The Juneau-Douglas High School soccer teams began their Anchorage road trip with non-conference losses Thursday as the Crimson Bears girls fell to the Lady Wolverines 10-0 and the Crimson Bears boys were defeated by the defending state champion Wolverines. The South teams are ranked first in Alaska and in the top 15 among Pacific Northwest high schools.
According to the Anchorage Daily News, Alex Ponce de Leon scored the Wolverines’ first goal eight minutes in on a breakaway from Wesley Chien’s through ball. South iced the game in the second half with three goals in less than 10 minutes. Those goals came from Britton Clifford, Taylor Zietlow, and Liam Farrell off a pair of Blake Hepler assists.
“Not much to talk about,” Juneau-Douglas boys coach Gary Lehnhart said. “We came out kind of banged up with some practice injuries to Justin (Bellagh) and Nick (Stewart).”
JDHS had a nice chance to score, Lehnhart said, but Bellagh’s shot went wide.
Lehnhart pulled Bellagh and Stewart in the second half when the game was out of reach.
“It was a good learning opportunity for our younger boys to see the level they need to compete at,” Lehnhart said. “South is very deep. I thought our top players could play with them, but we struggled with them on the outside of the field, which is a good indicator of a team that is deep. I got to play some younger guys once the game was out of reach.”
Phone calls to the JDHS girls coaches were not returned by press time.
The South boys won state last season with a tournament-opening 2-0 win over Wasilla, a 2-1 overtime win over Dimond in the semifinals and 3-0 championship game triumph over Colony. JDHS opened state play last season with a 2-1 overtime loss to Colony, beat North Pole 4-1 and defeated Wasilla 5-1 in the fourth-place game.
The South girls placed fourth at last season’s state tournament, losing 3-1 in overtime to eventual state champion Dimond to open play and then beat Grace Christian 3-0 and West Valley 6-1. JDHS did not reach state last season; instead, Thunder Mountain opened state play with a 5-0 loss to Service and then fell to West Valley 2-0.
JDHS will play at Bartlett today (boys 5 p.m., girls 7 p.m.), Wasilla Friday (TBD) and West on Saturday (girls 8:30 a.m., boys 10:30 a.m.)