So far in this young soccer season, the Juneau-Douglas High School girls have shown they can hurt their opponents with a variety of scorers.
The Crimson Bears got goals from five different players as they beat the Wasilla Warriors 5-1 Thursday night at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park. Juneau has now had eight different players score goals as the undefeated Crimson Bears won their fifth straight game.
The two teams will play again at 6:15 p.m. tonight to close out a stretch of six games in eight days for Juneau. The game was Wasilla's first of the season.
"This week's gone by fast," said Juneau senior striker Callan Janowiec, who had a goal and an assist. "Having lots of scorers has helped us, and our defense has been effective."
"It's felt a lot like practice, only with more goals," added Juneau senior striker Krista Heard.
Juneau kept the ball in Wasilla's defensive zone for most of the game, including the opening minutes. But it was the Warriors who scored first.
About 8 1/2 minutes into the game, Wasilla's defense cleared away a Juneau attack and the ball ended up on the foot of Warrior midfielder Christie Hayes. Hayes kicked a long through ball toward Juneau's goal and Wasilla forward Emilie Ebenal caught up with the pass and knocked it past Juneau goalkeeper Erin Cottingham.
"I was calling for it and it was a nice pass," Ebenal said. "It was an opportunity I just had to take."
"I just had a free ball and I sent it forward," Hayes said.
But Wasilla's lead didn't last long. Juneau sophomore Crystal Barr tied the game two minutes later when she scored an unassisted goal on what appeared to be a crossing pass that was deflected into the top of the net by Wasilla goalkeeper Melissa Wallace.
"I don't know how that got in, I just booted it," Barr said.
Juneau took the lead in the game's 14th minute when senior midfielder Erin Flynn sent a through ball up to Janowiec, who ran past the defense and beat Wallace for the goal.
"I just got lucky on that and it went through her legs," Janowiec said.
Heard made it 3-1 in the game's 23rd minute, when she scored an unassisted goal.
"I don't remember how I scored. I just remember being right in front of the net," Heard said.
Laura Flynn scored with 10 minutes left in the half to make it 4-1. Kendri Cesar, one of three Crimson Bears playing in their first games of the season Thursday, sent a long through ball forward to Flynn. Once she picked up the pass, Flynn raced toward Wasilla's goal, making a little stutter step to get Wallace to commit to a side before racing past her and scoring.
"I was feeling rather Shakirian," said Flynn, who has scored twice this week on moves she said she borrowed from a video by Latino dancer Shakira. "That pumped us up. But I got called offsides four straight times."
In the second half, Juneau again kept the ball in Wasilla's end most of the time. But Wallace made several tough saves and Wasilla's defense turned back a few rushes to keep the game close.
"In the first half I was really nervous, but I was starting to get a feel for things in the second half," Wallace said. "This was great experience for us."
"Our defense played all right," Hayes said, with Ebenal quickly adding, "But I don't think we played much offense."
Juneau's only second-half goal came with 12 minutes left in the game when Janowiec noticed Wallace had strayed out of the goal box to make a drop kick and she brought it to the attention of the referee. Juneau was awarded a free kick, and Janowiec booted it forward to Alida Bus, who became Juneau's eight player to score a goal this season.
"I knew there was open space there, so I ran to it," Bus said. "This is so much fun. We weren't quite ready for them at the start of the game, but we had confidence we'd get it back."
Juneau had several scoring opportunities in the second half, including a couple that would have given two more Crimson Bears a spot in the scoring.
Stephanie Orsi, who is normally a defender and has yet to score this year, had a nice run with only Wallace to beat thwarted when she lost her footing. And, with one minute to go in the game, midfielder Erin Flynn actually put the ball in the net on a corner kick only to have the linesman wave off the score because it went out of bounds before entering the net.
Charles Bingham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.