The Juneau-Douglas High School boys soccer team took on two state champions in one day Saturday at the Spring Fever Invitational, beating one and tying the other.
Sound off on the important issues at
Earlier Saturday, the Crimson Bears tied rival South Anchorage High School 1-1 in a rematch of last year's state championship game. The Wolverines beat JDHS in overtime last year for the championship.
Later that day, JDHS blanked Wyoming state champions Cheyenne Central High School 3-0.
The Crimson Bears (2-1-3) controlled the ball for most of the game against South Anchorage. The game was scoreless at halftime, but Juneau scored early in the second half off of a penalty kick by junior forward Colin Flynn.
Juneau continued to control the ball and made defensive stops when needed for most of the game.
Anchored by senior fullback Carlo Ebron and junior goalkeeper Sam Post, the Bears defense was pitching a shutout against South Anchorage until the 78th minute when South Anchorage's Trevor Hooe scored on what could be considered a fluke play, if not a mishap.
The goal came when South Anchorage controlled the ball and was in range for a shot. Post sprinted to the top of the penalty area but didn't get all of the ball in his clearance attempt. The ball went right to Hooe, who scored into an open net.
The tie sustained the rivalry between the two teams.
"You hate to not win against these guys," JDHS coach Gary Lehnhart said. "Especially to give up a goal that late in the game."
JDHS had just hours to prepare for their next game against Cheyenne Central.
JDHS got off to a slow start but maintained control and scored in the 28th minute when junior striker Dominic Smith scored off of Flynn's assist.
Lehnhart praised the two juniors' performances in both games.
"Our offense goes through those two guys," Lehnhart said.
Juneau scored twice in the second half. Senior midfielder Cary Kelly scored in the 43rd minute, followed 17 minutes later by junior Tuavao Maake.
"We came out sore, but after we pushed through that we came through," Ebron said.
Lehnhart said the tempo of Saturday's two games was much faster than they had played at this year.
Ebron said, "Play today was a lot faster. If we play like this, we'll have a good season."
Ebron and Post seemed to set the fast tempo with their excellent communication on the field that set up decisive ball movement.
Post played extremely well in both games despite battling through minor injuries he suffered last weekend during the Bears' trip to Spokane, Wash.
"I hurt my hip in Spokane (last weekend) but luckily I wasn't too busy today. ... Two games is a lot," Post said.
The Crimson Bears travel south next weekend to take on Ketchikan.
Juneau Empire ©2013. All Rights Reserved.