Two first-half goals from Dominic Smith and a massive save from goalkeeper Sam Post helped keep the Juneau-Douglas High School boys soccer team undefeated Saturday at chilly Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park.
The Crimson Bears' Sam Greely also scored in Juneau's 3-1 win over Mead High School from Spokane, Wash.
"It was really important, we need quality opponents," JDHS coach Gary Lehnhart said of the game. "It's hard in this place to get them, so we were pleased when Mead decided to come."
Crimson Bears striker Dominic Smith put his side up 1-0 in the 13th minute. Colin Flynn fed Smith in the center of the field and the forward coolly put the ball past the goalkeeper.
Smith added an unassisted second goal in the 34th minute.
"He's a goal scorer," Lehnhart said. "With a lot of goal scorers, they tend to sometimes sit back. He didn't do that and you can't do that. It may never come to you. I think what he did early on was he just went and got it."
Smith's second goal came off the heels off a game-changing save.
While Juneau-Douglas (4-0-1) controlled the flow of play throughout the first half, the visiting Panthers found a break.
A long, looping pass went through Juneau's defense and to Jordan Etten on a breakaway. Etten ripped off a shot, but JDHS goalkeeper Sam Post burst from his line to make a brilliant reaction save at close range.
JDHS gathered the rebound and quickly moved in transition, resulting seconds later in Smith's second goal.
"The game changed when Sam Post made that save and we went right back and scored," Lehnhart said. "The game could've very easily been 1-1 instead of 2-0. You could make an argument that that was the changing play of the game."
Down 2-0 at halftime, Mead (10-2) regained the form that's made it one of Spokane's top squads.
After trying to force long passes over Juneau's defense, the Panthers came out more controlled and focused.
Two minutes after halftime, Ben Antonious slipped a pass to Etten. The freshman didn't miss his second chances as he powered a goal past an outstretched Post.
"It was an excellent goal in terms of how passing and movement is concerned," Mead coach Matt Stueckle said. "That's the type of play we were missing in the first half because we were too direct."
Mead continued to press, but Juneau found its bearings as the half progressed.
Sam Greely restored Juneau's two-goal advantage late as the recipient of a perfect set piece.
Joe Croteau took a free kick from the corner of Mead's end of the field in the 76th minute. The ball sailed to the far post where Flynn opted to head the ball back to the other side of the net rather than score.
Flynn's heady play opened up the net where an opportunistic Greely charged in for the goal.
"I would probably say they're they best team we've played so far this year," Stueckle said of JDHS. "Athletically, there more athletic than any team we've faced in Spokane. Size-wise, we don't face many teams with that many big players as they have. They're very good in the air and strong on the ball."
The two teams will play again at 10 a.m. today at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park.
Contact sports editor Tim Nichols at email@example.com or 523-2228.