Visiting Bellarmine Prep from Tacoma, Wash., put on a performance worthy of being one of its state's and country's best boys soccer teams on Saturday.
The Lions, the 2004 National Soccer Coaches Association national champions, routed Juneau-Douglas 7-0 in a game where they imposed their will on the Crimson Bears (7-2-1).
Bellarmine Prep snapped Juneau-Douglas' five-game winning streak with the victory.
"They invited us up here because they heard of our reputation, and we wanted to show that to the people here," Lions coach Joe Waters said. "That was one of the things, we wanted to show the people of Juneau our best and we played reasonably well."
The Crimson Bears rarely threatened in the contest as the Lions outshot JDHS 15-1 in the win.
JDHS started the game with lots of energy and enthusiasm. In the first couple of minutes, the Crimson Bears pushed the action as strikers Dylan Ashe and Jamaal Bailey attacked the ball.
Bellarmine Prep calmly withstood the early energy and then took over. Showing superiority in the midfield, the Lions used their strength and speed to move into Juneau's end of the field.
"We usually try to take the game to the opposition right form the start," Walton said. "I'm a big believer that offense is the best defense. Right from the kickoff, we tried to get the ball and establish that we'll try to spend as much time in their half as possible. Our boys did a great job of doing that."
Kellan Brown provided Bellarmine's first goal seven minutes in by one-timing Tyler Mernaugh's pass for the goal.
Brown made it 2-0 in the 18th minute when he took a perfect drop pass from Chase Tangney and tucked a shot pass a diving Eli Wray.
Brown completed his hat trick in the 30th minute
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"I thought our team played very well," Walton said. "Everything is starting to falling to place, sometimes that happens for you. All your guys are on-side at the same time. The ball moves sweetly. It's just nice to watch."
While Bellarmine Prep dictated play, Juneau-Douglas struggled to mount an offensive.
Passes from the midfield were quickly stolen by Bellarmine defenders as Bailey and Ashe struggled to find open space beyond the Lions' back line.
"I don't think we were ever beaten that bad," JDHS coach Gary Lehnhart said. "It's definitely something new. I think that's the way to look at it. We were beat by a better team. I think we competed hard."
Enrique Arias scored twice in the second half before Micah Wenzel and Zach Semago added tallies in the second half to provide the final score.
After Saturday's rough defeat, JDHS must shake it off to take on West, South and East Anchorage starting Thursday.
"I think that once the game came back at us and we realized they were superior, I think we hit a wall a little bit," Lehnhart said. "That's a hard thing to realize. We had to battle through that, and if anything that's a good lesson for us because we're used to being on the other end of that. A little dose of humility sometimes goes a long way."
Tim Nichols, sports editor, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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