The Crimson Bears came out flat against Soldotna during Friday morning's 2-2 tie, and failed to secure a win for the first time this season. Hours later, though, there was nothing flat about their 9-0 offensive bonfire of Bartlett in the evening game of the Don Ashe Memorial Tournament at the Thunder Mountain turf field.
The Juneau-Douglas High School girls soccer team struggled to match the visiting Stars' intensity and lost out on a number of "50-50" loose ball opportunities in the early match, according to head coach Matt Dusenberry. The eventual tie illustrated why Dusenberry had been calling for an increased sense of urgency from his team throughout the early season, including Thursday's 3-0 blanking of Soldotna.
"They flat-out out-hustled us," Dusenberry said. "It was far and few between when we were the first ones to the ball. Soldotna's a very physical team and for whatever reason we didn't do what we had talked about."
The Stars opened the scoring just six minutes into the game before sophomore forward Sarah Tarver answered with a goal of her own nine minutes later off a rebound from teammate Daffodil Alinson's shot.
Neither team scored again until midway through the second half, with each squad missing a number of shots in between.
The Crimson Bears (4-0-1 overall, 2-0 Southeast Conference) briefly took the lead in the 15th minute of the second half, when freshman forward Dorothy Brent converted an assist from junior midfielder Mary Gianotti.
The Stars answered to salvage the tie eight minutes later though, smudging JDHS' perfect early-season record.
Junior defenseman Emily Johnson earned Juneau-Douglas' Hard Hat Award for the game.
Senior defenseman Wendy Calderwood won JDHS' Don Ashe Spirit Award for the tournament.
The Crimson Bears will resume their schedule this week with a lengthy roadtrip through Anchorage. JDHS will visit West Anchorage on Wednesday, Palmer on Thursday, South Anchorage on Friday and Service on Saturday.
"I'm looking forward to seeing how we compare with the Anchorage schools," Dusenberry said. "We'll certainly be playing some teams who have been doing well in the Cook Inlet Conference."
JDHS 9, Bartlett 0
After struggling with intensity against Soldotna, the Bears surprised even their coach Friday evening by stringing together early and late scoring runs to handily dismiss the visiting Golden Bears.
"We never want to underestimate an opponent until the ref blows the whistle, but there was no intent to run up the score," Dusenberry said. "(Bartlett) was only able to bring 13 girls with them and they're stuck practicing inside like us, so some of the goals started happening at the end there."
As for his own team, Dusenberry said the conditioning level of the JDHS players was the best he could have hoped for after spending most of their spring practices with less than half of a full lineup playing inside a gym.
Brent opened the scoring eight minutes into the contest, getting an assist from junior Annika Ord. Alinson added to the lead 10 minutes later, getting an assit from Gianotti's crossing kick. Gianotti netted a score of her own just seven minutes later, with the helper going to freshman Marlena Sloss.
Freshman Anna Gregovich scored on a corner kick 35 minutes into the first half, ballooning the lead to 4-0. Tarver closed out the half in the final minute, with the assist going to junior Ashley Soto.
Tarver eventually added to the lead again 25 minutes into the second half, when Ord supplied the second of her four assists in the contest. Tarver completed her scoring hat trick just two minutes later, heading a crossing pass from Brent past the Bartlett goalie.
Sophomore Sophia Wahto followed Tarver's goal a minute later, knocking in Ord's third assist of the day. Sophomore Aubrey Briscoe closed out the scoring with six minutes remaining, getting the assist from junior Rachel Donohoe.
The team's Hard Hat Award for the game went to Ord, who brought back her precious varsity experience back to the young team in style after missing the previous two games of the weekend.
"It's certainly nice to have her back," Dusenberry said. "She brought forth quite an energy the entire game."