The Juneau Quicksilver U16 girls soccer team needed extra time to claim a 1-1 tie with the Alaska Goldstrikers '87 of Anchorage during opening-day action Wednesday at the Alaska Youth Soccer State Cup in Fairbanks.
The Goldstrikers beat Juneau 3-1 in last year's championship game and had won the last three meetings between the two teams.
Juneau's Kokii Stekoll scored on a rebound of a free kick by Jessy Post in the game's 81st minute for the tie. Games for this age group are 80 minutes long, but this game had stoppage time due to two yellow cards (conduct warnings) given to Goldstrikers players.
"Quicksilver played their best possession game ever today, dominating the majority of play," Quicksilver team manager Leslie Houston said. "We missed a few scoring opportunities, but we never let down."
Juneau goalkeeper Erin Cottingham made several saves, including a big save of a second-half breakaway by Anchorage's Elizabeth Jones. Cottingham came charging out of the goal box and slide-tackled Jones, coming up with the ball and preventing Anchorage from taking the lead, Houston said. The Anchorage goal scorer's name was not available.
"It was a team effort all the way for Quicksilver," Houston said. "We had an extremely strong showing from the Quicksilver defensive line and the midfield, who applied constant pressure and consistently distributed the ball forward. ... This was a big game for Quicksilver to tie a team, they have, until now, felt to be untouchable."
The Quicksilver's tie highlighted a day that saw Juneau Soccer Club teams post a 3-2-2 record to open the tournament. The winning teams in each of the age divisions will advance to the Far West Regional tourney in Hawaii in June 2003.
The Juneau Titans U14 girls team got off to a 1-0-1 start in its round-robin bracket. The Titans beat the Flaming Lizards of Fairbanks 5-0 after posting a 1-1 tie with the Anchorage Youth Soccer Association Arsenal.
In other games, the Juneau Riptide U13 boys claimed a 5-0 victory over the Cook Inlet Soccer Club Bombardier Falcons; the Juneau Xtratuffs U13 girls beat Eclipse '90 of Fairbanks 2-0; the Juneau Jaguars U14 boys lost to the Alaska Goldstrikers '86 1-0 and the Juneau Orcas U15 boys dropped a 7-0 decision to the Fairbanks Renegades.
Wednesday's games were played in a smoky haze from nearby forest fires, which threatened to force the cancellation of some games for health reasons, Juneau Soccer Club president Rod Flynn said. He said the later games were played in a steady rain, which washed the smoke out of the sky while providing the Juneau teams with familiar playing conditions.
In the two Titans games, the Juneau team used a balanced attack to tie the defending state runners-up and also claim a big victory.
Danielle Barr scored Juneau's only goal in the tie with Arsenal, an unassisted score about 10 minutes into the second half that tied the game. Titans coach Jamie Waste said the team had numerous scoring opportunities throughout the game, but only found the net once.
"It was a very solid team effort with strong performances from midfielder Danielle Barr, backs Lindsey Kato and B.G. Olmstead and forward Talisa Rhea," Waste said.
In the late game, Kayla Harmon scored two goals, while Rhea, Amy Villanueva and Stephanie Hinckle each had one goal. Jessica Waste had an assist and goalkeeper Keri Williamson earned the shutout.
"We had strong performances from back Sarah Christianson, midfielder Stephanie Hinckle and midfielder Jessica Waste," Jamie Waste said. "It was very difficult playing two games in one day."
The Juneau Xtratuffs (named for the popular rubber boot) knocked off the U12 state champions with its victory on Wednesday.
Isabel Walman scored in the first half with an assist by Shaina Fay, while Margaret Sekona scored in the second half on an assist by Walman for the two Juneau goals. Nellie Metcalf earned the shutout in goal.
Xtratuffs coach Tom Rutecki said his team scored in the first minutes of each half after making crisp passes to move the ball up the field. Juneau's defense held the Fairbanks team to just four shots on goal.
"Our defense succeeded in shutting down the other team, preventing any serious threats," Rutecki said. "Our starting defenders did a great job keeping the ball away from their goal, aiding the goalie in a shutout. The defense was led by Clarissa Souson, Kirsten Jorgensen and Elizabeth Talmage."
Rutecki said Amanda Soto had a chance to score a goal for Juneau after taking a pass from Lauren Verrelli, but Soto's shot went 50 feet over the goal. He said she missed the goal, but her shot struck a pigeon flying overhead and killed it.
In the Juneau Riptide victory, Colin Flynn scored two unassisted goals, while Jesse West had two goals and an assist, Elias Daugherty scored once, and Elliott Ford and Sam Greely both picked up assists. Sam Post earned the shutout in goal.
Flynn opened the scoring just 52 seconds into the game on a 25-yard shot, then added a second goal five minutes later to give Juneau a 2-0 lead through halftime. Daugherty scored on an assist from West to open the second half, then West scored the game's final two goals. Rod Flynn, who coaches this team, said defenders Justin Gunderson, Neil Weller, Isaac Stark and Dominic Smith played an excellent defensive game.
The defending state champion Jaguars outshot and outplayed the Alaska Goldstrikers, but the Goldstrikers came away with the victory.
Jaguars coach Mark Kelley said the Goldstrikers scored on a shot from outside the 18-yard box in the first few minutes of the game. After that, the Jaguars and Goldstrikers settled into a defensive battle.
"We totally dominated them," Kelley said, as the Goldstrikers took a defensive strategy rather than trying to score another goal. "We had 20 or 30 shots on goal."
But, Kelley said, the Jaguars' shots were primarily right at the opponent's goalkeeper.
"It was a tough one," he said of the loss.
Kelley said Jaguars players Owen Kelley and Nils Domke turned in good all-around games.
"The whole defense played well," he said.
No details were available about the Renegades victory over the Juneau Orcas.
In action today, the Juneau Riptide plays the Chugiak Cosmos and the Flaming Lizards of Fairbanks. In other action, the Jaguars play the Flaming Lizards; the Orcas play the Northern Lights Soccer Club Dynamo; the Xtratuffs play Team Alaska '90; the Titans play the Chugiak Fury; while the Quicksilver is idle today. Round-robin play ends Friday, with semifinals set for Saturday and the championship games on Sunday.
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