Crimson Bears use defense to top West girls

Juneau-Douglas extends shutout streak to six games with pair of victories

Posted: Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Juneau-Douglas High School girls soccer team continued to play shutdown defense with a pair of victories over the weekend.

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The Crimson Bears (6-2-1) extended their consecutive shutout streak to six games with a 6-0 victory Friday and a 1-0 win Saturday over West Anchorage High School.

"For me, (defense) is really important because you always build a pyramid from the bottom," JDHS co-coach Colin Barton said. "That's our defense. If you have good, solid defense, you can play forward. We do that."

On Saturday, JDHS struggled to find the goal but more than made up for it with dominating defense.

Kayla Walton, Juneau's goalkeeper, made three saves as the Eagles struggled to penetrate Juneau's well-organized back line.

Central defenders Lindsey Kato and Brittany Lehnhart along with wings Kirstin Jorgensen and Annika Ord never allowed West the time or space to put a solid shot on goal.

"I think we're very strong playing together because individually we can take on the other team, but we're more strong when we play together," Jorgensen said. "We know if it gets past one of us, there are three other kids that are gong to be working as hard to save it."

While Juneau's defense played a nearly flawless game, the Bears struggled to score.

Midfielder Rachel Tarver scored the game's lone goal in the eighth minute when she pounded in a rebound.

Juneau boasted the lion's share of scoring chances in the game, but players hit the crossbar a couple times and even missed a penalty kick.

Before leaving the game midway through the second half with an ankle injury, striker Margaret Sekona set up a number of quality chances but her teammates couldn't find the range.

"I think it was one of those things where the ball didn't go in the net," Tarver said. "It's something we need to work on."

Juneau-Douglas moved around its lineup and used Talisa Rhea, normally a center midfielder, as a striker to fill in for the injured Sarah Christianson. The senior forward hurt her right knee in Friday's win and may be lost for the season, Barton said. The team will know more about Christianson's injury on Monday, Barton added.

Christianson is one of Juneau's most intense players and a lethal finisher around the goal.

"We dominated but just didn't get the ball in the net," Barton said. "But that'll come. We were moving a lot of people around."

On Friday, Juneau-Douglas took care of West despite losing Christianson in the second half.

Rhea and Sekona scored two goals each while Christianson and Jorgensen added one goal each in the victory.

Sekona, Christianson and Carry Lehnhart picked up assists in the win while Walton stopped two shots.

Juneau-Douglas gets about a week and a half off before heading north to Anchorage for a four-game road trip starting May 9 against Dimond High School.

• Tim Nichols, sports editor, can be reached at sports@juneauempire.com.



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