The Crimson Bears boys' soccer team continued its early season dominance as it rolled to yet another impressive victory, this time over the Eagle River Wolves on Friday evening at Adair-Kennedy Field.
Juneau-Douglas (9-0-1) struck early and often, jumping to a 3-0 lead in the first 10 minutes of the game to quickly put it out of reach. The Bears went on to a 6-0 win for their ninth victory of the season against zero losses and one tie.
"It's always great to not give up a goal," coach Gary Lehnhart said. "We started off really well, but then our play tailed off and I think we lost focus."
After the first three goals, the Bears were unable to find the net again until the 51st minute when Andy Lawson scored on a rebound off a blocked shot from teammate Max Smith. Lawson's goal gave him a hat trick for the game.
Lehnhart continued to praise the depth his team possesses as the Bears were able to rotate players off the bench and still maintain their level of play.
"You're always happy to have the kind of depth in your program where you can sub and the play doesn't drop off that much," he said.
Outside of Lawson's hat trick, the story of the day was Hunter Kirkpatrick's first touch as a varsity soccer player.
After a Smith cross, Kirkpatrick took the pass and put it in the back of the net for his first goal to make the score 5-0.
"In all the years I've coached, I've never had a kid score on his first varsity touch, so that was pretty cool," Lehnhart said. "To have that happen, and the kids played well - it was good."
Eagle River scored an own goal with just more than 10 minutes to play in the game for the last score of the day.
As impressive as the Crimson Bears were offensively, their defense was nearly impenetrable. Juneau-Douglas managed 18 shots on goal while holding the Wolves to zero for the entire game.
Sage Thibodeau also added a goal of his own in the opening minute of the game.
Bears roll Wolves, 7-0
The Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears defeated the Eagle River Wolves 7-0 Saturday morning behind a well-balanced scoring attack where seven different players found the net.
The Bears struck first in the 13th minute as senior midfielder Jace Mason scored, volleying the ball into the net off a Sage Thibodeau assist to give Juneau-Douglas a 1-0 lead.
Less than a minute later, Thibodeau added a goal of his own, heading the ball in for a score off a Max Smith assist.
Senior Cole Lendrum tacked on a goal in the 22nd minute, sending a hard shot into the back of the net off a Mason assist.
"It was a corner ... and Phil (Murray) ran through the box and distracted a bunch of players," Landrum said of his goal. "It was bouncing about waist high and I just struck it half-volley out of the air with my left foot."
Sophomore Jacob Sanders extended the Crimson Bear lead to four in the 39th minute, slipping a shot past the Eagle River goalkeeper off a Nick Rutecki assist just moments before halftime.
Juneau-Douglas dominated ball control in the first half, outshooting the Wolves by a wide margin while heading into the break with a 4-0 lead.
Adam Nesheim helped continue the onslaught early in the 2nd half with a well-placed penalty kick in the lower right corner of the net. Nesheim was awarded the free kick after Thibodeau had been fouled inside the box in the previous moments.
Andy Lawson tacked on a goal in the 58th minute off a Riley Paul assist, pushing the Crimson Bear lead to six.
Johnny Joyce assisted Smith to cap off the scoring in the 56th minute with a goal from the top of the box, helping improve the Crimson Bears' record to 8-0-1 on the season.
Juneau-Douglas coach Gary Lehnhart said he was pleased with his team's performance.
"We didn't score early but we played consistently well the whole match and moved the ball well," he said. "We're still not finishing at the rate or pace we need to, but I'm still pleased. We subbed in a lot of young players and it was nice to see that play didn't drop off."
After the game, Mason was awarded the Don Ashe Spirit Award, named after the late Don Ashe, who was important in the development of soccer in Juneau.
"We named that award in honor of him," Lehnhart said. "It goes to a player who plays well on the field but is also an ambassador off of it, and treats opponents with respect. We also look for someone that is like Donny - kind of free-spirited, fun and with a good sense of humor.
"For us, that is Jace Mason."