JDHS sophomore Kellen Chester (10) and TMHS senior Matthew Spratt (4) battle for a ball during the Crimson Bears 6-1 win over the Falcons Tuesday at Falcons Field. (Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire)

JDHS sophomore Kellen Chester (10) and TMHS senior Matthew Spratt (4) battle for a ball during the Crimson Bears 6-1 win over the Falcons Tuesday at Falcons Field. (Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire)

Crimson Bears soccer boys spoil Falcons senior night

Juneau-Douglas earns win at Thunder Mountain

The Thunder Mountain High School Falcons boys soccer team honored their senior players Tuesday night but the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé Crimson Bears dampened the ceremonies, and the heat of the night, with a 6-1 win at Falcons Field.

“It is bitter sweet,” TMHS senior Preston Lam said. “We could have done more as a team but we kept fighting for all 80 minutes.”

Lam and classmates Stig Cunningham, Ben Erickson, Tristan Laremore, Matthew Spratt and MJ Tupou received senior recognition prior to the match.

Thunder Mountain senior Tristan Laremore with coach Tim Lewis during the Falcons boys soccer senior recognition Tuesday at Falcons Field. (Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire)

Thunder Mountain senior Tristan Laremore with coach Tim Lewis during the Falcons boys soccer senior recognition Tuesday at Falcons Field. (Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire)

Thunder Mountain senior Matthew Spratt with family and friends during the Falcons boys soccer senior recognition Tuesday at Falcons Field. (Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire)

Thunder Mountain senior Matthew Spratt with family and friends during the Falcons boys soccer senior recognition Tuesday at Falcons Field. (Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire)

Thunder Mountain senior MJ Tupou with family and friends during the Falcons boys soccer senior recognition Tuesday at Falcons Field. (Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire)

Thunder Mountain senior MJ Tupou with family and friends during the Falcons boys soccer senior recognition Tuesday at Falcons Field. (Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire)

Thunder Mountain senior Stig Cunningham with family during the Falcons boys soccer senior recognition Tuesday at Falcons Field. (Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire)

Thunder Mountain senior Stig Cunningham with family during the Falcons boys soccer senior recognition Tuesday at Falcons Field. (Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire)

“It was fun,” Lam said. “It’s a different group than I played with last year but we made good memories along the way and we hope to get a state bid.”

JDHS was aggressive from the start with sophomore Kai Ciambor putting a free kick off the TMHS wall, senior Gabe Cheng heading a shot attempt from a corner kick and sophomore Ahmir Parker and senior Micah Brown putting shots on goal.

JDHS sophomore Kellen Chester would benefit from the Crimson Bears moving senior Will Robinson from his defense position to a forward attacking slot. Robinson had a run on goal at 15 yards but played the ball off to Chester who scored for a 1-0 advantage seven minutes into the match.

“Will played really well,” JDHS coach Gary Lehnhart said. “We have been trying him a little bit more offensively. It is nice to see him handle that. He’s moving up the field. He has always wanted to do that and, really, one of the things we had to do was see if we had some other people that could come in behind him.”

Freshman Jesper Bennetsen and junior Xavier Melancon have been worthy additions to the defense and that has allowed Robinson more front half work.

“He hit the ball better,” said Lehnhart. “He’s getting some confidence. So we’ll use him depending on who we play and what we need because he is a lock down defender. So if the other team has a really good offensive player we can always put Will there. We’ve been working a lot. Every practice is all about crosses and collection and finishing because in most of the games we have been the superior team. We’ve had set piece after set piece, and free kick and corner kick and throw ins all inside the attacking third. We are just raising that efficiency and we are getting better at it.”

JDHS sophomore Kai Ciambor scored in the 11th minute with an assist by senior Tayten Bennetsen for 2-0.

[TMHS boys soccer senior profiles]

Ciambor then added an assist on a goal by senior Kean Buss at 13 minutes for 3-0 and another on a score by Chester five minutes later for a 4-0 advantage.

“It was a really good game today,” Ciambor said. “We were connecting super well and everything was just clicking, it was really good.”

Ciambor, already a top scoring threat in the state, will benefit from Robinson moving up the pitch.

“He is so fast,” said Ciambor. “He is an amazing cross country runner and so his speed is so useful on the outside, it’s great.”

TMHS junior Justin Scussel scored his first goal of the season 22 minutes into the match.

TMHS junior Mason Bernaldo went towards the action and made a play on the ball in the air, winning possession and bumping it along to Scussel who put it past JDHS junior keeper Alex Mallott to bring the score to 4-1.

“Just getting the ball towards the goal is something we have worked on,” TMHS coach Tim Lewis said. “Just having an effort or a shot is all I can ask for. They made it count. Sometimes you only get one touch in the game and that one touch could be a goal.”

Lewis commented on the amount of work the Falcons have put in over the past weeks.

“Very proud of them,” said Lewis. “They came to play. Not every ball went our way but they played their hearts out so that is all I could ask. They played their best. We worked on a lot of little things that we noticed last week, just not going to the ball, letting JD get the ball, stringing our passes together, defending the through balls… we did a lot of those things a little bit better. Not perfectly but I believe our effort showed that we made some improvements.”

The Crimson Bears had been working in practice on being more efficient on set pieces and sophomore Ahmir Parker was in position to head a rebound score in off a Ciamber shot that TMHS junior keeper Corbin Carson deflected three minutes before the half for a 5-1 lead.

Lehnhart noted the hard work Buss puts forth, the return play of Chester and the near perfect keeper work by Mallott.

“I was happy with the way our second unit played too,” said Lehnhart. “It was nice to watch some new kids come in there and play. We really wanted to rest. We have two more games to play this week, then an alumni game and state. I wanted to get some of my guys off the field and I was able to do that.”

JDHS’ Ciambor put the final score in just three minutes into the second half unassisted.

“Kai’s goals were pretty spectacular,” JDHS coach Gary Lehnhart said. “It is always spectacular to see him hit a soccer ball because he is an unusual talent.”

JDHS plays at the Ketchikan Kings pitch Friday and Saturday, and TMHS plays at West Anchorage and at Redington. The Crimson Bears have already qualified for the state tournament. The Falcons and Kings are hoping to receive an at-large bid to state.

Contact reporter Klas Stolpe at klas.stolpe@juneauempire.com.

See more photos from senior night below.

Thunder Mountain seniors MJ Tupou and Matt Spratt during the Falcons boys soccer senior recognition Tuesday at Falcons Field. (Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire)

Thunder Mountain seniors MJ Tupou and Matt Spratt during the Falcons boys soccer senior recognition Tuesday at Falcons Field. (Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire)

Thunder Mountain senior Ben Erickson with family during the Falcons boys soccer senior recognition Tuesday at Falcons Field. (Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire)

Thunder Mountain senior Ben Erickson with family during the Falcons boys soccer senior recognition Tuesday at Falcons Field. (Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire)

Thunder Mountain senior Preston Lam with family during the Falcons boys soccer senior recognition Tuesday at Falcons Field. (Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire)

Thunder Mountain senior Preston Lam with family during the Falcons boys soccer senior recognition Tuesday at Falcons Field. (Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire)

(Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire)

(Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire)

(Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire)

(Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire)

JDHS senior Gabe Cheng (6) and Micah Brown (23) battle Thunder Mountain senior MJ Tupou and junior keeper Corbin Carson during the Crimson Bears 6-1 win over the Falcons Tuesday at Falcons Field. (Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire)

JDHS senior Gabe Cheng (6) and Micah Brown (23) battle Thunder Mountain senior MJ Tupou and junior keeper Corbin Carson during the Crimson Bears 6-1 win over the Falcons Tuesday at Falcons Field. (Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire)

JDHS senior Micah Brown (23) plays a ball in the air during the Crimson Bears 6-1 win over the Thunder Mountain Falcons Tuesday at Falcons Field. (Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire)

JDHS senior Micah Brown (23) plays a ball in the air during the Crimson Bears 6-1 win over the Thunder Mountain Falcons Tuesday at Falcons Field. (Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire)

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