The Thunder Mountain boys soccer team saw Ketchikan score four goals in the second half of play Friday night in Ketchikan as the Kings pulled out a home win in the two-game series opener.
On Saturday it was the Kings who watched as the Falcons took a first half lead and came within one minute of a win.
Stephen Ringle scored a lone goal for the Falcons to keep the Kings to a tie and the Falcons season is off to a 0-1-1 start.
“We had an excellent game,” TMHS coach Sam Greely said. “The guys totally turned it around.”
Alexander Iliev drew a penalty kick against the Kings at the 35th minute and Steven Ringle took it, putting away a hard shot past the keeper in the bottom right corner.
Two minutes later Brandon Monges put a pass through a defenders legs and Ryan Hoover put the shot into the back of the net. Officials waived the play offside and stalled the momentum.
Both teams battled even on the pitch through the second half with the Falcons seemingly taking another goal with five minutes remaining as Ben Jahn knocked a bicycle kick into the Kings net.
Officials again intervened with a ‘high kick’ penalty, awarding the Kings an indirect free kick inside the goalies box. Falcons’ goalie Jasper Soriano saved the shot but the Kings were awarded a free kick minutes later to tie the game. Soriano also saved two point blank break-a-way shots on goal in the first half.
“It was intense,” Greely said. “I am exhausted. I am so proud of the guys, especially after the first game.”
The 4-0 season opener loss was a learning lesson about arrival times and getting into game-time mode.
“I feel like we have a good idea of what we should be doing,” Greely said. “It is all about just getting better and having different variations and situations and dealing with them. We did a great job of dealing with the pressure. I was really surprised with how well we played, happily surprised. I am a happy coach. Soriano, Ringle, Jahn, a lot of guys stepped up and I am proud of our bench also.”
With only 22 players on the trip Greely drew from the JV roster for substitutions as well.
“To tell you the truth, now that we have played these games I don’t really look at it like they are JV players anymore,” Greely said. “They have shown that they can hang.”
The Thunder Mountain JV tied 2-2 on Friday and lost 2-0 Saturday.