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The Juneau-Douglas High School boys soccer team set up a lot of good offensive plays Wednesday and Thursday in the first two games of its trip to Spokane, Wash., but the Crimson Bears had trouble finishing those plays and wound up with a pair of shutout losses.
On Wednesday night, Juneau lost to University High School, 2-0, and on Thursday the Crimson Bears fell to Ferris High School, 1-0.
Juneau beat both those schools - Ferris twice - last season. This time around, the Crimson Bears struggled to bring an offensive set to completion.
"We played pretty well; we just can't score," Juneau coach Gary Lehnhart said from Spokane by phone Thursday night. "We created some opportunities but have had no luck getting it in the net."
In Wednesday's game, University's Brett Hite stung the Crimson Bears by driving much of the field and putting in his shot for one goal. Then, Hite drew Juneau's defenders and passed the ball off to teammate Nate Gay, who scored the second goal for the Titans (7-1).
On Thursday, Ferris' Dan Landry scored the lone goal of the game when he followed up on teammate Dan Mulgrew's shot and knocked it in out of a scrum in front of the net. The Saxons improved to 7-1.
Lehnhart said he was pleased with how his players performed in the two games, especially since both their opponents lead the Spokane-area standings.
"Both the teams we've played have only one loss and are at the top of the league, and we've been hanging with them," he said.
In particular, Lehnhart said the defense - led by Kyle Thibodeau, Kirk Mearig and Joe Stendahl - has performed well, and further up the field the Crimson Bears (1-3) have gotten good performances from Axel Thibodeau, Kalon Wright and Cameron Mitchell.
More importantly, Lehnhart said, he has been using all 16 Juneau players who made the trip, and there has been no letdown when switching from starters to substitutes.
Juneau plays Mount Spokane High School (6-1) today, and will conclude its trip against Mead High School (4-3) on Saturday.