Juneau-Douglas and Thunder Mountain will meet this evening at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park in a boys'-girls' varsity soccer doubleheader, pitting friendly faces against each other the city's new crosstown prep rivalry.
For the boys, who play first at 5 p.m., it will be a rematch of a 13-0 mismatch in the schools' first meeting on April 26.
It will be the unofficial first meeting between the girls' teams. Thunder Mountain forfeited its scheduled match April 21 after having a shortage of available players.
TMHS co-coach Kris Coffee has since added three new players, bolstering the roster up to 15.
Both squads from JDHS are among the state's elite and are hopeful title contenders, making it a tall order for the young Falcons to overcome.
"I think the matches are going to be tough," Coffee said. "They have a lot of great players. But we're looking forward to it. I'm hoping that our girls have a good time.
"It's going to be difficult, but our girls are strong and they're going to try their best."
Coffee said she's seen the most improvement on the defensive side of the ball for her team.
"And their overall stamina," she added. "We don't have very many players, so these girls have to play the entire game almost. Unlike Juneau, they're not a bunch of soccer club girls that have grown up playing together. We have girls that played some Parks & Rec, and we have five girls who have never even played soccer. But they have really improved as far as working together and playing as a team."
JDHS has a 7-2-1 in-state record, and is 7-6-1 overall, though the matches played in California in April have no effect on seeding for the state tournament. TMHS is 0-5.
JDHS coach Matt Dusenberry said his girls are excited about playing against their friends and former classmates for the first time.
"I think, as we've seen through the various sports, (Thunder Mountain) is a new and upcoming program," he said. "They have limited numbers and they're a little inexperienced, but they're willing to play us and ready to go, so we're looking forward to some competition."
Coffee said she wants to see the Falcons gain a measure of experience with today's match.
"Juneau is a great team," she said. "I just hope we learn some things from the match and take some positives out of it. That's my goal."
JDHS goes 3-1 in Anchorage
Over the weekend, Juneau-Douglas had a four-game road swing to Anchorage, topping Palmer 7-1 on April 28 in a regular season matchup before competing in the Dimond Tournament, where the Bears finished third out of six teams.
Five different Bears scored against Palmer, including one each for Solana Ashe, Mahlet Tingley and Dorothy Brent, and two goals apiece for Melissa Skan and Annika Ord. Brent also had an assist, along with Kaya Christensen, Daffodil Alinson and Marlena Sloss.
The tournament had an unusual scoring system, which saw teams score six points for a win, two points for a tie, up to three points for three or more goals scored and one point for a shutout. The most points a team could tally was 10.
Interestingly, the only team that finished undefeated in the tournament, South Anchorage, did not win because of the scoring system.
Dimond finished on top of the points total, followed by South, JDHS and West Valley, with Chugiak and Wasilla bringing up the rear.
JDHS defeated Dimond 1-0, with Sarah Tarver scoring the lone goal, assisted by Annika Ord.
The Bears topped Chugiak 2-0 in Game 2 behind goals from Dorothy Brent and Daffodil Alinson. Tarver assisted.
The Bears then fell to South, 1-0 in Game 2 of they tourney.
"I thought we did well overall, going 3-1 on the Anchorage trip. We got to play South, who is arguably the second best team in Anchorage. Dimond is probably the third best team," Dusenberry said. "The South game was ours to be had. It was one of those games where we were in the attacking half for the majority of the game.
"They got the ball down a couple of times and got the one shot off and scored on it," he continued. "It really was good for our girls to go up there, compete, play well and know that we can play with the best in the state. Now we just need to come back home and work on a few things."
JV girls improve to 5-1
The Juneau-Douglas girls junior varsity team upped its record to 5-1 over the weekend.
The JV Bears defeated South 2-0 on April 28 behind goals from May Suson and Barbara Lux. Suson assisted Lux on her goal. JDHS then rolled 9-0 over Chugiak on April 29. Sarah Donohoe and Lux each had two goals. Suson recorded a trio of assists.
The Bears won 11-0 over Wasilla on April 30. Donohoe added two more goals, as did Davenport and Kiera Clark. Aubrey Brisco had two assists, as did Lux.