With three of its top players gone because of injuries, illness and a funeral, the Juneau-Douglas High School boys soccer team used some of its younger players to claim a 2-1 victory over the Service Cougars Saturday afternoon at the Anchorage Football Stadium.
Sophomore John Rue and junior Cal Craig, both recent call-ups this week from Juneau's junior varsity team, scored goals Saturday to lead the Crimson Bears, with the team's top scorer, junior Justin Dorn, adding an assist on Craig's goal. Jason Richards scored the only Service goal of the game.
Juneau was missing senior captain and top defender Troy Choquette to a knee injury that may end up sidelining him for the rest of the season, junior midfielder Luke Knowles to his grandmother's funeral in Connecticut and sophomore midfielder Travis Croteau to the flu.
``Today we played the best game we've played in a month,'' Juneau boys coach Gary Lehnhart said. ``Robert Lossett, who'd been in a slump, played well today, and Kyle Smith stepped in on defense for Troy and did a real nice job.''
On Friday, the Juneau boys struggled early but finally pulled things together to claim a 5-2 victory over the Wasilla Warriors at Wasilla High School. That victory came a day after Juneau lost a heart-breaking decision 3-1 to Colony in a game decided by controversial penalty kicks.
In Friday's game, Justin Dorn broke a 2-2 tie by
scoring on a penalty kick midway through the second half, then added two more goals late in the game for four goals total. Dorn opened the game's scoring with an assist by Knowles, then Craig scored on an assist by Rue in the game's 31st minute. Joe Rucker scored for Wasilla with two minutes left in the half, and John Egger tied things up early in the second half. After his penalty kick, Dorn added goals with assists from senior Jeremy Gleason and sophomore Zach Essary, another recent JV call-up.
``The team was pretty disappointed after the Colony game, which had been a pretty well played game by both teams,'' Lehnhart said. ``Even though the Wasilla score was what it was, we were down and frustrated. Both of their goals were tough on us. You've got to give Wasilla credit. They have improved since they played us last month.''
In girls action, the Crimson Bears suffered in the late minutes in a 1-1 tie with Wasilla on Friday and a 4-2 loss to Service on Saturday. Juneau also lost to Colony 4-2 on Thursday.
In Friday's game, Juneau led 1-0 when Krystle Llanto scored on an assist from Kristen Bressette early in the second half. But in the game's last minute, Wasilla's Christy Hayes scored on a free kick from 35 yards out to tie the score.
``Krystle's goal was a great shot,'' Juneau girls coach Sandi Wagner said. ``She got the ball, stopped it, and turned around and shot. It (the Hayes goal) was just a very well placed ball.''
On Saturday, Service took a 1-0 lead on a breakaway goal by Stefanie Smith, but Juneau tied the game late in the half on a goal by Chelsea Walden on an assist from Llanto. The score stayed 1-1 until late in the second half, when Service scored on a goal by Justine Hammer assisted by Jen Tibbetts. Juneau tied the game with 10 minutes to play as Liza Slotnick scored on a crossing pass from Sarah Croteau that glanced off Llanto's head. But in the game's final two minutes Service picked up goals from Marcie Alzheimer and Erin Gillespie, with both goals coming on lob shots from about 20-25 yards out.
``We played very well, until about four minutes were left,'' Wagner said. ``We lost our intensity, and that's part of our learning process we need to work on for state.''