The Juneau-Douglas girls’ soccer team got an idea of what the state’s best competition looks like with South Anchorage in town for a weekend series, and the Crimson Bears came away knowing they have some work ahead of them if they want to be successful in the state tournament in late May.
The Wolverines broke open a scoreless draw just minutes into the second half and took the series finale from the hometown Bears with a 2-0 win Saturday afternoon at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park. South’s Bailey Butcher took advantage of a well-placed ball from the Wolverines’ goalkeeper down the right side and crossed a shot into the opposite corner of the net to put her team up 1-0. It was all South needed.
“It looked as though we had two players who could have collected it out of the air when the keeper punted it out, but it looked like we misread it or miscommunicated and let it bounce,” Crimson Bears coach Matt Dusenberry said. “(South’s) Bailey (Butcher) is the type of player who has the speed to clean it up and go straight to goal for the finish.
“That’s what she did.”
And when it was able to keep Butcher and company out of its own end, Juneau-Douglas had a difficult time with possession as the Wolverines controlled much of the action in the second half. In an effort to spark the Bears’ attack, Dusenberry elected to put Sarah Tarver up top where she could use her size and ability to create chances on goal. But JDHS was unable to sustain any buildups on the offensive end and was shut out for the second day in a row.
“First touch was not as clean as it should have been, maybe, which makes it difficult with a quick team like (South),” Dusenberry said. “They can jump on it right away and you could see that team was comfortable on the ball. They moved it around quite quickly.”
Butcher scored the team’s second goal as well in a physical play in the box that left a Bears’ defender on the ground. But no penalty was called and South escaped Juneau with a series win.
“They’re probably one of the top teams up there (in Anchorage),” Dusenberry said. “I think players like Colleen (Carpenter), we struggled with when they moved her outside. She was getting in over and over again in the second half.
“I don’t know if it was tired legs or just playing a good team like that in a very short amount of time,” he continued. “But it’s early and we have things to work on.”
Juneau-Douglas (3-2-1) faces Thunder Mountain (0-1-0) at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday at TMHS.
JDHS, South open series with scoreless draw
Both Juneau-Douglas’ and South Anchorage’s girls’ soccer teams have state title aspirations in 2011, and Friday’s contest might have been a preview of a possible late-May matchup between the two sides.
And if this contest was any indication, the two would put up quite a battle if they ever faced off somewhere down the line in the state tournament. The Bears and Wolverines went scoreless Friday afternoon, a result that left both teams hoping for, and expecting more.
Juneau-Douglas coach Matt Dusenberry said while it was nice to see his girls match up well against good competition, he knows there is plenty of work to do.
“South is always a good side. They haven’t lost yet this year,” he said. “So that’s good we can compete here, but I don’t think we played our best.”
The Bears have struggled a bit at times early in the season controlling the ball on the offensive end, Dusenberry said, resulting in fewer opportunities on goal.
“We certainly didn’t see much possession tonight,” Dusenberry said. “I think we panicked a little bit and helped them out a little.”
Dusenberry said he couldn’t exactly put a finger on why his team is struggling to maintain possession.
“Who knows?” he said after the game. “It’s early in the season, but who knows?”