The Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears boy’s and girl’s soccer teams and the Thunder Mountain Falcons boy’s soccer team will play against the visiting Chugiak Mustangs today and tomorrow at TMHS field.
The games have been switched from Adair Kennedy Field to TMHS due to winter conditions and according to Juneau School District activities director Sandi Wagner today’s schedule is not affected by Thursday’s snowfall.
“We may have to do some shoveling,” JDHS coach Gary Lehnhart said.
The JDHS boys have seven games under their belt to date, including wins over Sitka (8-1, 10-2), and TMHS (8-0), and a recent four-game road swing in Washington state that featured a 4-4 tie against Ferris and a 1-1 draw against Mead in Spokane and a pair of one-point losses to Seattle’s Roosevelt, 4-3, and Bellevue’s Newport, 1-0, high schools.
Against Roosevelt, the Crimson Bears scored first as sophomore Ryan Hoover took senior Jackson Lehnhart’s header pass and placed it in the net at the 8:30 mark. The placing pass from Lehnhart came on Ben Scudder’s throw in.
Roosevelt tied the game two minutes later on a long curving shot that caught freshman goalkeeper Hunter Pegues off guard.
Three minutes later JDHS took the lead again as junior Nick Stewart received a nice pass from junior Justin Bellagh.
Roosevelt tacked on another goal seven minutes later on a battered ball near the goalmouth.
“They were a talented team,” Lehnhart said. “Our strength is generally our ability to score. What we saw in Seattle was that our front line players are as good as anybody’s. Our inexperience is in other places on the field and in the back. I know we will have to grow there.”
Roosevelt scored late in the half on another shot from distance to take a 3-2 lead into the break.
JDHS tied the game at the 53-minute mark as Lehnhart followed his own shot and placed it in.
Roosevelt scored nine minutes later on a ball not cleared in front of the JDHS net. JDHS found the net once more as the Roosevelt goalie and the ball wound up in the net but a foul disallowed the score.
“We had some great chances at the end,” Lehnhart said. “And we missed a bunch of corners at the end. The fact that we could score on them is a good sign; they were possibly the best team we played on the trip. It was good for us to play against such capable players.”
Pegues continues to learn each game in the net and quickly adjusted to Newport the following day.
The Crimson Bears again gave up a late goal just before the break.
“That is something we need to work on,” Lehnhart said. “We need to close out halves better because those are big momentum swingers.”
Pegues played his best game of the year, saving six shots on goal.
Newport featured two capable players, one going to Harvard and one to Seattle University.
“They have some power up front,” Lehnhart said. “The good news was that we had more opportunities than they did.”
Newport possessed the ball 60 percent of the time. Ben Scudder was credited for a strong defensive game. On the offensive side, Lehnhart missed three shots and Nick Stewart one.
“We go on that trip to expose the players to a higher level of play, and I think they definitely saw that,” Lehnhart said.
Today’s opponents will bring a tough Anchorage style of play to the pitch. A traditional power, the Mustangs usually feature some football and hockey players that also cross over to the pitch.
The Chugiak boys are fifth in the Cook Inlet Conference standings, trailing South, West, Service, Dimond, and East.
The Chugiak girls are third in the CIC behind Dimond and Service.
“We will watch the JD game
“Hopefully we can turn it around from our first game,” Falcons coach Sam Greely said. “I think we will. We are pretty resilient. Our team just needs to focus on what they are good at and every game is going to be one of trying to gain inches, which is what it comes down to. They will pick it up once they get a feeling of unity within the team.”
The JDHS girls also have one loss, a 3-1 defeat to the Thunder Mountain Falcons’ girls.
Friday game times are 5:15 p.m. (JD girls vs. Chugiak) and 7 p.m. (JD boys vs. Chugiak); Saturday times are 3 p.m. (JD girls vs. Chugiak) and 5 p.m. (TM boys vs. Chugiak).