In between the second half and first overtime of the Division II boys soccer state semifinals in Anchorage, Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaat.at Kale teammates huddled up.
After putting close to 30 shots on goal against Thunder Mountain over 80 minutes of regulation play, the Crimson Bears had yet to find the back of the net, and they were in danger of fraying. So senior Ronan Davies reminded his teammates to remain as a unit: “We’re in it together. Let’s win together,” he said.
One overtime turned into a second overtime. And just when it looked like the Juneau squads were headed into a sudden death period, JDHS’ belief in each other paid off: Senior Kanon Goetz shot a game-winning goal from the top of the penalty box to lift JDHS to a 1-0 victory.
“I just know the ball was rolling in their box and I called one of my players off and hit it with my left (foot) and it went in the top corner,” Goetz said.
JDHS coach Gary Lehnhart was happy with the way his team dealt with the adversity. As the game headed into overtime, the Crimson Bears remained calm and collected.
“I still felt really good about our chances because we weren’t getting frustrated, we were continuing to make good choices,” Lehnhart said. “We just needed to make it happen. You need players to step up and Kanon stepped up.”
The fifth meeting between the schools this season, it was each side’s first time facing off in a playoff of any kind as TMHS had yet to qualify for a state tournament prior to this year.
JDHS now moves on to the championship game for the second straight year against Kenai, who defeated Ketchikan 2-0 in the semifinals right after the JDHS-TMHS game wrapped up. TMHS, who won its first-ever state tournament game against Monroe Catholic in Thursday’s quarterfinals, will play Ketchikan at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning. The Falcons took all four games against the Ketchikan Kings during the regular season.
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Empire Sports on Twitter at @akempiresports.