The West High School Eagles brought a storm with them from Anchorage but it was the JDHS boys who weathered Friday’s elements in a 3-0 win.
“It is tough playing against the wind,” JDHS coach Gary Lehnhart said. “I knew the game would be affected a lot by who won the flip... and we didn’t win the flip.”
The Crimson Bears did win the energy battle though, as they worked through the disadvantage of having the wind in their face for the first half and got a goal from junior Jackson Lehnhart who won a ball in the air, tipped it to himself and smashed a shot from 20 yards out to the right side of the goal and the keeper’s left arm.
“We would have been happy to be 0-0 at the half,” Lehnhart said. “Due to the conditions and then take the wind in the second half. Once we got the 1-0 lead we switched up a little bit and played more defense.”
The Eagles battled strong in the second half and had numerous chances at the goal but senior keeper Max Lyons was too talented on the day, stopping at least 6 shots in the first half and at least as many in the second stanza.
On one play Lyons got help from senior Martin Gjerde that stopped a sure Eagles score. Lyons challenged an attacking West player whose shot caromed back for a second opportunity but Gjerde sprinted through from the side to put the ball off the pitch.
“That is what he is supposed to do,” Lehnhart said. “Tuck in behind like that and cover, and he did that well. We are working well. It is surprising how few practices we really have. We play a game and take a day off to rest the bodies, so we really haven’t had a lot of really good practice time until this week. And I think it helped.”
Junior Stuart Thurston is continuing to be a force on the midfield and placed a perfect pass from the left side across the goalmouth to junior Jackson Lehnhart for a tap in and a 2-0 lead.
“Stuart give you 80 minutes every day,” Lehnhart said. “He had a heck of a game.”
Thurston had three other shots on goal, senior Darien Stanger had three as the Crimson Bears’ midfield accounted for just over 10 shots.
Freshman Nick Stewart was rewarded for his work ethic around the goalmouth as he picked up the Crimson Bears last point on a rebound shot for the final 3-0 score.
The Crimson Bears boys play the Lake Washington Kangs (Kirkland, Wash.) today at 1 p.m. at Adair Kennedy Field.
On the girls side of the pitch the West Eagles (4-3-2) got goals from Annie Rush, Alexandra Rojas-Ayala, Kayle Blackmore, Alex Susich, and Anna Sophia Roberts in a 6-1 decision over the Crimson Bears girls on Friday night.
The Eagles led 3-0 after the first half.
“I felt like we were chasing a lot in this game,” JDHS coach Matt Dusenberry said. “We didn’t match their intensity. We did get some shots on goal but for the most part we were chasing.”
JDHS senior Solana Ashe got the Crimson Bears’ lone goal in the middle of the second half of play when a shot on goal rebounded out and she cleanly killed it through, making the tally 4-1 in favor of West. The Eagles would add two more goals.
Seniors Sid Browning and Chrish Newell both made nice passes across the goal mouth that were not converted and Bekka Ord had a run at the keeper that went just wide but the Crimson Bears could not get the ball to nestle into the back of the net.
Officials warned both teams repeatedly about pushing and excessive use of arms as the two sides had dozens of encounters across the midfield portion of play.
The Eagles had two goals in the second half that came as a result of multiple players crowded in front of the JDHS keeper and a lively ball in play.
On Saturday the Crimson Bears were a totally different side on the pitch.
Newell had a shot on goal in the first minutes of play and senior Marlena Sloss, who shifted back into her regular field position from the previous game, pushed a ball around the left end and nearly connected on a shot. Browning followed with another shot that went just wide and JDHS looked like they were going to be in control of the game throughout.
Browning chased down another lead pass and put a hard crossing boot on goal. West’s Kelly French made an attempt to block the ball but Ashe blasted a shot out of the air for a 1-0 Crimson Bears’ lead.
“That was a great cross,” Dusenberry said. “And Solana just buried it.”
Minutes later JDHS’ Anna Gregovich was called for a questionable take down, and was injured, and West’s Rojas-Ayala scored on the ensuing penalty kick to tie the score.
Ord ran a ball along the right side and tapped it around a defender to herself and then slithered in a nice chip shot past the keeper for a 2-1 Crimson Bears advantage.
West retaliated with two attacks on goal but Crimson Bears’ goalie Cheyenne Siverly made two great sliding saves to give JDHS the halftime lead.
In the second half West’s Roberts had a goal disallowed and missed wide on two shots that would have tied the game, but Rojas-Ayala scored on an assist by Roberts to even up the match.
The closing minutes were a physical fight as Sloss and Kymber Kelly were slightly injured and came out of the game to join Gregovich on the sideline.
“They are a physical team,” Dusenberry said. “We ended up in a kind of infirmary there at the end. We gave our Hard Hat to Marlena (Sloss). The fact that we haven’t had her for a while, even though we lost her toward the end of the game, I felt like she helped us with her presence in the middle of the field. I think we lacked that in the first match on Friday.”
Saturday night the Crimson Bears had a positive energy and a solid pressure that countered the physical play of the Eagles. A welcome two days of rest now await until the Crimson Bears play on Tuesday night against Thunder Mountain at Adair Kennedy.