Dominance has become a theme for the Juneau-Douglas girls’ soccer team when it comes to playing Thunder Mountain, and Tuesday’s tilt was no different.
Senior Sarah Tarver scored four goals and the Juneau-Douglas defense shut out the Falcons in a 12-0 win at Thunder Mountain High School. JDHS came out firing, connecting on two scores in the opening minutes, and never let up on a night where weather conditions were much more favorable than the last time the two sides met.
But the weather wasn’t the only improvement JDHS coach Matt Dusenberry saw from game to game. He said his team worked the ball around much more effectively, rather than repeatedly hitting direct balls with the hope of putting them in net.
“We were trying to let the ball do the work, trying to combine to work together and not force it,” he said. “Hopefully that would pull things open, and we’d work from there.”
Melissa Skan was given the Hard Hat award, an honor given by the coaches after each game, for her performance in Tuesday’s match. Skan’s defensive effort on the field was stellar, but it was her strike from more than 40 yards out that had her coaches and teammates excited.
“We’ve been asking Melissa, who played on the outside last year, to play a new role as center back. She’s improved every time we’ve played and is really learning on the job,” Dusenberry said. “Every once in a while you have a special moment, and that goal she scored from almost 50 yards out was one heck of a shot for a center back to have.”
Overall, Dusenberry said it was a good day for his team after a difficult weekend in which the Bears couldn’t get a goal against a strong South Anchorage side.
“It’s nice to be playing here on a sunny day and kind of get minutes in for everybody, and improve on things we didn’t show well on this past weekend,” he said.
It was a different story on the other side of the pitch, however, as the Thunder Mountain coaching staff said this game was especially frustrating. While the Falcons are still young, co-coach Kris Coffee said that excuse just doesn’t cut it anymore. This result was about effort, or lack thereof, she said.
Coffee said, in other words, the team is not happy with its performance.
“We played like crap,” she admitted. “They didn’t hustle, they didn’t put out the effort and intensity, and we sat starters because they were walking out there.”
The Falcons went to their bench in hope of getting a spark, but this did not bode well against the quality of the Bears.
“The bench might not be as skilled and maybe that showed, but if you aren’t going to run, we’re not going to put you in,” Coffee said. “That’s what it came down to. I think the hard part is we came out strong in the first half of the last game, and we were expecting that again (Tuesday).
“We had about five or six girls who were hustling and the rest weren’t. Those girls can’t carry an entire team,” she continued. “We said they have to come here and play hard, regardless. It’s no fun when you’re not trying. You need to try.”
Tarver’s four scores led the Bears, Dorothy Brent and Aubrey Briscoe had two goals apiece and Skan, Rebekka Ord, Cassidy Davenport and Chrish Newell each scored once.