Thunder Mountain’s boys’ soccer team already looks significantly improved from a year ago but unfortunately, the growing pains aren’t quite over.
The Falcons’ opposition on Saturday afternoon hadn’t been able to muster a goal all weekend against defending 4A state champion Juneau-Douglas, and South took its frustrations out on TMHS.
The Wolverines scored four goals in the first 14 minutes, and that was more than enough as the visitors left Juneau with an 8-0 win Saturday at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park.
Kirdby Hutto scored the game’s first goal within the first two minutes, Grant Warnke scored 8:30 into the contest, Max Mills put one away at the 10-minute mark, and Mitch Bustamante got in on the scoring less than 15 minutes into the game.
After the initial onslaught, the Falcons were able to change the tempo and slow down the Wolverines’ attack. At least for a little while.
Falcons coach Ry Walters said he realizes the challenge a team like South presents for his young squad, and he was happy with the players’ effort after falling behind big early.
“They are a really good team. They brought a lot of speed, and speed often shows itself early when everyone’s fresh,” Walters said. “So we got hurt a couple of times when a man would get through behind our defensive line.”
South did not score for the rest of the half following the the 4-0 spurt to open the game, and Walters said he liked Thunder Mountain’s response to those quick strikes.
“We took a little control of the game from that point on,” Walters said. “(South has) excellent dribbling ability and on-ball players, so it really took us keeping control of the ball so they didn’t have it.
Two the Falcons’ top players, Travis Johnson and Sam Jahn, both left in the second half with injuries. Walters said he expects both to be backsoon.
“That’s huge because it’s really difficult to replace those guys,” Walters said. “Hey, I told them we played a hell of a game. (South is) quite a squad.”
After holding the Wolverines scoreless for nearly 30 minutes, South took advantage of a suddenly undermanned Thunder Mountain team to tack on four more goals.
Riely Chien, Steven Malachowski and Tong Moua got in on the action, and Hutto put away his second goal of the day at the 80-minute mark.
Thunder Mountain (1-1-1) hosts Juneau-Douglas (1-3-2) at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at TMHS.