While the Juneau-Douglas High School boys soccer team ended its four-day trip to Washington with a loss Saturday, the team proved they can score with anyone.
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The Crimson Bears fell to Mead 3-2 on Saturday but opened the season with two wins, a loss and a draw. The team scored 10 goals and allowed just four during the four-day stretch.
"We can score," JDHS coach Gary Lehnhart said. "A lot of time, that's the most difficult thing to find. But we've got some guys that can put the goals in the net."
Against Mead, the Crimson Bears (2-1-1) quickly fell behind 2-0 before finding their bearings in the second half.
The Panthers scored twice in the half's final five minutes to take the lead.
"We really had lots of good opportunities," Lehnhart said. "Especially at the beginning. We completely shut down their attack. They only had three shots on goal in the first half, but they scored on two of them."
JDHS battled back in the second half, however.
Matt Walton set up the Crimson Bears' first goal when he fed Colin Flynn in front of the goal. Flynn then passed to Dylan Ashe for the goal, cutting Mead's lead to 2-1 in the 51st minute.
Mead answered 12 minutes later by scoring off a counterattack.
Ashe netted the Bears' second goal at 72 minutes off an assist from Dominic Smith.
"They mounted a good comeback down 2-0," Lehnhart said. "To have that happen, they could've laid down. But they didn't and pushed the action."
On Friday, Juneau-Douglas enjoyed a thorough 3-0 victory over Mount Spokane.
The Crimson Bears' defense limited the Wildcats to just six shots on goal, with JDHS goalkeeper Eli Wray picking up the clean sheet. Defenders Carlo Ebron, Rob Sylvester, Kevin Heffern, Robert Slagle and Alex Schirmer helped keep Mead off the board.
"We controlled the run of play, but we weren't very efficient," Lehnhart said. "We had a hard time putting the ball on frame and took a lot of shots."
JDHS broke through 20 minutes in as Jamaal Bailey assisted on Flynn's goal.
In the second half, Walton earned his fifth assist of the year by feeding Smith for a goal 12 minutes in.
"He just hit a highlight show shot in to the upper corner," Lehnhart said of Smith's goal. "It hit the corner then bounced right to the other corner."
Ashe completed Juneau's scoring in the 66th minute when rocketed an assist from Smith into the back of the net.
With Washington's high schools nearly a month into the soccer season, Lehnhart said he felt pleased with how his team competed over the week.
"Had this been later in the season, I think I would've expected to have played like we did," Lehnhart said. "This early in the year, I wasn't sure we'd be able to compete as well as we did. I know the coaches and the team well enough there that we're as talented, but they have half a season under their belts."
JDHS will open the home portion of its schedule on Thursday with a three-day tournament. The Crimson Bears will host Dimond and West Valley. They also will play two Southeast Conference games against Ketchikan.
Tim Nichols, sports editor, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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