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JDHS soccer teams begin state tournament

Crimson Bears boys and girls seek title matches

Posted: May 24, 2012 - 12:13am

The square root of the hypotenuse of the home pitch, plus the air pressure of the tournament ball, divided by the combined length of the shoelaces of the tallest visiting player, multiplied by a teams IQ.

Okay, so that is not how seeding is determined for today’s opening round of the 2012 state soccer championships at Anchorage’s Chugiak and Dimond High Schools, but it doesn’t really matter.

“You still have to win three games in a row,” JDHS girls coach Matt Dusenberry said. “It all starts over. Our regular season at this point doesn’t matter. You just hope that you have prepared yourself and your players have an opportunity to hopefully get a good result. If you want to reach the final you have to play the first two games.”

The JDHS girl’s soccer team has been seeded fourth and opens tourney play against South (5) at 3 p.m. at Chugiak High School; while the boys (2) open against Colony (7) at 5 p.m., also at Chugiak.

A team’s seeding is determined by 1) varsity win/loss record (a. games with Alaska teams, b. divided by number of games played, c. multiplied by factor of 10), 2) strength of schedule (a., opponents overall record transcribed to points, b. add points up, c. divide by number of games played in season with each game against team counted separately), 3) results of conference tournament (a. 5 point for first place or if no tournament is held, b. 3 points for second place, c. 1 point for third place).

After this the four conference champions are ranked based on total points of that first three criteria. There are, of course, tiebreakers. Bottom line, however, is a team will have to win three games no matter where they are ranked to win a state title.

The Crimson Bears are the two-time defending state champions. Senior goalie Max Lyons has been to four state tournaments. The JDHS team knows that a good goalie lets them be more aggressive and take more chances.

“Early in the year our goal was to identify the state tournament as our ultimate goal,” JDHS coach Gary Lehnhart said. “And then to put that on the back burner and focus on the games at hand. We looked at the game in stages.”

The first stage was the Crimson Bears trip down south at the beginning of the season against faster competition and figuring out what kind of team they were and changes they needed to make. Then they played conference teams and then Anchorage teams.

“As players come into our program the part that has been good for us and consistent for a long time is that the kids have a high goal,” Lehnhart said. “And they see that it can be accomplished. As a program we have been proud of that.”

Narrower pitches await the Crimson Bears’ boys and girls as both of the northern venues are roughly 5-7 yards skinnier than even Adair Kennedy’s pitch, which benefits a direct style of play more than one in which teams that seek to spread out their opposition and attack.

Both JDHS teams have the senior experience plus the attacking athletic abilities to adapt and prevail.

“We are just glad to have the opportunity to go to state,” Dusenberry said. “And with so many seniors this year they are hoping to go out on a high note.”

Boys tournament opening games include Dimond (1 seed) vs. Homer (8), Wasilla (4) vs. South (5), West Valley (3) vs. West (6) and JD (2) vs. Colony (7).

The girl’s side includes Dimond (1) vs. Service (8), JD (4) vs. South (5), West Valley (3) vs. Kenai (6), and Soldotna (2) vs. Grace Christian (7).

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