Eva Goering typically plays striker on the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaat.at Kalé girls soccer team.
However, the junior is lethal wherever she’s put on the field, as evidenced late in the Division II state semifinals on Friday in Anchorage.
Goering entered the game as a center midfielder in the final five minutes and scored two goals to cap off a 5-0 shutout victory over No. 3 Kenai at Service High School in Anchorage.
“The kids really came to play,” JDHS coach Matt Dusenberry said. “I’ll give Kenai that. They were physical and tried to stay with us, but it was pretty much all us collecting the ball and going to goal.”
Kenai put multiple defenders on standout midfielder Malia Miller, Dusenberry said, which opened up opportunities for others like Goering. The striker turned midfielder finished with three goals and freshman Blake Plummer and Miller each had one in the Crimson Bears’ second game of the tournament.
“The dynamic that we have with this team has just been better than ever before,” Goering said.
JDHS led 3-0 when Dusenberry plugged in Goering late in the second half.
First, she scored on a picture-perfect header in the 76th minute from Taylor Bentley’s corner.
“I think Taylor just looks to see through that window and who’s available and we talk to each other,” Goering said. “Our chemistry has just been getting better all season and it feels nice to put it together and put some points on the board.”
Moments later, the three-goal scorer collected a failed clearing attempt, split two defenders and beat the goalkeeper nearside.
“I managed to just place it in the corner,” she said.
Now, it’s a showdown between No. 1 JDHS and No. 2 Soldotna in the state championship game Saturday at 2 p.m. The Stars defeated No. 6 Thunder Mountain 3-1 later in the day.
Thunder Mountain girls lose lead against Soldotna
The Thunder Mountain High School girls soccer team lost 3-1 to Soldotna in their semifinals match.
It was the Falcons’ third time falling this season to the Stars, who will be the underdog when they square off against JDHS in the championship game on Saturday.
“The girls played exceptionally well,” TMHS coach John Newell said. “They played their hearts out for the entire game and never gave up.”
Sophomore Macey Fuette scored on an indirect free kick midway through the first half, giving Thunder Mountain a 1-0 halftime lead. The Falcons’ ramped up their defensive pressure in the second half, but the Stars were able to find openings to exploit and tied the game midway through the second period.
“That’s how they got their second and third goals was on breakaways while we were trying to press them and score,” Newell said.
Thunder Mountain will play against Kenai for third place at 9 a.m. Saturday at Service High School.
•Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or email@example.com. Follow Empire Sports on Twitter at @akempiresports.