The Juneau-Douglas High School girls soccer team sent all it could at East Anchorage goalkeeper Cassie Gardner, but Gardner withstood the barrage as the Thunderbirds knocked off Juneau 3-1 in the first round of the state soccer tournament Thursday at Skyview High School in Soldotna.
Juneau's Krystle Llanto and Liza Slotnick combined for five shots in the second minute of the second half, two of them from point-blank range, but Gardner was able to stop all of them to preserve the 1-1 tie. Then East took the lead when Aimee Wright scored five minutes later, and East added an insurance goal by Kelly Ridge midway through the second half.
``Pretty intense. Pretty intense,'' Gardner told the Anchorage Daily News after the game. ``You have to forget about the people and worry about the ball. ... Something like that gives me confidence and I think it gives the team confidence. You get a buildup of energy.''
``She had some good saves,'' Wagner said. ``What's important is we've got nothing to be ashamed of. The kids played hard. East is a good team and they moved the ball well.''
The first half also opened with a flurry, as East's Brittney Fosbrook scored just 51 seconds into the game on an assist from Stefanie Henderson, who assisted on all three goals for East (9-4-1 this season). Juneau (6-7-2) tied the score before the game was three minutes old as Llanto scored at the 2:26 mark on an assist from Slotnick.
``Hannah (Slotnick, Liza's older sister) played well on defense and, after the first goal, Amanda (Krafft, Juneau's goalkeeper) made some good saves,'' Wagner said.
With the loss, Juneau drops into the consolation bracket where it will play Kenai (10-3-0) this afternoon in a loser-out game. Kenai lost 3-0 to Service (14-1-1).
``I know nothing about Kenai,'' Wagner said. ``I've never seen them play. All we can do is go out and play as best we can.''
Overtime shootouts decided Thursday's other first-round girls games, which were both still tied after two 10-minute overtime periods (which are both played to their conclusion regardless of whether a goal is scored) and two five-minute sudden-death overtime periods. The Colony Knights (14-2-1) outlasted West Anchorage (7-6-1) 2-1 as Amber Tubbs scored the clinching goal on a penalty kick. And in the late game, Bartlett goalkeeper Stephanie Krawczyk made two saves in the shootout then scored the clincher as the upstart Golden Bears (4-9-3) upset Palmer (9-3-3) by the same 2-1 score.
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