The Juneau-Douglas High School boys and girls soccer teams head out on their annual whirlwind roadtrip to the Anchorage area today, stepping off the plane to immediately face West Anchorage in the first of four games in four days for both.
The matchup will likely be the easiest of the weekend for the girls and the toughest for the boys. West's girls squad currently has a record of 2-4-1 in the Cook Inlet Conference, good enough for fifth place in the eight-team division.
The Crimson Bears girls (4-0-1 overall, 2-0 Southeast Conference) are hoping for an easy opening game before marching on to face Palmer Thursday. Palmer currently stands atop the Northern Lights Conference with a 4-1-0 overall record despite having yet to play a conference game.
The weekend gets even tougher for JDHS, with South Anchorage coming up on Friday. South finished second in the state a season ago after falling to Service 2-1 in the title game. South currently boasts a record of 5-1-1 in the CIC, good enough for second place behind Service again.
Service, like the Bears, is technically undefeated at 6-0-1 in the CIC. Service knocked JDHS from the state tournament a season ago, sending the Bears to a third-place finish at state.
"This weekend is still just a matter of seeing where we are, but it's going to be good to get out on a good quality pitch and have four games against some quality opposition," JDHS girls head coach Matt Dusenberry said.
West's boys team is currently atop the CIC wtih a pefect 7-0 mark, despite failing to make the state tournament a season ago.
Palmer is also perfect at 3-0, but also have yet to play a Northern Lights Conference contest.
JDHS defeated South 2-0 in last year's state championship game, and South currently sits at 3-2 and third place in the CIC. Both clubs are in a rebuilding year, but have been the traditional state powers in recent years.
Service sits in sixth in the CIC with a conference record of 2-3-1 and failed to make the state tournament a season ago.
"It's certainly not ideal to pack four games into four days, but it is what it is," Dusenberry said. "No matter how fit you are, it's not easy to pull off that many in a row. If that was easy professionals would be doing it, and they're not doing that many games in that many days."