The Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears boy’s soccer team swept Ketchikan over the weekend at Esther Shea Field, blanking the Kings twice by scores of 2-0 on Friday and 1-0 on Saturday.
“I heard one Ketchikan kid tell another that they made us earn it,” JDHS coach Gary Lehnhart said. “I think that is a good assessment. But having said that, I think our guys really controlled the run of play pretty well. Ketchikan had very few opportunities the entire weekend. I was pleased with our defense.”
On Friday the defending state champion Crimson Bears put the first ball past Kings keeper Connor Pope in the 31st minute as senior Johnny Joyce drove a shot from past 30 yards.
The ball bent just enough off its line drive velocity to rocket past Pope into the left side of the inner goal.
“Johnny played very well,” Lehnhart said. “He scored from a pretty good distance. It turned the tide of the game. We relaxed after that and were able to put a lot of possession time in.”
The Crimson Bears scored the second goal at the six-minute mark of the second half. Senior Heston Allred won a ball and played it into sophomore midfielder Nick Stewart.
Stewart received the ball and pushed it along from 25 yards out, carrying it into the box and slotted the shot low and inside the far post past the charging Pope.
“It was a really smart shot on goal,” Lehnhart said. “We didn’t score like we had hoped to. Ketchikan played well in the back, their goalkeeper had a good weekend.”
On Saturday the Crimson Bears played through the weather and the emotions of the Kayhi senior night to take a 1-0 win. Senior Darien Stanger scored unassisted on a rebound off a Joyce corner kick in the first half.
“It was a very difficult game to play,” Lehnhart said. “The weather was terrible and nobody wanted to play. I was worried about that as a coach, about how we would approach the ball dying in the puddles.”
The Crimson Bears played strong, keeping the ball in their part of the pitch.
Senior Adam Soto was moved to the front line after a yellow card and used that aggressiveness to put at least four headers on goal.
“He created a lot of shots,” Lehnhart said.
JDHS missed numerous opportunities to score in the second half. Stanger hit the post, Soto missed in close, and Stewart put a couple shots wide near the goalmouth.
The Crimson Bears did suffer an injury as senior Jacob Sanders badly sprained his ankle and may miss the up coming state tournament.
JDHS will play TMHS tonight at 5:15 p.m. in a Cancer Awareness game (JV play at 3:45), followed by the JDHS girls playing the TMHS girls at 7 p.m. Teams will wear cancer awareness colors. Cancer information will be provided and a fundraiser held through a bake sale, donations and food service by El Sombrero.