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 (10-3) 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.