Juneau-Douglas High School’s boys and girls soccer teams both finished fourth in the state tournament on Saturday, coming away with two consolation bracket wins after being bumped from state title contention on Thursday.
The boys beat West Valley High School 3-2 in a Saturday morning game, with goals coming from JJ Moser, Corbin Mitchell and an own goal off a throw in from Garrett Mayer.
The boys went down 2-0 in the first half. Though JDHS started out “a little flat,” according to coach Gary Lehnhart, they played the fourth place game with a commendable perspective considering the heartbreaker to the eventual tournament champion South High School they suffered just two days prior.
“I thought, considering what had transpired, that at this point we were done,” Lehnhart said. “In all my years doing this I know how tough it is to come back after a loss like we had against South, but we really rallied. I am super proud of them.”
JDHS equalized West 2-2 before halftime. In the second half the game back and forth affair. Garrett Mayer helped his team to the winning goal when he threw the ball into John Scudder, who blocked West’s keeper. The ball went off the keeper’s fingertips and in.
JDHS’ Oswaldo Magallanes, Ben Undurraga and Hunter Pegues were named to the all-tournament team, and JDHS won the GPA award and the sportsmanship award.
The JDHS girls team beat Wasilla 2-0 with goals coming from Brianna Jokerst and Malia Miller.
Senior Amber White assisted Miller on the second goal, and tied Dorothy Brent for sixth in JDHS’ record book for career assists at 18. White transferred to JDHS (11-3) her junior year, claiming her spot in the record books in only two years of play for the Crimson Bears girls.
With the win over Wasilla the girls vanquished both of the opponents who had beat them in the state tournament last year, providing a validating finish for JDHS’ seniors.
“If you combine all of the team stats from their (the senior’s) freshman, sophomore and junior years, they don’t compare to that of their senior year,” coach Matt Dusenberry said. “For them to walk off with fourth place in the state tournament their senior year after scoring only four goals their freshman year, that’s a good finish.”
Senior Meranda Frenzel won the ASAA Subway State Player of the Game. Senior Rylee Landen and freshman Malia Miller made the all-tournament team. The JDHS girls also won the state tournament’s team sportsmanship award.
Boys consolation bracket: JDHS 4, Soldotna 2
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 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.
Girls consolation bracket: JDHS 3, Kenai 1
Avenging a penalty-kick loss in the state tournament last year, the Juneau-Douglas High School girls soccer team took down Kenai in the consolation bracket of the state tournament on Friday, beating the Kardinals 3-1.
The girls played looser than their opening-round loss against West Anchorage and jumped on their opponents with a goal in the first 10 minutes of the game.
“We knew these guys, and I think we were maybe motivated — though not happy with yesterday’s result — to come in and get a little revenge for last year,” said coach Matt Dusenberry. “It was a battle last year, so it was great to get a ‘W’ for sure.”
JDHS senior Amber White said her team wants to stick around in the state tournament as long as they can.
“We definitely were stinging from last night, so we wanted to give it our all and continue playing until tomorrow,” she said. “We all just wanted it more. We don’t want to go home yet.”
After the Crimson Bears took control in the opening minutes, the Kardinals evened things up quickly with a fast break from Kenai’s dangerously-fast freshman forward Haley Maw, whom JDHS’ backline and goalkeeper contained beautifully.
Senior Rylee Landen earned JDHS back the lead with two minutes left in the first half, hitting a low shot across goal from 15 yards out.
Senior Maddie McKeown, who’s been a terror on corner kicks all season, headed JDHS’ third goal in during a dominant stretch of play for the Crimson Bears in the second half. McKeown was assisted by White on the play to give the Crimson Bears the 3-1 lead with 21 minutes left.
Kenai pulled together in the last 10 minutes after being unable to hold possession for most of the second half and scared JDHS with a few point-blank shots, which freshman keeper Shaylin Cesar refused to let into the goal.