Led by goal-scoring machine Margaret Sekona, the Juneau-Douglas High School girls soccer team cruised to a weekend sweep of the Central High School Indians from Cheyenne, Wyo.
The Crimson Bears defeated the defending Wyoming state champs 1-0 on Friday and 4-1 on Saturday at the Spring Fever Tournament at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Field.
Sekona was involved in all of the weekend's scoring. She scored the lone goal in Friday's win and recorded a hat trick and assisted on the other goal in Saturday's game.
"Today she was totally outstanding," JDHS coach Colin Barton said on Saturday. "She's playing with so much confidence. And when she plays with confidence, there are no inhibitions."
On Saturday, Sekona opened the scoring 13 minutes into the game with some nifty footwork which broke the defense, followed by a hard kick that found the back of the net.
Both teams created several good chances in the first half. Central's (5-5) best chance came on an early penalty kick that was saved nicely by Juneau goalkeeper Kayla Walton.
Sekona got two other quality shots at the net in the first half. One shot went just wide while Indians goalkeeper Laura McKinley deflected the ball out of play.
Central used the tactic of pushing up its defense against the Bears. Although the offside trap didn't drastically affect the outcome, it proved frustrating as referees whistled JDHS numerous times for offsides.
"We haven't practiced against that this year," Barton said. "It's a very dangerous tactic. We beat it a couple of times, but all it really does is take the rhythm out of the game."
Juneau's Sarah Tarver made it 2-0 with a goal two minutes into the second half. The scoring play began with Sekona gathering her own rebound from a shot. Sekona quickly passed to Tarver for an easy tap-in goal.
At the 53 minute mark, Sekona struck again with an unassisted goal to increase Juneau's lead to 3-0.
The Crimson Bears' defense looked to be heading for their fifth shutout but a free kick by Cheyenne's Caley Wheeler at the 66th minute dashed those hopes.
"I'm very pleased with the team defensively," Barton said. "We gave up just one goal all weekend and that was a set piece. They didn't score on the play."
JDHS fullback Jenna Rutecki said, "A lot of us have been playing together for about 10 years. The chemistry is always there."
In the 73rd minute, Sekona completed her hat track on a breakaway down the middle of the field.
In Friday's game, Sekona scored the game's lone goal unassisted at the 17 minute mark.
Sekona has scored 13 goals in eight games, nearly half of the Crimson Bears' total of 30 for the season.
"I like to score," Sekona said. "I'm trying to play with confidence and focusing on good shots. Confidence is the key."
The Juneau girls improved its record to 6-2 and will host Service High School next weekend.
Although the Bears have been playing well winning six straight, Barton feels there's still much room for improvement.
"There's quite a bit we need to work on," he said. "We need to work on passing, getting the third player moving off the pass and possession."
Jeff Kasper is a freelance writer and former Empire sportswriter. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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