The Juneau-Douglas High School girls soccer team only allowed one goal as it won four split-squad games Friday and Saturday at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park, but even though she saw improvement in her team Juneau coach Sandi Wagner still saw room for the Crimson Bears to grow.
``We had stuff we did well, but we had some stuff we need to work on,'' Wagner said after Juneau capped off the weekend with a 5-0 victory over the Wasilla Warriors late Saturday afternoon. ``We're getting better, but we need to keep working. Our experience is getting better and we're growing tremendously.''
Juneau opened the weekend on Friday with a 6-1 victory over the first-year Ketchikan Kings and a 4-0 victory over the more-established Wasilla Warriors. Saturday, Juneau beat Ketchikan 4-0 to clinch the Region V berth in the inaugural
state tournament May 25-27 at Soldotna's Skyview High School, then closed out the weekend with another shutout victory over the Warriors.
``We did awesome,'' said Juneau sophomore goalkeeper Amanda Krafft, who earned both shutouts in the Wasilla games and rarely faced a difficult shot. ``That's why it was a shutout, it was our defense. Annie (Heffern) was doing awesome.''
Juneau (6-1-1 overall) mixed varsity and junior varsity players into two units for the weekend, with the more-experienced Crimson Bears mostly playing on the squad that faced Wasilla. There were even a couple of players who joined both squads.
In Saturday's finale for the girls, Juneau opened the scoring against Wasilla with an unassisted goal by Adrienne Gordon in the game's eighth minute followed five minutes later by an unassisted goal from Ella Magallanes. Gordon's score went off a defender, and when Wasilla's goalkeeper Lesa Starr tried to make the save she accidentally carried the ball into the net. Magallanes scored on a nice 20-yard kick over the top of the defense.
``I wasn't sure if it went in,'' Gordon said of her goal. ``I heard it go in, but I had to wait a minute because I didn't hear a whistle.''
``Mine was off a follow (shot) with the left foot,'' Magallanes said.
The score stayed 2-0 until late in the second half, when Michael Kohan scored two goals within a minute of each other with about 12 minutes left to play. Kohan's first goal came on what appeared to be a crossing pass rather than a shot, and her second goal came on a rebound of a shot by Krystle Llanto. Magallanes closed out the scoring in the game's final minute on an assist by Nobu Koch, who'd missed all but the last six minutes of the game because she was playing her French horn in the Southeast Alaska Music Festival.
``That kept us going,'' Kohan said of her two goals. ``We started shooting again. We'd been trying to cross the ball to the middle instead of shooting for awhile.''
``I want to keep playing,'' said Koch, who is normally a starter. ``I'm glad I got here in time to play something, though.''
Even though there was a long dry spell where Juneau didn't score in the middle of the game, the Crimson Bears thought they did better than they did in their first game against Wasilla (4-3). In Friday's game with Wasilla the first half ended in a scoreless tie and it wasn't until the second half that Juneau took over the game.
``That was good we got those goals early today,'' Juneau's Liza Slotnick said. ``In that first game it took us a whole half to score.''
In Saturday's early game, Leah Krafft scored two goals to lead the Crimson Bears over Ketchikan.
Krafft opened the scoring in the game's fourth minute, scoring over the top of the defense on an assist from B.J. Robinson. Robinson scored off a corner kick 10 minutes later when Ketchikan's goalkeeper had the ball bounce off her hands. Erica Northam added a third goal late in the half when she headed in a crossing pass from Ashley Peterson to give Juneau a 3-0 halftime lead.
Krafft then scored on a breakaway with an assist from Peterson in the third minute of the second half for the game's final score. Amy Henderson and Courtney Wetzstein split duties in the net to share the shutout.
On Friday, Juneau controlled most of the action in the first half against Wasilla but the Crimson Bears couldn't find the net.
But Juneau's offense sparked in the second minute of the second half as Hannah Slotnick scored on a direct free kick from just outside the goal box. Two minutes later, Krystle Llanto scored her 11th goal of the season on an assist from Liza Slotnick. Gordon, who missed the Colony series last weekend with a sprained ankle, made it 3-0 with 12 minutes left in the game, scoring on an assist from Koch. And Chelsea Walden scored an unassisted goal in the game's final minute.
``I think getting that goal energized us,'' Hannah Slotnick said of the game's first goal.
Liza Slotnick did a nice job setting up Llanto's score, running wide to trap a ball before it crossed the end line, then turning and sending a nice crossing pass to Llanto in front of the net.
``I've had bronchitis and even though I'm not breathing well, I knew that was a perfect ball and I had to get it to Krystle before it went out of bounds,'' Slotnick said.
Earlier on Friday, Ashley Peterson and Leah Krafft both recorded hat tricks as Juneau beat Ketchikan (0-7).
Peterson scored an unassisted goal in the game's second minute, then added goals in the 34th (assisted by Angela Regalbuto) and 37th minute (unassisted) to complete her hat trick before halftime. Krafft scored an unassisted goal in the 28th minute of the first half, then added unassisted goals in the 27th and 37th minutes of the second half to complete her hat trick.
Ketchikan scored only its second goal of the season in the 29th minute of the second half, as Anne Elliott scored on an assist from Sarah Brandt-Erichsen. Ketchikan's only other goal of the season came in a game against a team from Canada last weekend.