The Thunder Mountain boys’ soccer team was looking forward to Thursday’s grudge match with Ketchikan.
Unfortunately for the Falcons, the result felt all too familiar.
Stefan Medford scored on a counterattack in the 30th minute and Alec Pankow tacked on another in the 50th to give the Kings a 2-0 win on Thursday night at Thunder Mountain High School.
Ketchikan went down a man after Medford received a red card with 25 minutes to play, but the Falcons could not take advantage of the extra man as they were unable to put a goal on the board the rest of the way.
Thunder Mountain coach Ry Walters said he has noticed a recurring theme during his team’s games: a lack of intensity throughout the match. While he liked the focus and energy his group played with most of the match, he wants to see it for a full 80 minutes.
“It felt like we were the ones who went down to 10 men,” he said, referring to his side’s play after gaining the extra-man advantage. “We just had a lapse. The intensity was there for 60 minutes, but once again we had a momentary lapse.
“That’s how you lose games. It’s tough to win with that kind of attitude,” he continued. “Right now it’s up to us to change that and come back for (today’s) game.”
As for how he feels this problem can be fixed,
Walters said that will be up to his players.
“You know, that’s youth. That’s these players becoming more mature and just getting older,” he said. “They are realizing a game isn’t that one pass you made or that one shot you hit, it’s 80 minutes. It’s a whole process.
“You can’t take a play off because that’s how goals are scored.”
Medford’s goal came off a counterattack during which the Falcons’ defense lost the ball in transition. The Kings took advantage as Medford made a run to the right side of the box and fired it across the face of keeper Matt Seymour and into the bottom left corner of the net. Pankow followed after the half in similar fashion, as he stole the ball from the defense along the right side before ripping it into the net to cap the scoring.
Kings coach Mike Medford said the team’s goal was to keep a clean sheet, and it did just that. Ketchikan’s defense also held strong, not allowing a score while playing a man down.
But Mike Medford also acknowledged the obvious progression of the Falcons’ side from last year to now, saying it’s good for soccer in the Southeast.
The two sides meet again today at 6:45 p.m. at Thunder Mountain High School.