The state tournament berth-clinching victory for the Juneau-Douglas High School girls soccer team ran late Friday night, so late it ended when an automatic timer in the stadium lights at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park decided it was time for everyone to go home.
The Crimson Bears were leading 9-0 with seven minutes left in the game when the automatic timer - which turns the lights off at 11 p.m. so the neighboring residents can get some sleep - went off. Suddenly there was a click, and instant darkness fell over the stadium as only a few small emergency lights provided illumination around the field. The referees and coaches conferred, and the game was called.
The victory clinched Southeast's lone state berth for the undefeated Crimson Bears, who also won Saturday's game 8-0.
"I'm ready to curl up on the bench and go to sleep," Juneau senior Greta Thibodeau said when she came out of the game about five minutes before the lights went out.
The game was delayed because the Region V Track and Field Championships - which took place at Adair-Kennedy earlier on Friday - ran long and then there were boys junior varsity and varsity games to play before the girls took the field. A few of the girls joked about playing the game in their pajamas.
Once the teams took the field, it didn't take long for Juneau's offense to wake up as Thibodeau and Theresa Badilla both recorded hat tricks (three goals) for the Crimson Bears (13-0-0 overall, 4-0-0 Region V). Nicole Lupro scored twice and Gretchen Dierking added a single goal to lead Juneau. Jessy Post had two assists, while Thibodeau, Kendri Cesar and Monica Daugherty added one assist apiece.
"We've been a high-scoring team this year and there are three of us - me, Theresa and Nicole - with over 15 goals each," Thibodeau said. "It felt good to win by a lot, to win decisively."
"It's about being in the right place at the right time, and crashing the goal," said Badilla, who recorded her second straight hat trick. "We wanted to win by a lot, and we kept possession of the ball. One of our goals was not to let them into our back third."
In Saturday's game, Thibodeau and Lupro both recorded hat tricks, while Badilla added a single goal. The other Juneau goal was scored on a Ketchikan own-goal. Rachelle Rodman and Daugherty had assists.
The Juneau defense was its usual stingy self this weekend. The only three goals allowed by Juneau this season - two to Palmer on April 17 and one to Ketchikan on April 19 - have been scored on penalty kicks. The Crimson Bears have recorded nine straight shutouts, and they rarely let the ball cross midfield against Ketchikan this weekend (7-7-0 overall, 0-4-0 region).
"We have an incredible back line," Thibodeau said, referring to defenders Laura Flynn, Tasha McKoy, Talisa Rhea, Lindsey Heumann, Alida Bus and Monica Daugherty, who keep goalkeeper Julie Heard bored because she faces so few shots. "We know if we go for a move, they'll be there for us."
"You can always count on them to distribute the ball," Daugherty said. "I've been playing flank, and I find I see the glory in a beautiful assist like I had for Greta's goal."
Daugherty won the team's sombrero award (for best header) and Flynn won the hard-hat award (for best worker) after Friday's game. On Saturday, Lupro won the sombrero and Malissa Susson won the hard hat.
"It's nice having a game like this before state," Flynn said. "Tomorrow will be fun, because it will be our last home game."
"We only let them get the ball over a couple of times. We played well," Bus said.
Badilla got things started on offense Friday when she scored in the game's sixth minute on an assist from Thibodeau, then scored an unassisted second goal three minutes later on a long shot after a corner kick. Thibodeau scored on an assist from Post four minutes later, then Lupro scored on an assist from Post five minutes after that to give Juneau a 4-0 halftime lead.
Three minutes into the second half, Thibodeau scored her second goal on an unassisted play that left Ketchikan goalkeeper Amy Wadley sprawled on the turf after a collision. Wadley stayed in, but gave up quick goals to Dierking on an assist from Cesar and an unassisted score by Badilla. Wadley was pulled for relief goalkeeper Katie Geldaker, who gave up an unassisted goal to Lupro and a score by Thibodeau with an assist by Daugherty before Wadley returned to the game.
Juneau had subbed liberally most of the game, and just before the lights went out McKoy went back to play goalkeeper and Heard came out to play forward. But the game ended early, called because of sudden darkness.
In Thursday's junior varsity game, the Crimson Bears claimed a 3-0 victory over Ketchikan in their only contest of the weekend. Julia Nave, Sarah Cohen and Cindy Eriksen scored for Juneau.