The Juneau-Douglas High School girls soccer team hammered Ketchikan with five goals Friday night, winning 5-1, but will have to up the intensity even further moving forward.
The Crimson Bears (3-0) enter a two-week stretch in which they play five different Southcentral Alaska schools.
First up is South Anchorage, who has won four of the last six state championships. The Wolverines have shut out the Crimson Bears in the last two meetings between the schools, winning 4-0 last season after a 10-0 romping three years ago.
The Wolverines will play Juneau-Douglas Thursday at 7 p.m. at Adair Kennedy and Friday at 6 p.m. at Thunder Mountain High School.
JDHS coach Matt Dusenberry wasn’t won over by his team’s four-goal win over Ketchikan.
“If we play that way against South, we’re in trouble,” Dusenberry said.
Senior Georgia Robinson knows better than to enter the game overconfident, too.
“I think its going to be essential to play as a team,” Robinson said. “I think they’re all going to know Malia (Miller) is the star player.”
Most of the action centered in the midfield Friday night at Adair-Kennedy, as the Crimson Bears worked the ball around with apparent ease.
The one goal from Ketchikan was the result of a penalty kick in the 57th minute by Angel Spurgeon. After taking a corner kick, Spurgeon kicked the ball back in to the box after the ball was cleared to her feet. Her follow-up kick hit the arm of Michaela Bentley, and Spurgeon drove the ball past keeper Shaylin Cesar’s right arm on the resultant penalty kick.
The score was inconsequential — JDHS still led 4-1 at that point.
The Crimson Bears built a two-goal lead through the first half on goals by Bentley and Malia Miller.
Robinson scored just three minutes into the second half. Ketchikan goalie Ezrie Anderson was splayed out on the ground from a preceding save, when Robinson found the ball near the goal line.
Robinson, one of 10 seniors on the team, has enjoyed playing alongside such bold playmakers as Bentley and Miller.
“It’s kind of a lot like basketball, you know (laughs),” Robinson said, comparing her soccer teammates to underclassmen basketball stars Kendyl Carson and Caitlin Pusich. “It’s hard to be the older person who is just a little less skilled, but it’s definitely a fun time. … It’s cool to be with such talented players, definitely different than a few years ago.”
A portion of Ketchikan’s team, including sophomore goaltender Anderson, were coming straight from music fest. The games against JDHS were their first official contests of the season after the team’s home games against TMHS were delayed to this week.
Like the night before, the sophomore’s lime green jersey was forced to try and cover all 192 square feet of net.
“I find it actually kind of fun,” Anderson said of the aggressive nature of her position. “You get to put yourself out there and you either do, or you don’t do well, like you either get it, or you don’t.”
Miller scored the final goal of the evening in the 68th minute.
Fellow underclassmen Nikki Box, Brianna Jokerst, Nicole Mannix, Bailey Wery-Tagaban and Jessica Mayer continue to accrue valuable early-season minutes.
The Crimson Bears fly to Anchorage next week for games against Service (April 26) and Chugiak, Wasilla and Dimond the following days.