'Spring Fever' brings full weekend of soccer

Posted: Thursday, April 15, 2004

The inaugural Spring Fever soccer series kicks off tonight when the Juneau-Douglas High School girls play Pagosa Springs, Colo., at 7 p.m. at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park.

On Friday, the Juneau girls play Palmer at 6:15 p.m. and the Juneau boys face Palmer at 8 p.m. Earlier in the day, the Chugiak boys play Palmer at 2:30 p.m. and the Chugiak girls face Pagosa Springs at 4:15 p.m.

Saturday morning will feature Juneau junior varsity games - the girls against an "All-Star" squad at 9 a.m., and the boys against an alumni team at 11 a.m.

The Juneau boys will play Chugiak at 1 p.m. Saturday, and at 4:45 they will play a friendly match with one half against Palmer, and the other against Chugiak. The Juneau girls play Chugiak at 6:30 p.m.

In Saturday's non-Juneau game, the Palmer girls will face Pagosa Springs at 2:45 p.m.

"It's the biggest soccer weekend we've had here," Juneau boys coach Gary Lehnhart said. "It's going to be really fun for the soccer community in town."

Here is a look at the field:

GIRLS

• Pagosa Springs: Pagosa Springs is located in southwestern Colorado, about 60 miles east of Durango; the high school has about 600 students. The program is coached by former Juneau resident Lindsey Kurt-Mason.

Kurt-Mason used to teach in Juneau, and lived here from 1974 to 1986. He has made many return trips and has assisted Juneau boys coach Gary Lehnhart with summer soccer camps.

While the Pirates are able to drive to in-state games, the distances are so great that the journeys can rival those of Southeast Alaska teams. To get to Juneau, they'll drive about seven hours to Denver to catch their flight north.

Boys soccer is a fall sport in Colorado, so only the Pagosa Springs girls will be playing in Juneau.

"We don't have any superstars," Kurt-Mason said of his team, whose season record is 1-3. "Tactically and technically, these guys are still young. Each game they play, they get a little better. ...

"They're really enthusiastic (about playing in Juneau). We're all in good shape, coming from an altitude of 8,000 feet. They're looking forward to playing at sea level."

• Palmer: The Moose will play their first games of the season in Juneau, and coach Brian Fish said his team has a solid core of experienced players.

"We have a pretty good returning group from last year," he said, with a good mix of classes.

Leading the way on offense is Felicia Sandvik, who scored 23 goals last year. Fish said other players started to step up and make contributions on offense as last season progressed. The team is looking forward to strong competition this weekend.

"It's a good opportunity to go against one of the top teams in the state, right off the bat," he said.

The Crimson Bears beat the Moose 3-1 last year in a regular-season game at Palmer.

• Chugiak: The Mustangs have a couple of games under their belts - a tie against East and a loss to Service - as they arrive in Juneau.

"We've got a really nice mix - some seniors returning, and a large group of sophomores and juniors," coach Dan Pinkerton said. "They're all really athletic (and have) really been working hard."

This will be Chugiak's first trip to Juneau. Pinkerton said his team is looking forward to facing the Crimson Bears on the Adair-Kennedy turf.

"They always take the effort to come up here," he said of Juneau. "It's about time we headed down there."

• Chugiak: The Mustangs tied East last week and played Service on Wednesday night in Anchorage - a game coach Craig Naylor said would be a good indicator of his team's prospects for the season.

Naylor's squad is dominated by juniors, and the vast majority of the Mustangs are year-round players with experience on the club teams.

"Our standout quality is our technical ability," Naylor said. "I've got 17, 18 guys who can do things with the ball, who are comfortable with the ball at their feet."

Chugiak tied Juneau 2-2 on May 2 last year in Anchorage - the last time Juneau failed to win a game last season before claiming the state title.

• Palmer: The Moose will be playing their first games of the season this weekend.

Coach Tom Harrison said his team has just three seniors, but a very talented sophomore class. Harrison was a teacher in Juneau in 1999-2000.

Palmer and Chugiak - and all the other Anchorage and Mat-Su teams - have had to deal with the usual tough spring field conditions due to the remaining snowpack and the effects of meltwater.

The Crimson Bears trounced the Moose 8-0 last season in Palmer.

Spring Fever soccer series schedule

Varsity games at Adair-Kennedy field

TODAY

7 p.m. - Juneau girls vs. Pagosa Springs

FRIDAY

2:30 p.m. - Chugiak boys vs. Palmer

4:15 p.m. -Chugiak girls vs. Pagosa Springs

6:15 p.m. - Juneau girls vs. Palmer

8 p.m. - Juneau boys vs. Palmer

SATURDAY

1 p.m. - Juneau boys vs. Chugiak

2:45 p.m. - Palmer girls vs. Pagosa Springs

4:45 p.m. - Juneau boys vs. Palmer and Chugiak (friendly match)

6:30 p.m. - Juneau girls vs. Chugiak



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