By controlling the pace of the game and spending most of the time in their opponent’s side of the field, the Ketchikan High School boys soccer team took home a 2-1 victory over Thunder Mountain High School on Friday evening.
Ketchikan (3-5-0) used good communication and a quick turnaround goal in the second half to secure the road sweep of TMHS (0-5-0).
“The team stayed composed and passed the ball around and I think we took advantage of good opportunities,” Ketchikan coach David Mitchel said. “We have a good number of seniors out there and that really helps with communication and knowing how to respond after a goal.”
After struggling to maintain possession of the ball, Kayhi junior Jaret Warstler put up the first goal of the night off of a rebound, ending the first half in Ketchikan’s favor, 1-0.
“We kept our cool 90 percent of the time but sometimes we got caught up with the ball too long,” Ketchikan’s Izaak Jensen said.
Midway through the second half, TMHS freshman Gavin Gende flipped the script. From almost 35 feet away from the goal, Gende scored a one-time kick just over the fingertips of the Ketchikan keeper, electrifying the Falcons and spectators. The goal was Gende’s first in a Falcons uniform, according to TMHS coach Josh Odum.
Ketchikan’s Mark Jasper, a junior, took back momentum just two minutes later with a goal of his own.
Since Ketchikan’s offense persisted in Falcon territory for the majority of the match, TMHS keeper Alan Plosay challenged numerous goal attempts, only letting up the two goals all night.
“The team lost by one point and put up a tough fight,” TMHS junior Daniel Zito said. “If there was something I’d change, it’s getting more opportunities closer to the net.”
Odum echoed similar sentiments, saying, “Today was a complete 180 from yesterday. We had some minor breakdowns in communication, little lapses that caused a goal.”
“We could have easily taken this if we had spread our wings a little more and pumped up communication,” he said.
Jensen accounted for two of the Kings’ three goals in a 3-0 win over the Falcons on Thursday night.
Both teams now prepare to head north: Ketchikan plays Dimond High School in Anchorage on Wednesday. TMHS plays Palmer High School on Thursday.