Crimson Bears girls’ soccer coach Matt Dusenberry said he’s been trying to get Sarah Tarver to shoot with a little less arch on the ball recently, but he’ll take the goal she scored against Service on Saturday morning.
The senior forward took a shot from more than 30 yards out and watched as the ball looped its way through the air and into the corner of the net past the stunned Service goalkeeper. The score would be the only one of the day for either side in a 1-0 victory for Juneau-Douglas at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park.
“I just said, ‘What the heck?’ and kicked it, because I know I’m better on balls in the air than on the ground,” Tarver laughed. “I just kicked it, hoped for the best and it went in.”
Prior to the weekend, the Service girls’ soccer team hadn’t allowed a goal in its previous seven contests, so scoring a goal in each game this weekend was a good accomplishment for the Bears.
“It was nice. I think it really boosts our confidence,” Tarver said. “We’re excited to go to Anchorage to see what we can do up there.”
Dusenberry, while excited about his team’s victory, still had his opinion of Tarver’s shot.
“We’ve been talking to her about how we would like those to be on a line, so as a coach it’s hard to tell her that when she got the result that she did in that case,” he said with a grin. “In that situation, Sarah actually won the ball back, turned and shot and got the goal.”
The Bears seized momentum from the very start, controlling the pace and possessing the ball on offense. Juneau-Douglas had its chances to tack on more scores, but its defense held strong enough in the end to hang on for the win.
“I thought we were a little tired at the end, but I thought our defense was solid. Our whole team was good at keeping that shutout,” Bears central defender Melissa Skan. “We have injuries on our back line, but every sub has been sticking with it and keeping it up.
“We’ve been up against them before and lost, so this is a pretty exciting win for us.”
After playing some of its best soccer of the season this weekend, Tarver said the team will know how it stacks up after the upcoming trip to Anchorage.
“This helped us realize we can compete with Anchorage teams, and we’ll just have to see how it goes up there,” she said.
Juneau-Douglas’ May Suson was given the Don Ashe Spirit Award on Saturday for her role on and off the field for her team. The Don Ashe Spirit Award is given out in memory of the late Don Ashe, whose contributions to soccer in Juneau are still recognized just more than two years after his death in January of 2009.
Jesslin Wooliver won the award for Service.
Juneau-Douglas (8-2-2, 6-0-0) hits the road starting Wednesday for a four-game trip against Wasilla, Chugiak, Dimond and West.
Bears, Service draw 1-1
The Service girls’ soccer team hadn’t allowed a goal in seven contests prior to Friday’s match against the Bears.
The Cougars didn’t make it to their eighth.
Juneau-Douglas and Service battled to a 1-1 draw on Friday evening behind the strength of a Dorothy Brent goal for the home team, and the Bears managed to keep it tied to continue their streak of six straight games without a loss.
Brent’s score came after the ball was played from the back line to a holding midfielder, and then on to two more attacking midfielders before Brent found it in space and buried it in the back of the net.
“It was all kept on the floor, simple and not pushing it too forward. That’s what we’ve been working on, not playing so direct,” Dusenberry said. “It was a pretty goal.”
The Cougars’ lone goal came when the Bears defense thought it had cleared the ball, causing for the team to move up. But Service took the ball as Juneau-Douglas was in transition, and Taylor Bomar capitalized.
“Taylor, who’s a great player in the state, cleaned it up and came right through the middle,” Dusenberry said.
Bears roll Ketchikan in weekend finale
The Juneau-Douglas girls’ soccer team continued to show why it’s the best in the Southeast.
Rebecca Ord scored two goals and Solana Ashe, Sarah Donohoe and Sarah Tarver each chipped in one to lead their team to a 5-0 win over the Kings on Saturday night at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park.
“You know, we’ve had a lot of games,” Bears coach Matt Dusenberry said. “It was good to get a lot of people minutes and get a lot of soccer on everybody’s behalf here.”
He added the team’s goal is to prepare itself for the state tournament, so the Bears are happy to see the progression after two close games in Ketchikan earlier in the week.
“We want to get better every time we play, and I think we’re starting to fix some of the things from earlier in the year,” Dusenberry said. “We saw some things this weekend and we’ll continue to work on those before turning around and playing four more games in Anchorage.
“We need to work on these things so, hopefully, when we get to state things will work out.”