The Juneau-Douglas High School boy’s soccer team got right back into the saddle of last week’s impressive Washington road trip with a wild 9-1 offensive ride over the visiting Chugiak Mustangs on Friday at Thunder Mountain High School’s field.
Senior Jackson Lehnhart scored three goals in the first half and added two assists in the second 40 minutes and junior Nick Stewart tallied two goals and two assists for the game to lead the Crimson Bears.
Chugiak forced a brief slow start by running an offside trap. That defensive pressure caused five off side penalties for the Crimson Bears in the first half until they adjusted.
“We did not handle the trap early,” JDHS coach Gary Lehnhart said. “Part of that is just being a young team. It took us a little while to figure it out
Lehnhart dribbled right through the trap to score unassisted at the 29-minute mark and after Chugiak’s Lukas Brown evened the score a minute later on a misplaced clear, the Crimson Bears began to find lanes on the pitch.
The danger of running the trap is there is no support for the defense and Lehnhart repeatedly beat the front line with passes or on the dribble which put JDHS in one-on-one situations with the Mustang’s goal keeper.
At the 28-minute mark Stewart passed through the trap to Lehnhart who tallied for a 2-1 lead. Stewart passed through to Justin Bellagh for a score at the eight-minute mark and Stewart passed through to Lehnhart again at the four-minute mark for a 4-1 halftime advantage.
“We played much better, much smarter in the second half,” Lehnhart said. “We handled the off side situations much better.”
Three goals in a four-minute span put the Crimson Bears in control.
Lehnhart passed to Stewart at the 30-minute mark; Stewart touched a ball to Antonio Hafferty with 28 minutes remaining; and Lehnhart passed long to Stewart who tucked in a nice goal at the 26-minute mark.
With 13 minutes remaining Barclay Weyhrauch scored on an assist by Keishan Pillay and with two minutes remaining Pillay scored with an assist by Ashu Tingley.
Defensively the Crimson Bears were a little out of sync in the back, balls that came through were knocked out of bounds instead of linked offensively.
“Defensively Ethan (Seid) did a really good job of coming forward on defense,” Lehnhart said. “We seemed a little out of sync in the back but the one thing Ethan brought to the game is that if you play hard you can make a lot of mistakes. And because of the intensity level he brings, many times players have to beat him at least two times. I was quite impressed by his effort.”
Crimson Bears’ goalie Hunter Pegues was acknowledged for continued improvement in the net.
“As a goalkeeper you have to have a short memory,” Lehnhart said. “A lot of times you have nothing to do back there but sit and think about what you did or didn’t do. He did make a really nice save after they scored.”
The Crimson Bears will next host Lathrop on Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 5 p.m. on Adair Kennedy Field.