The Juneau-Douglas High School girls varsity soccer team opened their season by sweeping past Southeast Conference rival Ketchikan on the road this weekend, adding Saturday's 8-1 victory to Friday's 9-0 shutout.
Sophomore forward Sarah Tarver led the Crimson Bears (2-0 overall, 2-0 SEC) with three goals in each contest, pairing beautifully with fellow forward and freshman Dorothy Brent to give JDHS the "punch" at the top of their attack the coaches had been searching for.
"Based on how this weekend went, I'd say we found out who our two forwards are," Bears head coach Matt Dusenberry said. "They're both young and I bet they've never played together, but they clicked really well very quickly."
Dusenberry's system often requires his two forwards to play against four back defenders from the opposition, and he emphasized the importance that the pair works together to create and finish runs. The pair responded by alternating to score the team's first five goals of the season Friday and combining for 10 goals over the series.
"They really played off each other and I would have thought they've been playing together awhile," Dusenberry said.
Nia Maake opened the scoring in Saturday's rout, getting a nice early assist from Tarver, who had received a pass too deep to get a shot off herself.
Mary Gianotti doubled theearly lead 13 minutes into the first half when the KayHi goalkeeper bobbled a save and Gianotti swooped in to tap in the easy score.
The Lady Kings (0-2 overall, 0-2 SEC) responded with their only goal of the weekend two minutes later, when Brianna Guenther found the net.
"That's a tough test for our goalkeeper to deal with that close," Dusenberry said. "Unfortunately for us, they didn't get much action the rest of the weekend."
Dierick played the first half of both games while Shawnee Good took up the post in each second half. Dusenberry expects to cycle both for at least the near future in order to build their experience.
Annika Ord closed out the first half scoring with a pair of direct free kicks that found net over the top of Tarver's distracting height.
Ord's goals put the Bears up 4-1 heading into the break, and Tarver found a more direct way to fill up the scoresheet early in the second half. The sophomore scored three straight goals in the period's opening 23 minutes by picking off a pass, winning the ball from a Ketchikan defender and converting on a corner-kick.
Brent capped the scoring by hitting on her only score of the second game with 10 minutes remaining, running away another intercepted pass.
JDHS JV 4, KayHi JV 0
Solana Ashe, Cassidy Davenport, Kiera Clark and Genoa Mangusso all scored Saturday to lift the Crimson Bears junior varsity squad to the weekend sweep.
Elisha Thibodeau won the "hot sauce" award for JDHS, and received the new customary honor of suiting up for the following varsity game.
JDHS 9, KayHi 0
Brent and Tarver alternated scoring the game's first five goals of the Bears' season and JDHS jumped out to a 7-0 lead before half-time in the shutout victory.
"I'd say the first 11 minutes of the game we didn't come out with much intensity," Dusenberry said. "Once we got that first one in, we really let the ball do the work."
Outside midfielder Pauline Zheng followed the forwards' outburst by following up on a miss by teammate Sophia Wahto, tapping in the rebound for the easy score and a 6-0 lead.
Fellow outside midfielder Kelly Murphy then closed out the half by finding net off a short Zheng assist in front of goal.
Daffodil Alinson expanded the lead again just two minutes into the second half, slipping a loose ball through a cluster of defenders and past the blocked view of the Ketchikan goalkeeper.
Brent added her third goal of the game seven minutes later to close out the scoring, picking up the assist from Gianotti.
JDHS JV 1, KayHi JV 0
Marlena Sloss scored the Crimson Bears' only goal of their opening game.