The secret is out. Justin Dorn's scoring success this year is because of his jersey, not due to any special skills the Juneau-Douglas High School junior might display on the soccer pitch.
Late in Juneau's 6-1 victory over the Ketchikan Kings Saturday night at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park, Juneau coach Gary Lehnhart began pulling several of his starters. As he went deeper into his bench, Juneau ran out of jerseys so some of the starters -- including Dorn who shattered the team's scoring record on Friday -- loaned their jerseys to the younger Juneau players. Dorn pitched his jersey to Jeff Fanning, who scored the final goal of the contest.
``All this time, I thought it was me,'' Dorn joked after the game, when Fanning tossed him back the jersey.
Earlier in the game, Dorn scored two goals to raise his season total to 16 goals for the season. Dorn, who only had seven goals entering the weekend, shattered the team record of 10 goals set by current Gonzaga University player Michael Janes by scoring four goals in Friday's 7-0 victory over Ketchikan. After the game, Dorn practically apologized to his teammates for taking too much attention away from their solid team efforts this year.
``You guys are giving a lot more than I am,'' Dorn told the Crimson Bears in a brief huddle after Friday's game. ``It's all about a team effort.''
``To his credit, Justin knows and acknowledges that all his goals are scored with teamwork,'' Lehnhart said. ``But he's the only player I've ever had who's started every game since he was a freshman, and he's only a junior. I knew he'd be good and I knew he could score, but I am surprised by 13 goals (now 16).''
After a successful weekend of soccer - where Juneau claimed four total victories over Ketchikan and Wasilla, and also ensured itself a berth in the inaugural state soccer tournament - the Crimson Bears could enjoy a little levity. After opening the weekend with a 3-0 victory over Wasilla on Thursday, Juneau added a closer-thanthe-score victory over Ketchikan on Friday and a 4-0 victory over Wasilla on Saturday before wrapping up the weekend with the second victory over the Kings.
About the only down moment of the weekend came midway through the second half of Saturday night's finale, when Ketchikan's Richard Harney scored on a direct free kick just outside the goal box to break up Juneau's chances for a four-game weekend shutout.
``We were kind of disappointed about that,'' said Juneau captain Troy Choquette, who anchored the Crimson Bear defense. ``I think we sent a message about how well we're playing, and I expect Wasilla will take it north with them. We played well as a team.''
``This weekend set the tone for the future,'' Juneau's Jeremy Gleason said. ``We wanted the shutout first thing, then we'd worry about scoring. We've been linking the ball well as a defense (moving the ball forward to the offensive attack). If we played kick ball instead of linking the ball we wouldn't be as successful in our attack.''
While Dorn dominated the scoring on both Thursday and Friday, scoring six goals total in those two games, Juneau began spreading the offense around on Saturday. Against Wasilla in the afternoon, four different Crimson Bears scored goals (Matt Wetzstein, Dorn, Gleason and Robert Lossett). And in Saturday night's finale four more Crimson Bears scored (Wetzstein twice, Dorn twice, Lossett and Fanning).
``Now we're a lot more confident and we're all starting to get our shots,'' Lossett said. ``That (a diversified offense) will help out. We just have to keep playing our game.''
``Our defense has definitely been winning these games for us,'' Wetzstein said. ``The defense has been giving us a lot of attacks.''
The diversified offense actually started in the second half of Friday's victory over Ketchikan, which opened with Juneau playing to a sluggish 1-0 lead at halftime before breaking the game open midway through the second half. The first four goals of the game were scored by Dorn, who wore his `lucky shirt,' a ratty old undershirt borrowed from teammate Rory Fletcher, but the final three goals were scored by Travis Croteau, Gleason and Aaron Ver. Not only did other Bears begin scoring, but Juneau goalkeeper Zuriel `Z' Ebron made a huge save when the score was 2-0 to protect Juneau's lead.
``It's all 11 of us,'' Croteau said. ``It's mostly all of us charging through.''
``Our biggest attribute (as a team) is our well-roundedness,'' Gleason said. ``We're getting better every game.''
Juneau (6-1-1 overall) took a 3-0 halftime lead in Saturday's finale as Wetzstein scored on an assist from Croteau in the game's sixth minute, Dorn scored on an assist from Luke Knowles in the 16th minute and Dorn scored on an assist from Fletcher in the 31st minute. Lossett opened the second half with an unassisted goal in the 12th minute of the second half, only to have Ketchikan's Richard Harney break the shutout streak in the 17th minute of the second half. Wetzstein answered four minutes later with a header goal off an assist from Fletcher, then Jeff Fanning capped off the scoring with two minutes to play on an assist from Jonathan Rue.
Harney, who scored two goals Friday when Ketchikan (2-3-1) upset Wasilla 3-1 for the second-year team's first victory over a varsity squad, said getting on the scoreboard was a big accomplishment for the Kings against Juneau.
``We had some intense moments,'' Harney said. ``I felt we had some things we can build on. Last year we were basically a JV team, so we finally won a varsity game.''
In Saturday's victory over Wasilla (2-3-2), Wetzstein opened the scoring on an assist from Croteau in the game's first minute. Dorn scored midway through the first half on an assist from Gleason, then Gleason scored an unassisted goal eight minutes later and Lossett scored on an assist from Dorn two minutes after that.
Juneau pulled nearly all of its starters in the second half, resting them for the night's finale that clinched the state berth, and survived two scary moments to open the second half. Wasilla's Chad Rigdon took a penalty kick three minutes into the second half, but hit the left crossbar, and two minutes later Joe Rucker booted his direct free kick from just outside the goal box right into Juneau's defensive wall.
``It would have pumped us up if we'd scored. It would have gotten our emotions up,'' Rigdon said. ``Juneau's the first real (strong) team we've played this year. We know the only way we're going to get better is to play tough teams like this.''
``This is definitely a good gauge of where we need to be,'' Wasilla coach Blake Livingston said. ``We have a lot of respect for Juneau. We're not going to be a top-caliber team unless we play them.''
In Friday's victory over Ketchikan, Dorn scored in the game's first minute on an assist from Knowles, but that was the only score of the first half. In the second half, Dorn scored on an assist by Lossett, then on a penalty kick and added an unassisted goal on a rebound of his own shot to break open the game. Croteau scored an unassisted goal, Gleason scored with an assist from Lossett and Ver scored with an assist from John Farleigh to round out the scoring.
In Ketchikan's victory over Wasilla on Friday, Rigdon opened the scoring with an unassisted goal to give the Warriors the lead. But then Wasilla defender Travis Dutcher received a red card for using his hands to stop a Ketchikan shot that was going into the net. With Dutcher ejected and Wasilla playing a man short the rest of the game, Ketchikan tied the score on a penalty kick by Weston Wade. Harney scored two secondhalf goals to lead the Kings to victory, the first on an assist by Mark Anglin and the second unassisted.