Playing for more than a victory, the four soccer programs at Juneau-Douglas and Thunder Mountain High Schools met on the pitch for local soccer bragging rights, and to raise cancer awareness and funds for youth diagnosed with cancer.
In the last season meeting between the two Juneau schools, the largest soccer crowd of the year gathered to show community support for youth diagnosed with cancer and to watch four teams play hard soccer.
The Falcons’ Ryan Hoover scored in the first 10-minutes of the boy’s game, attacking from the left side on a through ball and slicing a shot to the right of charging JDHS keeper Max Lyons.
In less than two minutes the Crimson Bears struck back.
Darien Stanger pushed a ball through to Jackson Lehnhart who put a slight twist on a booming shot from 20 yards out.
Both clubs would put in a seemingly frantic pace on the pitch through the half.
“Unselfishness wins the game,” JDHS coach Gary Lehnhart told his team.
Just two minutes into the second half Johnny Joyce buried a shot from 15 yards out for the 2-1 advantage.
In the second half a more disciplined Crimson Bears squad controlled the ball for the majority of play against an improved Falcons side.
Senior defender Adam Soto calmed the Crimson Bears play in the waning minutes when the Falcons pushed more possession time and the JDHS bench rotations carried through the win.
The Crimson Bears girls got an early score from Rebekka Ord on a rebound of a Solana Ashe header to seemingly begin another win over the Falcons girls. TMHS played a more solid defense since the last meeting between the two sides and went into the half trailing just 1-0.
JDHS’ Kiera Clark notched another goal in the second half off a pass from Chrish Newell for the final 2-0 margin.
“The girls played really good soccer,” JDHS coach Matt Dusenberry said. “We were working on possessing the ball and not forcing it.”
Over 350 fans enjoyed meals provided by El Sombrero and all bake goods and most of the lavender-colored tee shirts were sold as the community came together to help raise funds for youth in the Juneau school district that have been diagnosed with cancer. Teachers attending a district meeting also joined the gathering.
“It seems redundant because we have been talking about it over the last week but it was great to have the turnout we did today,” Dusenberry said. “People were really supporting the cause we are trying to put money into.”
The Falcons girls have senior recognition against Sitka on Saturday at 1 p.m. on Falcons Field and the Falcons’ boys will honor their seniors following in a game against Ketchikan at 4:30 p.m. The Crimson Bears’ boys will be having senior recognition on Saturday against Sitka at 6:45 p.m. on the Adair Kennedy pitch. The JDHS girls play at Ketchikan Friday and Saturday.