Soldotna senior Dylan Kuntz keeps an eye on the ball Friday afternoon at Eagle River High School in a state soccer semifinal against Juneau-Douglas. JDHS won 4-2.

Soldotna senior Dylan Kuntz keeps an eye on the ball Friday afternoon at Eagle River High School in a state soccer semifinal against Juneau-Douglas. JDHS won 4-2.

JDHS boys soccer bounces back after first round loss

Juneau-Douglas High School’s boys soccer team surprised Soldotna High School on Friday by bouncing right back and playing with energy and verve in a 4-2 win.

“They surprised the heck out of me,” JDHS coach Gary Lehnhart said. “They played really well early. I was proud of how they bounced back.”

The Crimson Bears (14-3) lost junior Ben Undurraga to injuries suffered in their first game, but he decided to play through the pain in Friday’s game.

“Our offseason training helped us. One of our assistant coaches, Mike Garcia, pushed us a lot in the offseason,” Undurraga said, adding that he felt good about his team rising up so quickly after the tough loss. “We snapped right into it, which was really awesome to show our team really wants it.”

JDHS rushed to a 4-0 lead in the game before conceding two goals in the second half. Crimson Bear forward JJ Moser opened scoring four minutes into the game with a far-post header off a beautiful cross from senior John Scudder.

Senior Oswaldo Magallanes scored the Crimson Bears second off an assist from Undurraga just two minutes after their first goal. Magallanes also scored the third off a penalty kick. Soldotna closed the gap with a goal in the final seconds of the first half.

Up 3-1 in the first half, JDHS was able to rest some of their starting players and freshman Kanon Goetz took the opportunity to score his first state tournament goal with 22 minutes left in the game. Soldotna wouldn’t go down easy and chipped the ball over JDHS goalkeeper Hunter Pegues with 27 minutes left to narrow JDHS’ lead to 4-2.

JDHS’ backline played consistently according to Lehnhart, allowing the Crimson Bears to close the game out without losing their two-goal cushion.

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