squad improved to 11-0-1 after outscoring the Cougars and Dimond a combined 11-1.

Wedged in between the rivalry between the South and Service teams on Tuesday night for the annual TEAL games was the first unified soccer match between the two schools Partners Clubs since its inception in 2019 prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Goals were scored, awareness and funds for the research of gynecological cancer were raised and an overall good time was had by all who participated and attended.

“It was just a southside battle, and I think it’s great to see kids coming together for a great cause and something bigger than themselves,” Service unified coach Adam Ahonen said. “The fact that they’re out here with their partners that have intellectual disabilities and creating opportunities for them is a really cool thing to see for the community.”

[Goals for a great cause: Service and South High continue to promote inclusion with unified soccer]

The Service baseball team faced its toughest two-game stretch of the season thus far over the weekend but still managed to emerge victorious and without suffering its first defeat. The Cougars bested three-time defending Division I state champion South on Friday and thwarted a late rally to secure a decisive 8-6 victory. On Saturday, Chugiak pushed them to the brink but the game wound up finishing in an 11-11 draw. Earlier in the week, Service soundly beat Dimond 7-1, bringing its overall record to 9-0-1 after all of last week’s action.


The 2024 high school softball season was in full swing around the state this past week as every team in the Cook Inlet Conference finally got to hit the field and two are off to hot starts. Both Dimond and perennial powerhouse South are currently undefeated after rattling off consecutive victories to begin their campaigns. The Lynx took down defending Division I champion Chugiak 12-7 last Tuesday and outscored Bartlett and West a combined 29-8 in their next two games to improve to 4-0. Meanwhile, the Wolverines are 3-0 after soundly beating a pair of opponents last week, including a 23-8 blowout of Eagle River.

On the college scene, UAA track and field freshman Vivien Liessfeld won the heptathlon at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championships last Tuesday in Bellingham, Washington. She scored a personal-best of 4,639 points, which ranks fourth all-time in program history. Liessfeld scored 801 points in the 100 hurdles (15.31), 788 points in the 200 (26.11) and 723 points in the long jump (18-3.75). Her mark of 111-4 in the javelin (551 points) ranks sixth in UAA history, and her mark of 4-11.5 in the high jump (632 points) tied for 10th-best all-time by a Seawolf.

Fellow freshman Anders Larsen of Chugiak earned All-GNAC honors with a third-place finish in the men’s decathlon. His 6,230 points are the fourth-most in program history and his best event was the 100 in which he ran a 11.28 for 799 points. Larsen ran the 400 in 50.61 to score 787 points and his marks of 5-11.75 in the high jump (636 points) and 157-10 in the javelin (561 points) both rank eighth all-time at UAA.

“I was very proud of the way these two student-athletes battled the last two days,” UAA head coach Ryan McWilliams said in a statement. “As freshmen coming into an event that takes a long time to figure out and put together, leaving here with all-conference performances with an event championship is something to really be proud of and is a great foundation to build on.”

The Anchorage Wolverines are now one win away from making it back to the Final Four of the Robertson Cup playoffs after a one-year hiatus from the postseason. Anchorage holds a 2-0 advantage over the Wisconsin Windigo in its best-of-5 series after winning a pair of home games last weekend. After a 3-2 win Friday night, the 2023-24 NAHL Midwest Division champions asserted their dominance on Saturday with a 6-3 win in their final home game of the season. The team’s leading scorer over the weekend was Japanese forward Taisetsu Ushio who recorded a pair of goals and two assists on Saturday followed by fellow forward Tyler Hennen who scored a goal in each game and assisted on another in the first game.

[Anchorage Wolverines win Game 2 to take commanding Midwest finals lead]

Alaska stars shining Outside

Anchorage’s Jeremy Swayman played a major role helping the Boston Bruins advance to the next round of the Stanley Cup playoffs by continuing his domination of the Toronto Maple Leafs as his team’s starting goalie. After suffering his first two losses to the Leafs this season last Tuesday and Thursday, Swayman prevented the Bruins from blowing the series with a fantastic bounce back performance Saturday night. In a thrilling 2-1 overtime victory, he blocked 24-of-25 shots to earn his seventh career playoff win.

“I think it’s the beauty of playoffs,” Swayman said. “As a team, and as a group, it brings us closer together. And we know from our greatest failures are going to come our greatest successes.”

[Anchorage’s Swayman stops 38 shots as Bruins defeat Panthers for 1-0 NHL playoff series lead]

Swayman has a .950 save percentage over his past six games, which is the third highest in the last decade by an NHL goalie in a postseason series. His 1.49 goals against average is also the third-lowest in the last dozen years.

[Anchorage’s Swayman establishes himself as dominant force as Bruins advance in Stanley Cup playoffs]

Anchorage’s Obed Vargas scored his first professional goal in Major League Soccer last Tuesday when the Seattle Sounders beat the Philadelphia Union 3-2 on the road. It occurred in the 22nd minute of his 43rd MLS appearance and extended his team’s lead to 2-0 but more important and memorable for him was the reaction from his parents, according to the 18-year-old midfielder.

“My brother, I think recorded my dad’s reaction live and like that almost brought tears to my eyes,” he said via the Sounders. “The passion that my mom and my dad have. She told me she started tearing up so that’s like the best feeling or best text message whatever after a game like that I can receive.”

Eagle River’s Alev Kelter became the first American woman and fifth player in World Rugby Sevens Series history to reach 1,000 career points over the weekend at the World Rugby Sevens Series stop in Singapore. The 32-year-old of Chugiak High fame kicked a two-point conversion in the 16th minute to cap a 33-0 victory over Brazil for Team USA and finished the game with 14 points. She also scored seven points against South Africa and five against France after coming into the competition with 975 points since 2014.

“It’s amazing,” Kelter told USA Ruby. “I wouldn’t be here without my teammates. You see 1,000 points on the board, 1,000 points made, but there’s been a million opportunities where I’ve missed.”

Anchorage’s Mac Swanson helped the Fargo Force of the USHL not only avoid elimination but advance to the Clark Cup Finals on Sunday when he got the scoring party started early in his team’s 4-0 win over the Sioux City Musketeers. He was able to find the back of the net after only 13 seconds ticked off the clock and assisted on another goal as the Force kept their championship hopes alive.

Fast Forward




South vs. Eagle River, Saturday at 1 p.m. at Mulcahy Stadium

Two of the top teams in the Cook Inlet Conference will face off for the second time this season over the weekend. The Wolves will be looking to avenge one of their three loses to one of two teams to beat them this season while the defending state champs will be aiming to keep pace with undefeated Service.


Dimond vs. South, Wednesday at 5:45 p.m. at Chuck Albrecht Softball Complex Field 2

The Lynx and Wolverines will put their undefeated records on the line in a midweek CIC clash with first place in the standing on the line.

Last week’s results





Redington 22, Houston 8

Wasilla 10, Colony 6

West Anchorage 17, Eagle River 5

Bartlett 18, Eagle River 0


South Anchorage 11, Wasilla 4

Dimond 12, Chugiak 7

Bartlett 8, Service 4

Soldotna 15, Kenai Central 6

East 8, Wasilla 0

Dimond 14, Bartlett 3


West 20, Eagle River 5


Dimond 15, West 5

Service 12, West 0

Bartlett 25, Eagle River 7



Soldotna 22, Homer 7

Colony 14, West Valley 3


Chugiak 6, Homer 0

Homer 4, West 2

Homer 15, Kenai Central 7

Soldotna 16, Kenai Central 5

Lathrop 8, Colony 4

Wasilla 9, West Valley 3


East 12, Homer 2

Chugiak 17, East 0

Soldotna 15, Houston 0

Wasilla 3, Lathrop 0

Palmer 16, Kodiak 1

Eagle River 9, Dimond 0

Boys Soccer


South Anchorage 5, Service 0

Seward 2, Homer 0

Soldotna 9, Nikiski 0

Palmer 11, Houston 0

Chugiak 4, Wasilla 2

West 3, Dimond 2

East 5, Bartlett 0


Ketchikan 8, Grace Christian 0


West 1, Kenai Central 0

North Pole 4, Wasilla 1

Soldotna 2, Ketchikan 0

Lathrop 2, Palmer 1

South 6, Dimond 1


Kenai Central 6, Grace Christian 1

Palmer 3, North Pole 0

Ketchikan 1, Homer 1

Soldotna 7, Houston 1

Chugiak 3, Eagle River 0

Colony 5, Lathrop 0

West 8, Bartlett 0

Service 3, East 1

West Valley 5, Wasilla 1


Lathrop 5, Wasilla

Palmer 7, Hutchison 0

Soldotna 6, Grace Christian 2

Colony 1, West Valley 0

Ketchikan 3, Kenai Central 2

Homer 6, Nikiski 0

Girls Soccer


Soldotna 4, Nikiski 0

Wasilla 2, Chugiak 0

Palmer 2, Houston 1

Dimond 8, West 0

Bartlett 1, East 0

South 5, Service 0


Ketchikan 2, Grace Christian 2


South 1, Kenai Central 0

Soldotna 5, Ketchikan 1

Lathrop 8, Palmer

Wasilla 3, North Pole 0


Kenai Central 2, Grace Christian 1

Colony 2, Lathrop 0

Chugiak 3, Eagle River 1

Soldotna 7, Houston 2

Ketchikan 2, Homer 2

West 2, Bartlett 0

West Valley 3, Wasilla 1


Wasilla 1, Lathrop 1

Soldotna 4, Grace Christian 0

Palmer 9, Hutchison 0

West Valley 2, Colony 1

Kenai Central 3, Ketchikan 0

Homer 3, Nikiski 0



Kenai Central 6, Soldotna 5

Bartlett 4, East 1


Service 7, Dimond 1

Wasilla 20, Grace Christian 10

West 10, Colony 4


South 6, Eagle River 1

Houston 10, Redington 7

Palmer 18, Grace Christian 2


Eagle River 11, Dimond 1

Wasilla 10, North Pole 5

Houston 16, Grace Christian 6

Kenai Central 18, Homer 4

South 3, Chugiak 1

Soldotna 13, Palmer 1


Homer 9, Grace Christian 1

Kodiak 5, Palmer 3

Soldotna 13, Redington 1

Service 8, South 6

West Valley 7, Wasilla 0


Kodiak 17, Palmer 6

Colony 11, West Valley 3

Kodiak 18, Palmer 2



Anchorage Wolverines 3, Wisconsin Windigo 2


Anchorage Wolverines 6, Wisconsin Windigo 3

2024 Salmon Run

10k Male

1: Brian Kirchner, Anchorage, AK 35:58; 2: Gunner Bahn, Anchorage, AK 38:48; 3: John Hellen, Girdwood, AK 39:22; 4: Finn Dudley, Anchorage, AK 42:00; 5: Logan Williams, Anchorage, AK 43:16; 6: Pearce Botson, Anchorage, AK 43:15; 7: Scott Clemetson, Anchorage, AK 43:32; 8: Matthew Davis, Anchorage, AK 44:04; 9: Dawson Nerland, Anchorage, AK 44:29; 10: Luke Almon, Eagle River, AK 44:24

10k Female

1: Kayle Blackmore, Anchorage, AK 38:29; 2: Alison Matthews, Anchorage, AK 42:17; 3: Dakota Gaines, Eagle River, AK 44:10; 4: Amelia Johnson, Salt Lake City, UT 44:38; 5: Jessica Pahkala, Anchorage, AK 45:44; 6: Rachael Posey, Anchorage, AK 46:09; 7: Nicole Kimball, Anchorage, AK 48:41; 8: Hannah Bradbury, Chicago, IL 50:32; 9: Stephanie Agni, Anchorage, AK 51:04; 10: Marcie Stavich, Anchorage, AK 52:15

5k Male

1: Chris Smith, Anchorage, AK 17:53; 2: Diego Jenkins, Anchorage, AK 19:14; 3: Olson Reese, Anchorage, AK 19:53; 4: Martin Campion, Anchorage, AK 20:32; 5: Fenn Reese, Anchorage, AK 20:33; 6: Dylan Jones, Anchorage, AK 21:33; 7: Milo Andersen, Anchorage, AK 21:58; 8: Parker Finch, Anchorage, AK 22:11; 9: Riley Poray, Eagle River, AK 22:50; 10: Edward Hoeldt, Wasilla, AK 22:59

5k Female

1: Sara Miller, Anchorage, AK 21:59; 2: Claire Campion, Anchorage, AK 23:13; 3: Pam Schamber, Anchorage, AK 23:24; 4: Addy Gularte, Anchorage, AK 23:40; 5: Sylvia Potter, Anchorage, AK 23:48; 6: Ruby Willman, Anchorage, AK 24:09; 7: Andie Young, Anchorage, AK 24:21; 8: Margot Haney, Anchorage, AK 24:32; 9: Denali Kemppel, Anchorage, AK 24:45; 10: Lily Poray, Eagle River, AK 24:49

2k Male

1: Declan Tegge, Anchorage, AK 09:10; 2: Rodney Clark, Anchorage, AK 07:29; 3: Sidney Kvernplassen, Anchorage, AK 10:14; 4: Kyler Henry, Jber, AK 10:29; 5: Avery Dolan, Phoenix, AZ 10:46; 6: Caleb Gaines, Eagle River, AK 10:47; 7: Finnway Brenock-Leduc, Anchorage, AK 10:51; 8: Chris Stone, Anchorage, AK 10:58; 9: Soren Holmquist, Anchorage, AK 11:03; 10: Elias Fiegel, Anchorage, AK 11:03

2k Female

1: Germayne Henry, JBER, AK 10:31; 2: Noelle Davis, Anchorage, AK 10:35; 3: Blakely Barnett, Anchorage, AK 10:42; 4: Olive Brenock-Leduc, Anchorage, AK 10:49; 5: Anna Sullivan, Anchorage, AK 10:35; 6: Amelia Stone, Anchorage, AK 10:58; 7: Holden Burley, Anchorage, AK 11:06; 8: Isla Allen, Anchorage, AK 10:57; 9: Lisa Fiegel, Anchorage, AK 11:34; 10: Madison McCoy, Anchorage, AK 11:38

Josh Reed

Josh Reed is a sports reporter for the Anchorage Daily News. He's a graduate of West High School and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.