After blowing out the Eagle River Wolves on Friday at Adair-Kennedy Field, the Crimson Bears girls' soccer team felt an encore was needed.
Although Juneau-Douglas had another slow start, the Bears (4-4) turned it on late in the first half and kept the pressure on a fatigued Wolves squad to take the match 4-0.
With the scoreboard still showing nil-nil, senior midfielder Melissa Skan scored on a left-footed strike from the top of the penalty box that sailed over the outstreched arms of the Eagle River goalkeeper for the first goal of the game. That opened up the floodgates in the second half as the Bears continued to pour it on.
Even after yet another slow start, Dusenberry said the team began to give itself better opportunities to score in the second half.
"I think we moved the ball a little better but, honestly, I think part of it was that fitness was an issue for them (in the second half)," he said. "That allowed us to start dictating the pace a little more."
Dusenberry said the most important part of the two-game series was the fact that his team was able to shut out the opposition in two consecutive games. But he did say it was good to put some lopsided scores on the board over the weekend.
"It's nice to be able to find the net, especially after not finding it over the last few games," he said. "To pretty much contain the game and keep things at bay was nice."
Sophomore Dorothy Brent had a huge second half with two goals, including one from more than 25 yards away that scorched the top of the netting as it flew by the keeper. Brent said the overall offensive production was important for the team.
"It feels good to come back and get some goals," she said. "We're always kind of a slow team to start out with, but the second half is where we play our best."
Brent said going ahead, these are the kinds of efforts that can instill confidence in players as the season progresses.
"I feel better about myself and, hopefully, I can get some more goals," she said.
While the team had a successful weekend, Dusenberry said its new style of play adopted this season is still a work in progress.
"What I'm asking of them is new as far as how we're playing," he said. "I think, maybe, this allowed us to start seeing where we're hoping to play the ball to give us an opportunity.
"That was good for us to have that here in town."
With a road trip to the Dimond Tournament next week looming on the horizon, the Bears were happy to take advantage of a little home cooking.
Bears happy to be home
The Juneau-Douglas girls' soccer team was glad to be back in the friendly confines of Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park after its road trip to California, and it was evident by the performance the Bears put on Friday evening, crusing 5-0 over Eagle River.
After going scoreless in their previous three games, the Crimson Bears lit up the scoreboard with five goals while also posting a shutout for their third victory of the season.
"Although the've been good competition for us, we haven't scored in many of the matches lately, so it was nice to get five (goals) in today," Bears coach Matt Dusenberry said. "We spread it around, too. Other than (Sarah) Tarver getting two (goals), we had different people score."
Mahlet Tingley, Daffodil Alinson and Annika Ord each contributed goals to Tarver's two scores as the Crimson Bears cruised over the Wolves.
Juneau-Douglas got off to a slow start in the game, but seemed to find its legs and get a rythm before easily defeating the Wolves. Dusenberry said the team is still trying to work its way through early season obstacles, but the Bears are progressing by the day.
"For us, the goals started coming when we started trusting each other and moving the ball around," he said. "Once you do that, it opens things up for everyone."
Dusenberry said the team did not move the ball like it should in the first half, resulting in the slow start.
"We weren't even giving ourselves a chance to score because we were holding the ball in the first half," he said.
Going into Saturday's game against the same Eagle River team, Dusenberry said he wanted to see the team's intensity pick up more quickly.
"Can we not have a slow start? Can we start moving the ball right away and getting communication?" he said. "The girls have actually been bringing these things up when talking about the game - what they need to do to improve."
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