Junior Malia Miller scored four goals as the Juneau-Douglas High School girls soccer team breezed past Palmer High School 7-0 in the ASAA Division II state semifinals.
The Crimson Bears will play Grace Christian in the championship game at 11 a.m. Saturday at Service High School.
JDHS maintained possession of the ball for much of the game, played at Eagle River High School, totalling 19 shots on goal while limiting the Moose to just two.
Despite thoroughly out-shooting their opponent, JDHS was held to just two goals in the first half.
“I thought we actually came out a little flat in the first half and maybe that was nerves or just waiting around to play,” Dusenberry said. “But I thought our second half we turned it up and started playing our game.”
JDHS and Soldotna earned first-round byes in the six-team tournament, meaning each would sit out from Thursday’s action. The Soldotna Stars were upset in their semifinal by Grace Christian, 3-2, immediately following JDHS’ game.
Miller scored her third goal of the game in the 45th minute off a pass from junior Michaela Bentley. Sophomore Eva Goering scored her first of two goals just nine minutes later off an assist from Brianna Jokerst before Miller notched another goal in the 70th minute.
Freshman Taylor Bentley tallied her first goal in the 78th minute before one final goal from Goering in the 79th minute.
Miller has now scored 27 goals this season, the most goals in a single season by any Crimson Bear in program history. Margaret Sekona held the record up until Friday with 26 goals.
“I’m pretty happy with it considering I just recently got back into playing,” said Miller, who underwent ACL surgery last August. “So I wasn’t expecting this result.”
Junior goalkeeper Shaylin Cesar added yet another shutout to her junior year campaign. Cesar and the team have now kept the ball out of their net in 12 of their 15 matches this season. Cesar is now the all-time shutout king at JDHS with 25 in her career.
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Empire Sports on Twitter at @akempiresports.