The Thunder Mountain girls’ soccer team is ready to play someone other than the Crimson Bears for once this year.
Juneau-Douglas took it to the Falcons for the third time this season on its way to a second straight 12-0 win Friday evening at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park. Since the Bears returned from their California road trip, they’ve outscored the Falcons 33-0 in three matches over the span of two weeks, improving their record to 5-2-1 while dropping Thunder Mountain to 0-3.
Friday’s match wasn’t much different than the prior two.
Solana Ashe became the latest Bear to record a hat trick, and Daffodil Alinson, Rebekka Ord and Aubrey Briscoe put away two goals apiece to carry the Bears to the win.
JDHS coach Matt Dusenberry said he remains happy with the way his side is sharing the ball, but would like to see improvement in certain areas.
“I thought in the first half, maybe the first 10 minutes, we were moving the ball well. But we got away from it and got congested,” he said. “We fell in love with kicking it straight, which is not what we’re looking to do.”
After taking a 4-0 lead into the break, the Bears woke up. Alinson took a feed from Sarah Donohoe and capitalized on the opportunity for her first goal of the day. She then got her first of two assists with a perfect pass to Ord right in front of goal to push the lead to 6-0 just minutes after halftime.
Alinson got her second assist on the next goal when a defensive breakdown allowed her pass to find a wide-open Ashe through the left side of the box for a point-blank score and a 7-0.
“We came out a little better in the second half and saw that if we move the ball around, it’s going to be easier to find each other,” Dusenberry said. “We were getting, I thought, unselfish to the point where you could say, ‘Hey, go ahead and take a shot there.’”
It might have been another lopsided loss for the Falcons, but less than a week after the coaching staff expressed its unhappiness with the effort of its players, co-coaches Moctar Diouf and Kris Coffee thought Thunder Mountain brought a lot more energy Friday.
“The overall goal, again, is to see improvement. We wanted to see improvement on Tuesday, but unfortunately there are days where everyone is flat. Tuesday was one of those days,” Diouf said. “We just wanted to see everybody hustle throughout the game, regardless of the score. We were pleased with what we saw.”
With such a young, inexperienced squad, Coffee said it’s important to stress the fundamentals on a regular basis and not lose that focus.
“We want them to play a full game, working hard for every ball,” Coffee said. “We’ve been working on defense, and that’s really the most important thing right now.”
At this point of the season, Coffee said it’s important for the group to get as much field time as possible.
“We were able to get a lot of our newer players in ... people who haven’t played much played a lot tonight. We had four starters on the bench in the second half,” she said. “Those players really stepped it up and played hard, so we were very pleased even with our inexperienced players.”
While getting experience is important, it’s also a difficult proposition to be in against a team like the Bears. Diouf doesn’t make excuses, but he admitted the early season schedule has been trying.
“We wish we didn’t have to play these games for another month, but we don’t have that luxury. It is what it is,” he said. “Last year we saw improvement toward the end. We wanted to avoid that and see it earlier this year, but it’s kind of looking that way again.”
Juneau-Douglas didn’t stop at 6-0 as the Bears continued to spread the ball around. Briscoe scored her two goals in a stretch of two minutes, Sarah Tarver got her lone goal on a left-footed strike from the left side of the box, Alinson scored her second of the day and Kiera Clark got her first to cap the scoring at 12-0.
“Our goal is to always focus on what we’re doing and continue to improve,” Dusenberry said. “I think if we can focus on those things we should have a fair amount of success.
“We’ve got some pretty good players here.”
Juneau-Douglas (5-2-1) heads to Ketchikan for a two-game series with the Kings on Monday and Tuesday, while the Falcons (0-3) are off until Friday when they host the Kings.