Juneau-Douglas High School junior ChaeHun Yi defends Kodiak High School senior Daniel Carrillo in the ASAA Division II boys soccer state championships on Thursday, May 24, 2018 at Eagle River High School. JDHS won 5-2. (Nolin Ainsworth | Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School junior ChaeHun Yi defends Kodiak High School senior Daniel Carrillo in the ASAA Division II boys soccer state championships on Thursday, May 24, 2018 at Eagle River High School. JDHS won 5-2. (Nolin Ainsworth | Juneau Empire)

JDHS boys nip Kodiak to open state tournament

Despite dominating the first half, Juneau-Douglas High School found itself in an uncomfortable spot early in the second half at Eagle River High School on Thursday afternoon.

They still held the lead, but it was quickly shrinking with plenty of time left on the clock against Kodiak High School in the ASAA Division II boys soccer state championship quarterfinals.

Cue junior midfielder Clem Taylor-Roth.

In a span of two minutes, Taylor-Roth helped put the ball in the back of the net twice. After his goal around the 50th minute was called back on an offsides call, he came back down the field and played a cross that deflected off a Kodiak defender and into the net.

Junior Jackson Norberg capped the game’s scoring later in the half as JDHS secured the 5-2 win. The Crimson Bears advance to the semifinals and play North Pole High School at 11 a.m. on Friday.

“From the first half I was pretty down on myself,” Taylor-Roth said. “I was marking the guy (Kodiak midfielder Moises Cruz) that scored in the first half and then after that quick goal in the second half, I just knew I had to step up.”

Kodiak senior Emerson Portillo’s goal in the first minute of the second half cut his team’s deficit to 3-2.

“We tried to come out in the second half and try to press them and get a little higher on the field and put some pressure on them,” Kodiak coach Mike Huerta said. “They’re tough in the back and their front three are just fast. It was tough to match speed-for-speed with them.”

JDHS’ speed led to scoring opportunity after scoring opportunity in the first half.

Within seconds of the start of the game, the Crimson Bears drove the ball deep into Kodiak’s end. After a succession of stops by goalkeeper Yasent Oliver, senior Brysen Mitchell kicked the ball off the crossbar and headed in the rebound for his first goal. The fleet-footed senior scored just two minutes later.

Junior Kanon Goetz scored in the 25th minute to put JDHS up 3-1.

“It’s a super-wide field so we have a lot of space to run with,” Taylor-Roth said. “Their defenders were dropping back a lot and letting us dribble with the ball. We just had a lot of space to play.”

JDHS faces


• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or nainsworth@juneauempire.com. Follow Empire Sports on Twitter at @akempiresports.


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