The Juneau-Douglas High School boys soccer team impressively opened its season with a win and a draw in Spokane, Wash.
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The Crimson Bears, traveling to Washington for the 10th straight year, defeated University 4-0 on Wednesday and battled Ferris to a 1-1 draw Thursday.
"I'm feeling good about giving up one goal in two games," JDHS coach Gary Lehnhart said. "We're essentially a rookie defense with a brand new goalkeeper."
On Thursday, Jamaal Bailey's equalizer in the 77th minute snapped the Saxons' five-game winning streak.
Matt Walton picked up the assist on Bailey's goal. In two games, Walton leads the team with four assists.
"He played goalkeeper last year and he's really giving us some dangerous play," Lehnhart said of Walton. "He plays the flank, which is kind of like an outside back or outside mid. He's really good at picking up the weak-side runs and putting the ball in there."
Lehnhart said weather played a factor in the game as both teams had to contend with a strong wind.
"It was very windy so the first half we played against the wind and had a hard time," Lehnhart said. "You played the ball and it wouldn't go anywhere and they would just knock it back at us. I felt pretty good coming out of it at 0-0."
In the second half, JDHS (1-0-1) had the wind at its back but Ferris (5-1-1) struck first. Eric Houck scored in the 51st minute to put his side up 1-0.
Bailey's equalizer, his second on the year, gave JDHS a well-earned 1-1 draw.
"(Ferris) is one of the top teams here in Spokane and is historically one of the better teams in the state," Lehnhart said. "They're the team we have the toughest time with every time we come down here. They're also coached by a good friend of mine (Robin Crain). We've coached together for a long time."
Juneau-Douglas opened its annual trip Washington with a 4-0 victory over University in Spokane on Wednesday.
The Crimson Bears scored all of its goals in the second half to successfully kick off the season.
"We played better in the second half," Lehnhart said. "We scored four goals in the first 10 minutes of the second half."
Dylan Ashe scored twice while Colin Flynn and Kabil Seesan added goals for the Bears. Walton assisted on three of the goals while Eric Gullufsen assisted on Ashe's first goal of the game.
The defense made sure the lead stood by blanking University.
"Overall you're always happy when you don't give up any goals and our defense, led by Carlo Ebron and Ron Sylvester, was consistently solid in the back," Lehnhart said. "The negative stat of the game was that we were offside about 16 times, which is about 10 too many. But that shows that we were really being aggressive and probably trying a little too hard."
Lehnhart also noted that Bailey played very consistently throughout the entire game.
JDHS battles Mount Spokane today before finishing up Saturday against Mead.
The Juneau Empire's Teri Tibbett contributed to this report. Tim Nichols, sports editor, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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