The JDHS girls had a tougher pitch to follow on Wednesday in The Dome.
“The reality is, every area in the state needs a venue like this,” JDHS coach Matt Dusenberry said of the facility. “Fairbanks, oh my goodness, everyone needs a structure like this. Quite a complex and quite a community facility.”
The Crimson Bears had the early match and little time to enjoy the heated indoor pitch. A morning flight to Anchorage and a direct drive to the venue resulted in a slower start than usual.
“We came out a little flat,” JDHS coach Matt Dusenberry said. “And you never know, getting up early and traveling like that, with the schedule we just had, we went straight from the airport and started playing. That is no excuse. Getting up early, flying and sitting on a plane is just a part of how we travel.”
JDHS put itself in a 2-0 halftime deficit.
An own goal gave East a 1-0 advantage and a hand ball call inside the Crimson Bears’ box gave the Thunderbirds a penalty kick that was converted.
“We are young,” Dusenberry said. “We are learning as we go. For the most part we had some opportunities but just didn’t capitalize on, and we did not give up.”
The majority of the game was played 30-yards out from the Crimson Bears goal to 10-yards past half, meaning JDHS kept East at bay but not contained or counter attacked.
Two key players, midfielder Rylee Landen (injury) and goalie Cheyenne Siverly (school function) are not playing this road trip.
Freshmen Meranda Frenzel in the midfield and Kallen Hoover at back were credited with strong performances. Junior Kymber Kelly continues to play better in her new holding mid position, an adjustment from last season’s back line. Kelly helps advance the ball forward more now. Jasmine Brown continues to play well in net.
“Some of our younger players in starting positions still played really well,” Dusenberry said. “It would be nice to get a win. We haven’t gotten one of those yet, but as young as we are and with the history of being in this program there is a target on their back whether they like it or not. It is new to them. It is great that they have just continued to play, no matter what the results have been they just keep working at it.”
The Crimson Bears’ girls play Eagle River today in The Dome.