The Crimson Bears boys' soccer team has had its issues lately. Juneau-Douglas isn't necessarily struggling on the pitch, but after Saturday's 3-2 win over Ketchikan, the team is struggling to get healthy players on the field.
"We're snake-bit right now," said Juneau-Douglas coach Gary Lehnhart in reference to the injury bug that has plagued the Bears (13-1-3) recently.
With juniors Nathan Fosket and Max Smith already out with injuries, juniors Rhett Bennett and Andy Lawson were the most recent casualties for JDHS. Lawson turned his ankle during warm-ups on Friday before the Bears went on to tie Ketchikan 1-1, and Fosket took a shot to the quad just minutes into the game. Both played limited minutes during Friday and Saturday's matches, and senior forward Victor Wilson returned from an ankle injury that has hampered him all season.
"This has been the craziest year from an injury standpoint," Lehnhart said. "And these are all core players for us, so I'm actually feeling fortunate that we got out of here with a win and a tie."
The injured Bennett accounted for the Bears' only score on Friday shortly after the Kings got on the board first. Ketchikan scored off a collision between three JDHS players and one of the Kings. Juneau-Douglas goalkeeper Taylor Lehnhart was unable to keep the ball from going over his head and into the goal.
"They have a talented keeper and he made some good saves on us, but we missed some," Gary Lehnhart said. "For them to come down after not really having many opportunities and score on the one they had - we weathered the storm pretty nicely and came out in the second half and played well, but we still struggled."
During Saturday's win, the Bears jumped to a 2-0 lead and held that edge going into the half.
"We were not being very efficient at all and Ketchikan played great," Gary Lehnhart said. "But (Saturday) we came out and played well right from the start. I thought we took the game to them and they weren't even getting into our half, but it just seemed like there was a wall across the goal."
JDHS finally scored on a goal from senior Luc Rondeau in the 35th minute. Gary Lehnhart said he felt the score put Ketchikan on their heels as the Bears went down and scored three minutes later on a Bennett goal off an assist at the top of the box from Lawson.
The Bears gave up their first goal in the 50th minute and quickly followed that score a minute later off a collision in goal. With the score tied 2-2, Gary Lehnhart said he felt his team pulled it together well in order to get the last score on a penalty kick in the 52nd minute to make the final score 3-2.
Juneau-Douglas will be back at home this week for matches against Thunder Mountain and Sitka before welcoming Ketchikan to Adair-Kennedy Field the weekend of May 21-22.