The quality of good female soccer was highlighted on the pitch at Thunder Mountain High School on Tuesday night as the visiting Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears defeated the Falcons 4-0.
This time, however, the score was a hard earned effort by the Crimson Bears as an improved Falcons side is beginning to become more familiar on the pitch.
“We are defending well,” TMHS co-coach Moctar Diouf said. “We are getting on the attacking third, getting close to their goal and creating chances. It is hard though against a team like JD, we end up defending most of the time. We made some mistakes along the way that cost us some goals.”
JDHS senior Sid Browning and sophomore Rebekka Ord caused a lot of the Falcons’ mistakes, showing a lot of energy to get control of the ball and scoring twice each.
Browning got the first goal of the game off a corner kick from senior Solana Ashe and Ord took an assist from senior Rebekah Badilla midway through the half for a 2-0 lead at the break.
Ord scored the third goal of the game by winning the ball from two Falcons and weaving her way through traffic.
Browning hit a nice shot to cap the scoring off an assist by senior Chrish Newell. Browning made a tough run and put the shot back post.
“For us these games are all state qualifiers,” JDHS coach Matt Dusenberry said. “Our Thunder Mountain and our Ketchikan games are important. If we can continue that for ourselves than that is our best chance to move on.”
Ord gave the Crimson Bears a lift numerous times during the match with spirited pushes of the ball and runs on the goal.
Coaches determined Ord was their “Hard Hat Award” winner for the game.
“Her energy helped us at times when we really needed to pick it up,” Dusenberry said.
Again, that honor can be passed around the pitch on both sides as players put on a valiant effort.
While JDHS goalie was never tested, TMHS’ Claire White made a series of spectacular saves including one that she rolled an ankle on and had to take a minute break. The defensive adjustments of Falcons freshmen Iris Light, Samantha Haight, Terra Pierce, and Siosi Tupou, sophomore’s Calley Odum, Michaela Demmert, and Shelby Lee, and juniors Carmen Smith and Darbee Hickock began to become more fluid in the second half but JDHS was more skilled on the touch passes and runs on the side. Seniors Kiera Clark, Marlena Sloss and Chrish Newell put solid runs from the midfield into action for Ashe, Badilla and Ord. Defensive backs of the Crimson Bears played a solid game keeping any serious Falcons ball from getting a second play.
“The team is getting better,” Diouf said. “We are much happier and at a much better place than we were the last two years. I think we will take that and build up from it every single game.”
The JDHS girls next play at Adair Kennedy Field on Friday against West Anchorage at 7 p.m.; the JDHS boys play West in the early game at 5:15 p.m.