Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaat.at Kalé senior Malia Miller scored two goals to lead the Crimson Bears to a 6-0 shutout win over Kodiak at the state championships on Thursday afternoon at Service High School in Anchorage.
The dynamic midfielder scored in the second and 23rd minutes as the Crimson Bears dominated possession and kept the ball in the Kodiak end. Miller entered the tournament with 38 goals on the season, already the single-season record in Alaska girls soccer history. Chugiak graduate Kelly Cobb held the previous mark at 36 goals.
JDHS (17-1-0) takes on Kenai (7-5-4) in the semifinals today at 9 a.m. back at Service High. The winner of that game will play in the championship game on Saturday at 2 p.m.
“(By) overlooking opponents and things like that, this game can be cruel to you,” JDHS coach Matt Dusenberry said. “So we were focused in on trying to score more goals than the opposition and not allowing them to put anything in the back of the net, just worried about the 80 minutes we had in front of us.”
It was the first-ever meeting between JDHS and Kodiak (3-3-4), who came into the tournament with very different postseason histories. Whereas JDHS has played in close to 20 state tournaments, Kodiak was making its first-ever appearance.
The Kodiak Bears girls team has been around just five years. In their first four seasons, the program had recorded just three victories. The Bears turned up their play in a big way this season, posting wins over Houston, Grace Christian and Redington to finish second in the Northern Lights Conference to qualify for state.
“Just making the tournament was our trophy this year,” Kodiak coach Marc Mens said.
But they were overmatched in Thursday’s game against the reigning state champions, who jumped out to 3-0 lead in the first 10 minutes. After Miller’s first goal, junior Eva Goering added a second in the eighth minute and senior Brianna Jokerst scored again in the ninth minute.
Miller made it 4-0 later in the half after corralling the ball in the box and striking it past the Kodiak goaltender.
Underclassmen Taylor Bentley and Blake Plummer scored the final two goals in the second half.
Falcons advance to semis
As JDHS cooled down from its win, their crosstown counterparts were just warming up 20 minutes up the Glenn Highway at Eagle River High School.
Facing Homer in their first state tournament game in five years, the Thunder Mountain girls didn’t disappoint, dispatching the Mariners 1-0.
Thunder Mountain had gone 0-1-1 against Homer during the regular season after a 0-0 tie at home and 1-0 loss on the road.
Thunder Mountain sophomore Isabella Hanna scored the game’s lone goal midway through the second half.
Thunder Mountain will play the winner Thursday afternoon’s game between Soldotna and Palmer today at 11 a.m.
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Empire Sports on Twitter at @akempiresports.