Miller’s four-goal night leads JDHS past Kayhi

Junior now fifth highest scoring player in program history

It didn’t take long for the Juneau-Douglas High School girls soccer team to heat up against Ketchikan Friday night at Thunder Mountain High School.

 

The Crimson Bears scored three goals in the first 12 minutes of play, eventually winning 8-0 over the Kings.

Junior Malia Miller scored four goals, including two in the first nine minutes. In the fifth minute, the junior booted the ball over 30 yards into the left corner of the net. Three minutes later, Miller fired a low shot off the left goal post and Kayhi goaltender Ezrie Anderson that trickled over the goal line.

Four minutes later, freshman Taylor Bentley scored her first career goal as a Crimson Bear.

“It was really exciting,” Bentley said. “I’m a little sad that that was my first goal though because I feel like I can do so much better.”

The freshman explained her shot was one a goalie normally saves. But it was her defense that impressed JDHS head coach Matt Dusenberry the most.

“While she got her name in the stat sheets with the goal and the assist that she had today, her effort defending — she was all over the place,” Dusenberry said. “And I think that helped us win the ball and be able to go.”

Sophomore Eva Goering and Michaela Bentley scored goals of their own before the first half drew to a close. Anderson made 13 saves in the first half and five in the second.

Miller scored in the 47th and 73rd minutes to bring her career goal tally to 39, having scored at least one goal in all three of JDHS’ games thus far this season, to become the program’s fifth all-time leading scorer.

She entered the game with 35 career goals, only two behind Krystle Llanto (37 career goals) and three behind Greta Thibodeau (38 career goals).

“She’s just a very special player and right from the get go you could tell that and other teams that watch us play, usually she’s the name that comes up: ‘Who’s that?’” Dusenberry said.

Miller underwent ACL surgery in August but has made a speedy recovery.

“I’ve learned to not go into tackles as much as I have been, just playing it safer, but taking shots, passing, doing everything with the same intensity,” Miller said.

Wanting to be as close to the action as possible, both teams’ physical benches were abandoned for the snow pile that brought them 10 feet closer to the action.

Tarps, warmups and a few fleece blankets acted as seat bottoms.

The entire field was still surrounded with several feet of snow that covered most of the area between the sideline and track.

The JDHS girls host their next home games next Thursday and Saturday against West Anchorage. The team is still waiting to play on its home field at Adair Kennedy Memorial Park. The team has been practicing on the smaller-sized turf field outside JDHS in recent weeks.

“I think that’s why you’re seeing we’re playing a little narrow at times right now still. Because we’re used to either playing in the (Dimond Park) field house or we’re playing in the downtown field where there’s not much width to it,” Dusenberry said. “It’ll be nice when Adair clears so we can all be practicing on our own fields and practicing regularly on a full-size pitch.”

Saturday’s game did not make the print deadline. Find a recap of that game online or in Tuesday’s paper.


• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or nainsworth@juneauempire.com. Follow Empire Sports on Twitter at @akempiresports.


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