Once again, the Juneau-Douglas High School girls soccer team used superior defense and clutch scoring to win.
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The Crimson Bears defeated Pine Creek, Colo., 5-0, on Saturday at cold, rainy Adair Kennedy Memorial Park. JDHS outshot the opposition 14-4 in the win.
"They played very disciplined," JDHS co-coach Colin Barton said. "You can look at the five goals, but I'll look at the zero against us. ... They're working well together and don't forget the defensive midfielder, Audrey Wagner, who plays a great part in it."
JDHS (6-0-1) won its fourth straight game and showed off its talent in every facet of the game.
Senior Marita Rodriguez put Juneau-Douglas ahead 1-0 just seven minutes after the opening whistle. Rodriguez powered home a terrific pass off the head of Sarah Christianson.
Christianson scored four minutes later and JDHS took a 2-0 lead into halftime.
Both goals came off the counterattack as Pine Creek tried to methodically move the ball with its defenders and midfielders.
JDHS responded with quick diagonal passes from the midfield and central defenders. The passes sprung open Juneau's strikers as they slipped behind the defense to attack the goal.
"We played the ball quickly," Barton said. "You have to play quickly to counterattack. The players were fired up. You could see that. They were winning 50-50 balls and that's important in the game of soccer."
Defensively, the Crimson Bears didn't allow the Eagles any scoring opportunities. Kristin Jorgensen, Talisa Rhea, Wagner and a host of others played the ball with patience and maturity while Kayla Walton made two saves for the Crimson Bears' fifth shutout of the season.
JDHS has outscored its opponents 33-2 this season.
"Communication is helping us a lot," Walton said. "It's so much. It helps bring the team together and helps us to know where to mark and who's open and where we need to focus. Communication is the top thing."
Juneau-Douglas exhibited impressive finishing in the second half to put the game away.
Striker Margaret Sekona beat two defenders and fired a shot off from 10 yards away. The Pine Creek goalkeeper made an outstanding diving save but Gretchen Dierking volleyed the ball into the open left with her left foot in the 48th minute.
Jorgensen got in on the act in the 63rd minute by scoring off a scramble in the goal mouth. Sekona earned her second assist of the game off the goal.
Sekona then added a goal of her own in the 69th minute. After taking a pass from Jorgensen, Sekona blasted a shot just underneath the crossbar for the Crimson Bears' fifth and final goal.
"We've been finishing well," Barton said.
JDHS next takes on West, South and East in Anchorage starting on Thursday.
Tim Nichols, sports editor, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org