Juneau-Douglas closes out regular season with wins

After pair of victories over Ketchikan, state tournament looms ahead for Bears

Posted: Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Juneau-Douglas High School boys soccer team closed out the regular season with an impressive sweep of Ketchikan High School at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Park.

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The Crimson Bears (11-2-3, 4-0 Southeast) blanked the Kings 5-0 on Friday and won 5-1 on Saturday's senior night.

Dominic Smith scored two goals and added an assist in Saturday's win.

Flansaas scored in the fifth minute off Smith's assist. In the 21st minute, Smith beat the keeper off a pass from Colin Flynn.

Joe Slagle headed in a goal from Sam Greely in the 31st minute to put JDHS ahead 3-0.

Ketchikan benefited from a Juneau-Douglas own goal three minutes before halftime.

In the second half, Smith scored his second goal of the game off Isaac Stark's assist, and Greely added a goal from Kevin Gullufsen to complete the game's scoring.

JDHS coach Gary Lehnhart lauded Ketchikan's effort on Saturday.

"I was really impressed with Ketchikan," Lehnhart said. "They could've easily mailed it in. They got down early and they were playing as hard at the end as they were in the beginning. Ketchikan put some nice pressure on us toward the end of the game, and Gus Browning had some nice saves."

On Friday, Juneau-Douglas sealed its spot at the state tournament Friday with a pretty 5-0.

The Crimson Bears treated fans to an aesthetically pleasing exhibition of teamwork and passing. Four of the goals came as a result of combination passing and picturesque crosses.

"We spent a lot of time this week reconfiguring things, playing quick and playing together," Lehnhart said on Friday. "I think the guys came out and tried to do that. Every goal was the result of a lot of combinations and ball movement. When they guys are playing unselfishly, that's all you can ask for."

Lehnhart said his team was disappointed in the way it played during a four-game road trip in Anchorage last week. JDHS won three of four games up north, beating Palmer, Service and Dimond high schools while falling to West Anchorage High School.

"Sometimes, especially with young men, it isn't like they're trying to be selfish, it's like they're trying to take too much on their own shoulders," Lehnhart said. "They forget they're much stronger when they play together."

Friday, JDHS showed its strength with an impressive passing performance.

The Bears scored three goals in the first half. Stark picked his spot in the ninth minute after a perfect long cross from Tuavao Maake.

Four minutes later, Flansaas was the recipient of Stark's long pass across the field.

Smith made the score 3-0 in the 14th minute when he buried a penalty kick following a Ketchikan handball.

"The wings were keeping the field spread and stayed wide, which made space in the middle for runs," Flansaas said.

The stars of the game proved to be the hard-working Crimson Bears on the wings. Frequently, the wings would receive a quick pass from fullbacks Zach Farrington, Carlo Ebron and Alex Schirmer and immediately launch an attack.

Juneau's wing players normally run the most of anyone on the field. They must make several long runs up and down the sidelines to reach the ball and feed the forwards with long, accurate passes.

"I thought tonight we got some really good play from our wings - Sam Greely, Jesse West, Andrew Flansaas," Lehnhart said. "I was pleased to see that and our flanks, obviously Isaac Stark had a very good game, and Nathan Ord and Nils Domke ran a lot, put in a lot of miles and a lot of great crosses."

Stark scored his second goal 10 minutes into the second half after a terrific piece of footwork by Flynn.

Flynn ran down a loose ball in the corner and played a pretty back heel past the charging goalkeeper. He then zipped a pass to Stark, who headed into the open net for a goal.

Five minute later Greely ran down a pass from Ord and flicked the ball past the charging Hans Hubbard for the goal.

Defensively, JDHS allowed Ketchikan very few opportunities.

Schirmer in particular had a very solid game. He frequently started the Bears' counterattack with intelligent passes to the midfielders.

"One of his things is he's so consistent," Lehnhart said. "He brings you the same performance every single game."

Sam Post made two saves and stopped a penalty kick, while Browning made one save in the shutout.

Despite the two solid performances, JDHS knows it still has room to improve for the state tournament.

"Playing a lot faster with few touches," said Ebron, the Bears' central defender.

The Bears open play in the state tournament May 31 in Anchorage.

For more pictures visit spotted.juneauempire.com.

• Tim Nichols, sports editor, can be reached at sports@juneauempire.com.

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