Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé senior Sonny Monsef (30) heads in a goal against Ketchikan during the Crimson Bears 2-0 title clinching win over the Kings at Adair-Kennedy Field on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé senior Sonny Monsef (30) heads in a goal against Ketchikan during the Crimson Bears 2-0 title clinching win over the Kings at Adair-Kennedy Field on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

JDHS boys soccer team earns ice cream and region title with sweep of visiting Ketchikan

Crimson Bears’ Monsef, Mallott seal senior night win over Kings.

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé senior Sonny Monsef headed in a goal to ignite the Crimson Bears, and classmate Alex Mallott earned the team ice cream as he kept a clean sheet against the visiting Ketchikan Kings to clinch the Southeast region soccer title on Saturday by the score of 2-0 and earn an automatic trip to the state tournament next weekend.

“Man, all credit goes to Kai (Ciambor),” Monsef said. “I was just in the right place at the right time.”

With 23 minutes remaining in the second half, junior striker Ciambor put a corner kick on target in the Kayhi box and Monsef put his head to the ball between Ketchikan keeper Nathan Price and defender Conner Pearson for a 1-0 advantage.

“Kai man, his vision is just, wow,” Monsef said. “He was the one that scored that goal basically. It was right to my head. I didn’t have to move much. It was all Kai man. It is awesome we are headed to state as a top seed. I can’t wait to see what we will do.”

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé sophomore Jesper Bennetsen (8) puts a shot against Ketchikan keeper Nathan Price during the Crimson Bears 2-0 title clinching win over the Kings at Adair-Kennedy Field on Saturday. Crimson Bears senior Xavier Melacon and juniors Kellen Chester and Reed Maier look on. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé sophomore Jesper Bennetsen (8) puts a shot against Ketchikan keeper Nathan Price during the Crimson Bears 2-0 title clinching win over the Kings at Adair-Kennedy Field on Saturday. Crimson Bears senior Xavier Melacon and juniors Kellen Chester and Reed Maier look on. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Ciambor also hit the Kayhi cross bar in the first half and spearheaded several runs down the pitch.

The Crimson Bears added their second goal with seven minutes remaining as junior Reed Maier touched a pass to classmate Ahmir Parker, who moved it on to classmate Kellen Chester for a score from 20 yards out.

JDHS needed a win Saturday over Ketchikan to snatch the title away from the Kings, and they did that and more, honoring their Crimson Bears seniors final home game and matching the physical play of the Kings. JDHS had topped Kayhi 4-2 on Friday.

JDHS needed a strong showing from Mallott in the box on Saturday as Kayhi put caution to the wind and tried to overpower the Crimson Bears.

“That was pretty exciting,” JDHS keeper Mallott said. “I feel like I played a lot better than yesterday. I held my composure and stayed in it. We get ice cream with a shutout so…I got them all ice cream, which is nice. Usually it is the vanilla ice cream covered in chocolate bars, sometimes we get ice pops. We have won the conference championship for years and years, and I just wanted to correct all my mistakes from last game. I made a few that almost cost us the game. So I just really wanted to stay in it and keep focused and get it done.”

Mallott got it done by standing firm against four Kayhi first half shots and two Kings corners, one of which he tipped over the post.

In the second half, he covered two Kayhi shots in the first 10 minutes, held firm against a free kick and laid out to tip a ball with under seven minutes remaining in the game.

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé head coach Gary Lehnhart addresses his senior players following the Crimson Bears 2-0 title clinching win over the Ketchikan Kings at Adair-Kennedy Field on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé head coach Gary Lehnhart addresses his senior players following the Crimson Bears 2-0 title clinching win over the Ketchikan Kings at Adair-Kennedy Field on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

While Mallott was the anchor on defense, his chain of physicality included sophomores Jesper Bennetsen and Emmett Mesdag, juniors Ciambor and Ryan Thibodeau, and classmates Caden Johns, Martin Holst, Sam Cheng and Xavier Melancon.

“This was a really big game for us,” Holst said. “Especially losing to Ketchikan our first two games of the season. I really think we wrapped it up at the end of the season here.”

Melancon said the team started the season slow, “but we pulled through and we are peaking at a good time. I like the look of our championship run.”

Cheng said: “The season has meant a lot to everyone, but specifically me. I didn’t get to play last year so I was really excited to win this match. It was a physical and difficult match. They have some fast wings, but we stopped them.”

Kayhi went a man down with 17 minutes remaining due to a red card for verbal abuse on the pitch and of a game official.

With the weekend sweep, JDHS finishes the regular season 6-2 in the SEC (7-2-2 overall) and Ketchikan finishes 5–2-1 record (7-3-2 overall). Thunder Mountain High School finished 0-7-1 SEC (2-8-1 OA). The Crimson Bears will be the top Southeast seed at state and the Kings should earn an at-large bid via their strength of schedule.

JDHS after the game honored their large senior class, many of whom are first-year players.

“The number of first-year players was a surprise, but it was nice,” head coach Gary Lehnhart said. “Most played JV, some crossed over and a couple made an impact on the varsity.”

The Crimson Bears returned only four varsity seniors: Mallot, Melancon, Holst and Cheng.

“And they have done well, all of them,” Lehnhart said. “Alex in his second full year as goalkeeper has given us that stability, even in the year before that when he stepped up and helped us win it all. He’s been solid and is a fun kid to coach. Really low key, down to earth, doesn’t get too high, doesn’t get too low and has kind of a wry sense of humor…Sam has really surprised me this year. He has become our lockdown defender. Every year it is nice to have one. Last year we had Will Robinson, who just took the other team’s best player and shut him down. Sam has gotten better every year, and it is always nice to kids get rewarded in the end with lots of playing time and he certainly earned his. And we didn’t even think he was going to get to play because most of the winter he had a serious back injury.”

Lehnhart used his experience from being an injured college player to work with Cheng, who has been healthy through the season.

“Every once in a while he takes a couple days off but, yeah, he has been money,” Lehnhart said. “Xavier has just been consistent. He played flank last year and most of this year. In some ways, he is the spark-plug for the team. A lot of players key off him. He has a funny way about him, makes people laugh, and he plays hard… Martin, over all four years, his role has increased every year. He has battled injuries as well and really he is constantly playing hurt, and he was really sick for a while. But he has given us a lot of stability in the midfield. He has been really successful this year, it is nice to see him blossom his senior year.”

Lehnhart noted that seniors Sonny Monsef and Caden Johns are two players that come off the bench as “spark-plug kind of kids. Both hockey players. Fast and can be counted on to play good defense and do the little things.”

Added Lehnhart: “Edward Hu is in his second year and is an incredible student. Just a fun kid to coach, he livens things up. He will run through a wall, literally he does in the indoor facility. Every practice there is usually one Edward Hu moment where he crashes into somebody else or something…Benjamin Bruno, this is his first year playing, is an athletic kid. I wish we would have had four years with him. Really his first day was the first day of practice and that athleticism got him through. What a delightful personality. Super, positive and fun…Jonathan Sleppy has been with us for four years, and I’ve enjoyed him. He comes and plays hard.“

Lehnhart also noted that seniors Aaron Standerwick, Dane Peterson, Justin Durling and Isaac Doogan have been positive players who have not been in the program as long as their classmates but have helped the varsity during practice because of their talent and athleticism. Lehnhart also noted the loss of senior Malachi Peimann to a preseason knee injury as a blow to the program saying: “It was sad for him and us. He enjoyed playing and really wanted to play.”

The state tournament is Thursday through Saturday at Colony, Palmer and Wasilla high schools. Tournament seeding will be announced on Monday.

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé senior Ben Bruno and family at Adair-Kennedy pitch on Saturday.(Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé senior Ben Bruno and family at Adair-Kennedy pitch on Saturday.(Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé senior Isaac Doogan and family and friends at Adair-Kennedy pitch on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé senior Isaac Doogan and family and friends at Adair-Kennedy pitch on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé senior Edward Hu and family at Adair-Kennedy pitch on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé senior Edward Hu and family at Adair-Kennedy pitch on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé senior Caden Johns and family and friends at Adair-Kennedy pitch on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé senior Caden Johns and family and friends at Adair-Kennedy pitch on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé senior Sonny Monsef and family and friends at Adair-Kennedy pitch on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé senior Sonny Monsef and family and friends at Adair-Kennedy pitch on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé senior Jonathan Sleppy and family at Adair-Kennedy pitch on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé senior Jonathan Sleppy and family at Adair-Kennedy pitch on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé senior Aaron Standerwick and family at Adair-Kennedy pitch on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé senior Aaron Standerwick and family at Adair-Kennedy pitch on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé senior Justin Durling and family at Adair-Kennedy pitch on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé senior Justin Durling and family at Adair-Kennedy pitch on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé senior Dane Pedersen and family at Adair-Kennedy pitch on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé senior Dane Pedersen and family at Adair-Kennedy pitch on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé senior Alex Mallott and family at Adair-Kennedy pitch on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé senior Alex Mallott and family at Adair-Kennedy pitch on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé senior Xavier Melancon and family and friends at Adair-Kennedy pitch on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé senior Xavier Melancon and family and friends at Adair-Kennedy pitch on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé senior Martin Holst and family at Adair-Kennedy pitch on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé senior Martin Holst and family at Adair-Kennedy pitch on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé senior Sam Cheng and family at Adair-Kennedy pitch on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé senior Sam Cheng and family at Adair-Kennedy pitch on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

The Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé senior soccer players at Adair-Kennedy pitch on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

The Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé senior soccer players at Adair-Kennedy pitch on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé junior Ahmir Parker (9) battles for a ball with Ketchikan’s Conner Pearson and Alex Gilley (1) during the Crimson Bears 2-0 region title clinching win over the Kings at Adair-Kennedy Field on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé junior Ahmir Parker (9) battles for a ball with Ketchikan’s Conner Pearson and Alex Gilley (1) during the Crimson Bears 2-0 region title clinching win over the Kings at Adair-Kennedy Field on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé senior Martin Holst calls for a ball from junior Kellen Chester (10) as Ketchikan’s SP Abigania chases during the Crimson Bears 2-0 region title clinching win over the Kings at Adair-Kennedy Field on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé senior Martin Holst calls for a ball from junior Kellen Chester (10) as Ketchikan’s SP Abigania chases during the Crimson Bears 2-0 region title clinching win over the Kings at Adair-Kennedy Field on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé junior Kai Ciambor moves the ball through Ketchikan’s Conner Pearson (4), RJ Cadiente (6) and Eunchong Lee during the Crimson Bears 2-0 region title clinching win over the Kings at Adair-Kennedy Field on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé junior Kai Ciambor moves the ball through Ketchikan’s Conner Pearson (4), RJ Cadiente (6) and Eunchong Lee during the Crimson Bears 2-0 region title clinching win over the Kings at Adair-Kennedy Field on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé senior Xavier Melancon (13) and Ketchikan’s Kingston Dell (11) race for a ball during the Crimson Bears 2-0 region title clinching win over the Kings at Adair-Kennedy Field on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé senior Xavier Melancon (13) and Ketchikan’s Kingston Dell (11) race for a ball during the Crimson Bears 2-0 region title clinching win over the Kings at Adair-Kennedy Field on Saturday. (Klas Stolpe / For the Juneau Empire)

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