The Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears boy’s soccer team continues to wear out opponents as they bested visiting Lathrop on Friday night 7-1 on the Thunder Mountain High School pitch.
“I think our intensity was the key,” senior captain Jackson Lehnhart said. “Our speed and the way we play, and if we can possess the ball a bit more against teams we are going to be a lot better.”
JDHS had control of the midfield and used that ball possession and their team speed to attack the Malemutes’ goal numerous times.
Lehnhart scored his first goal of the game with five minutes elapsed into the game, playing a through ball from the middle and blasting a shot from 25 yards out.
Lehnhart hit again at the 28:23 mark on a penalty kick for the 2-0 advantage.
With 11:29 remaining in the first half, Ryan Hoover received a touch pass from Marc Heifetz and blasted a shot at close range past the Lathrop keeper for the 3-0 lead.
Lehnhart dribbled in a corner kick and hit his third goal of the game from five yards away from the keeper for a 4-0 advantage.
With 6:55 remaining in the first half, Stuart Thurston lofted a shot high over the Lathrop keeper who could only tip it farther into the net and the Crimson Bears were up 5-0.
“That is called luck,” Thurston said later. “That was supposed to be a cross, but I got lucky. I think we are doing really well this year and we are looking forward to our trip up to Anchorage to see how we do against the teams up there.”
Lathrop concentrated on slowing down Lehnhart and junior Nick Stewart, which opened up the rest of the Crimson Bears’ side.
“Trying to play the ball fast was tough,” Nick Stewart said. “I knew we would be pretty good offensively this season, that was proven to be true, and we showed it against some rough play.”
Hoover scored again at the 5:15 mark, waiting for a long through ball to settle on the pitch and drilling it to the netting from 30 yards out.
Lathrop had trouble getting the ball past midfield and the daunting defense of hockey connection Marc Heifetz and Ethan Seid on the outsides and Ben Scudder at center.
“I don’t play defense in hockey,” Heifetz said. “It is a lot different because you are back most of the time in soccer. It is the same tempo and same ideas. We do bring intensity, especially Ethan, he always has that in the game. When I first start playing soccer every year I am a little bit too physical.”
The second half began with even aggression through both sides.
Lehnhart scored his fourth goal of the game at the 31:15 mark of the second half on another penalty kick that made the score 7-0.
Lathrop’s Conner Matheny put a charging shot in at the 23:30 mark to give the Malemutes their only goal of the night.
The frustrated Fairbanks’ side had Nathan Barnett receive his second yellow card in as many nights, and three warnings from officials for questioning calls. A player received a red card after the game while talking with officials.
The Crimson Bears, although on the younger side, showed composure during the physical action on the pitch.
“Our younger players are giving us solid, solid minutes,” Jackson Lehnhart said. “We had no idea what would happen in their positions and they have played great so far this year. That has been really nice to see. I am happy with how we are playing up to our ability.”
The JDHS girls will host TMHS at Adair Kennedy Field on Tuesday at 7 p.m. (JV 5:15); the JDHS boys will host TMHS at AKF on Wednesday at 7 p.m. (JV 5:15).