The Juneau-Douglas High School boys soccer team handed the Dimond Lynx their first loss of the season as the Crimson Bears claimed a 4-1 victory late Friday night at Anchorage Football Stadium. On Saturday afternoon at AFS, the Crimson Bears finished their regular season with a 1-0 victory over the Chugiak Mustangs.
"It was a pretty exciting game," Juneau boys coach Gary Lehnhart said of the victory over Dimond. "It didn't get started until 9 p.m. and the lights were on. It was pretty intense from the very beginning and the play was back-and-forth all night."
In girls action at AFS, the Crimson Bears claimed a 1-0 victory over Dimond on Friday afternoon and then lost to Chugiak 3-1 on Saturday afternoon as they also wrapped up their regular season. Both Juneau teams are off this coming weekend, then head back to Anchorage for the state tournament May 24-26 at AFS.
In Friday night's boys game, Juneau (9-3-1 overall) took a 1-0 lead six minutes before halftime as Justin Dorn scored off a headed pass from Jonathan Rue, who was set up on the play by a crossing pass from Travis Croteau.
Just seven minutes into the second half, Juneau scored again as Collin Daugherty blasted a direct free kick through Dimond's wall and into the net. Less than two minutes later, Dorn made it 3-0 on an assist from Croteau after Robert Lossett made a throw-in. In the game's 60th minute, Daugherty scored on another direct free kick to make it 4-0. Dimond's Jon Berg scored on a header with seven minutes remaining in the game to help the Lynx (7-1-2) avoid the shutout.
"This was one of the best high school game's I've seen as far as the energy and intensity level," Lehnhart said. "When we scored our third goal, we had a lot of people there and our crowd was going nuts but theirs was in shock. I don't think Dimond's given up three goals in many games this year. Last year, when Dimond lost (to Colony) in the semifinals at state, they were making some comments like they thought that was the championship game. I don't think some of our guys, especially our seniors, had forgotten that."
Lehnhart said his usual starting goalkeeper, Zuriel "Zee" Ebron, woke up after Thursday night's victory over Service and couldn't raise his arm, so he had to use sophomore Colin Connerton in his place. He said Connerton made an acrobatic save of a shot by Dimond's Kenard Walker a few minutes before the Lynx goal. Lehnhart said Ebron may have broken his clavicle in a collision during the Service game.
In Saturday afternoon's boys game, Juneau dominated the Mustangs (2-9-0) for most of the game, but could only muster a score on a penalty kick by Luke Knowles in the game's 65th minute. Lehnhart said Dorn had a sore hamstring, so he only played about five to 10 minutes as a precautionary measure and Juneau struggled on offense without its leading scorer.
In Friday afternoon's girls game, Juneau (9-4-1) scored on a penalty kick in the game's final minutes to claim the victory over Dimond (4-5-1). Erin Flynn scored Juneau's goal with two minutes left.
On Saturday afternoon, Juneau's Krista Heard scored on an assist from Crystal Barr in the 16th minute. But the Chugiak girls (6-3-1) rallied with goals by in the 32nd minute by Julie Whitaker, 37th minute by Lani Mackay and 55th minute by Brittany Little.
"We learned a lot," Juneau girls co-coach Colin Barton said of the weekend, which saw Juneau go 1-2. "We had a good game against Service, even though we were beaten. Three games in three days a little much for these kids. We need a little bit of rest and regrouping, getting a few things right together, mainly mentally. I don't think we're prepared to play three games in a row yet, which of course we'll have to do if we're going to go far at state. The girls played well in the 1-0 game, and I think today was more a case of exhaustion."