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ANCHORAGE - The Juneau-Douglas girls soccer team beat West Valley 2-1 Thursday at Anchorage Football Stadium, advancing to a semifinal match at 4 p.m. today against the Chugiak Mustangs in the 2006 State Soccer Championships.
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While the Crimson Bears (14-0-2) found the net just twice, they dominated most of the game. JDHS took 12 shots to West Valley's three.
"We should have had it sewn up easily in the first half," Juneau co-coach Colin Barton said. "We had golden opportunities."
The Crimson Bears seemed to have the Wolfpack outmatched in athleticism, but couldn't seem to score when chances arose.
Juneau's Sarah Christianson was selected as player of the game after recording a goal and an assist. Christianson shared the honor with West Valley goalkeeper Kate Quinn.
"I'm pretty excited about it," Christianson said of the award.
Christianson scored the game's first goal in the 30th minute, zinging a kick by Quinn after the West Valley goalkeeper made an initial save. The goal came after 29 minutes of near-constant offense by the Crimson Bears.
Just two minutes after the opening whistle, Juneau had an offside call right in front of the West Valley goal. In the 18th minute, a shot by Gretchen Dierking off a pass from Christianson caught the goalie flat-footed, but the shot barely missed wide left.
JDHS girls soccer Road to the championship
Who: JDHS vs. Chugiak in the state semifinals.
When: 4 p.m. today.
Where: Anchorage Football Stadium.
What's at stake: The winner advances to Saturday's title game.
In the last minute of the half, Quinn made a diving save off Margaret Sekona's header.
The Wolfpack managed to slow the Crimson Bears down in the second half, but it was still clear who the aggressor was in the match.
Juneau's second goal came in the 53rd minute, when a pass from Christianson cut across the middle and found a wide open Sekona. The sophomore scored before Quinn could recover.
West Valley's lone goal came on a bizarre play in the 60th minute.
The Wolfpack's Katy DeLong sent a soaring pass across the middle that hit Juneau's Brittany Lehnhart in the head, as she was running back towards the goal. The ball went uncontested into the net, with DeLong getting credit for the goal.
The Wolfpack then had a surge of momentum, resulting in offensive aggression West Valley didn't have in the first half. After a shot in the 65th minute by West Valley's Linda Evan sailed just high of the goalpost, Juneau regained control for the remainder of the game.
West Valley will play Kenai in the losers' bracket.
The Juneau Empire sports department can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org