In recent weeks, Juneau-Douglas girls' soccer coach Matt Dusenberry stressed to his team the importance of getting out to a fast start during games. Apparently, the girls were listening.
In the finale of a three-game home stand versus Southeast Conference opponents, the Crimson Bears (10-4-1) raced out of the gate to a 4-0 lead in the first 11 minutes of their match against Ketchikan on Friday. That proved to be enough as the JDHS offense could not be contained on its way to a 10-0 victory.
In one game against Thunder Mountain and two versus Ketchikan over a three-day stretch, the Crimson Bears scored 33 goals and allowed none.
"For us, today, we took a different approach. We changed our formation just to try something different in case something pops up in the next couple of games and we need to make adjustments," Dusenberry said. "We can take thatopportunity (Friday), see how that works and maybe put the kids in an uncomfortable position."
Whatever adjustments Dusenberry did make, they worked. During the three-game stretch of shutout soccer, Juneau-Douglas was hardly threatened defensively, and the offense was firing on all cylinders.
"It seemed to work for us tonight," Dusenberry said. "So, hopefully, they remember this in case we have to go there at another point during the season."
Sophomore Solana Ashe got the scoring started in the fourth minute with a volley into the back of the net, and within a stretch of six minutes, junior Sarah Tarver, sophomore Dorothy Brent and junior Melissa Skan each scored a goal of their own to jump out on the Kings. After another Tarver score and a goal from junior Rebekah Badilla, the Crimson Bears took a 6-0 lead into halftime.
Tarver and Ashe would each tack on two more goals in the second half to run the score to 10-0. Tarver's four goals on Friday gave her 10 for the homestand, and the Bears' play as a whole put them in a commanding position in the Southeast Conference.
Although 33 goals in three games is impressive, Dusenberry said he would still like to see the team capitalize even more on scoring opportunities going forward.
"I want to see us finish off the cross," he said. "I thought, within the last two games in particular, we were getting in some nice crosses and rewarding those individuals by putting something in right in front (of goal). But we were coming in way too soon and the ball was going over our heads or skimming right through."
Senior captain Ashley Soto said the team has started to click after a fairly slow start to the season.
"I think we've been doing pretty well," she said. "We've improved a lot and have been scoring a lot more goals after not scoring much in the beginning."
Soto added the difference now is that the Bears have had time to jell in practices and in games, and she feels good about where the team is right now.
"Practice has helped, but we still need it," she said. "I think we'll be able to pick it up and keep improving with every practice and every game."
The Crimson Bears will travel down the road to Thunder Mountain High School on Wednesday evening to try and keep the streak alive against the winless Falcons.