JDHS players and fans recognized seniors Tias Carney, Sam Marnon, Callan Smith, Zayden Schijvens, Samuel Holst, Andre Peirovi, Owen Costello, Ahmed Mezel, Solomon Alper, Will Rehfeldt and Ben Goldstein during senior night on May 22, 2022. They’ll play their final high school games together this week at the state tournament in Anchorage. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

JDHS players and fans recognized seniors Tias Carney, Sam Marnon, Callan Smith, Zayden Schijvens, Samuel Holst, Andre Peirovi, Owen Costello, Ahmed Mezel, Solomon Alper, Will Rehfeldt and Ben Goldstein during senior night on May 22, 2022. They’ll play their final high school games together this week at the state tournament in Anchorage. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Juneau soccer teams celebrate their seniors

For many, their final high school games come this week at the state tournament.

The soccer teams of Juneau’s high schools celebrated their senior nights at games over the past week as teams ready themselves for the state championship.

Most teams, though not all, won their games handily in addition to recognizing their longtime players.

The Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé girls beat out Thunder Mountain High School during their senior night match on Thursday 2-0.

“Kyla Bentz scored both goals, with the first assist coming from Blake Plummer and the second assist coming from Natalie Travis,” said JDHS girls coach Matt Dusenberry in an email. “With Blake’s assist, she tied our career assist record and tied the single-season record as well.”

The TMHS delivered a rock-solid 5-0 performance against Ketchikan High School on Saturday evening, including four goals from Omar Alvarez, his first of the season. Senior Phillip Lam also scored.

State tournament

The JDHS girls are also the No. 1 seed for the Division II state championship, kicking off Thursday. “We have been state champions ever since they made this a division: 2018, 2019, 2021,” Dusenberry said.

There was no tournament for boys or girls soccer in 2020 due to the pandemic. The JDHS girls will take on No. 8 seed Houston High School in their first game at 3 p.m. on Thursday at West Anchorage High School’s field.

“It’s one game at a time. That’s the hope- that we can give ourselves the opportunity to be in the final,” Dusenberry said. “Three games in three days- even though these are high school kids, that can take a toll on your body.”

The Crimson Bears will graduate fourteen seniors at the end of the season who have walked a long road to this point, Dusenberry said.

“Our roster is kind of a senior-heavy roster. Hopefully, we’ll go out on a high note. I think they’re pretty levelheaded just taking one game at a time,” Dusenberry said. “Even just this whole season has been fun to watch.”

The strength of the team is the whole, Dusenberry said.

“It’s easy to point to certain players and say they’re carrying the team and I don’t think that’s the case. It’s been really cool to see them put it together as a collective,” Dusenberry said. “They’re having a great year collectively as a group.”

Dusenberry said it was also cool from a Southeast point of view to see Ketchikan make it into the tournament, coming in as the No. 4 seed.

Boy’s bracket

The JDHS and TMHS boys, seeded No. 1 and No. 3 respectively, will both also head to states.

“I think it does show the kids had a good season. Qualifying in whatever spot you get is what really matters,” said JDHS boy’s coach Gary Lehnhart. “I think they were excited to get the number one (seed) but we quickly moved on to preparing for our first game.”

Like the girls team, it’s about focus on the job at hand for the boys team, Lehnhart said.

“Right now, it’s one game, one day,” Lehnhart said. “That’s all you should be thinking about.”

They’ll play a Soldotna High School team that beat them in last year’s tournament.

TMHS boys’ team is no stranger to the tournament, said coach Tim Lewis.

“They’re looking forward to getting back up there and playing soccer,” Lewis said in a phone interview. “This’ll be the third year out of four for my seniors.”

The missing year was when the tournament was canceled due to the pandemic, Lewis said.

“They’ve got a good record and have played some quality teams. These are top teams in the state and you can’t underestimate anybody,” Lewis said. “We’re going to do our best and play our game and go from there.”

The Falcons are going to rely on the basics and take it game by game, Lewis said.

“We continue to play our game and go into each game not getting caught up in the hype or the moment,” Lewis said. “It’s exciting too that the guys can continue to play together.”

JDHS and TMHS’ first games are at 1 p.m. and 9 a.m. on Thursday respectively.

• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at (757) 621-1197 or mlockett@juneauempire.com.

TMHS senior Omar Alvarez chips in one of his four goals on Saturday. TMHS bested Ketchikan 5-0. Senior Phil Lam scored the Falcons’ other goal of the match. “I hadn’t scored the whole season, I was what, 0-for-18? Tonight, was history for me. It was amazing,” Alvarez said. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

TMHS senior Omar Alvarez chips in one of his four goals on Saturday. TMHS bested Ketchikan 5-0. Senior Phil Lam scored the Falcons’ other goal of the match. “I hadn’t scored the whole season, I was what, 0-for-18? Tonight, was history for me. It was amazing,” Alvarez said. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

The TMHS boys soccer team hoists senior Omar Alvarez following his four-goal performance Saturday on senior night. Alvarez had not scored a goal all season prior to Saturday. “It felt like a dream, honestly,” Alvarez said of his first goal. “It came to the second half, and I was like, ‘Man I need one more, I want one more.’ Well, looks like I got three more.” (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

The TMHS boys soccer team hoists senior Omar Alvarez following his four-goal performance Saturday on senior night. Alvarez had not scored a goal all season prior to Saturday. “It felt like a dream, honestly,” Alvarez said of his first goal. “It came to the second half, and I was like, ‘Man I need one more, I want one more.’ Well, looks like I got three more.” (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

TMHS seniors don “Class of 2022” glasses during a group photo ahead of Saturday’s game. The seniors, Bryce Albay, Omar Alvarez, Miguel Romero, Jaden White, Miles Peterson, Darin Tingey, Wallace Adams, Talon Briggs, Phillip Lam, Ammon Kawakami, John Magalhaes, Cade Babcock and Seth Shannara (not pictured) will play their next game at state. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

TMHS seniors don “Class of 2022” glasses during a group photo ahead of Saturday’s game. The seniors, Bryce Albay, Omar Alvarez, Miguel Romero, Jaden White, Miles Peterson, Darin Tingey, Wallace Adams, Talon Briggs, Phillip Lam, Ammon Kawakami, John Magalhaes, Cade Babcock and Seth Shannara (not pictured) will play their next game at state. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

Underclass JDHS players prepare to hand flowers to seniors Blake Plummer, Brooke Sanford, Clara Don, Ella Goldstein, Kyla Bentz, Maile Quigley, Marina Lloyd, McKenna McNutt, Merry Newman, Natanya Reed, Sekoia Prince, Sierra Kanouse, Sophia Pugh and Zuri DeJean on senior night on May 19, 2022. They’ll play their final games as the #1 in the state championship. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Underclass JDHS players prepare to hand flowers to seniors Blake Plummer, Brooke Sanford, Clara Don, Ella Goldstein, Kyla Bentz, Maile Quigley, Marina Lloyd, McKenna McNutt, Merry Newman, Natanya Reed, Sekoia Prince, Sierra Kanouse, Sophia Pugh and Zuri DeJean on senior night on May 19, 2022. They’ll play their final games as the #1 in the state championship. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

JDHS players and fans recognized seniors Blake Plummer, Brooke Sanford, Clara Don, Ella Goldstein, Kyla Bentz, Maile Quigley, Marina Lloyd, McKenna McNutt, Merry Newman, Natanya Reed, Sekoia Prince, Sierra Kanouse, Sophia Pugh and Zuri DeJean on May 22, 2022. They’ll play their final high school games together this week at the state tournament in Anchorage. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

JDHS players and fans recognized seniors Blake Plummer, Brooke Sanford, Clara Don, Ella Goldstein, Kyla Bentz, Maile Quigley, Marina Lloyd, McKenna McNutt, Merry Newman, Natanya Reed, Sekoia Prince, Sierra Kanouse, Sophia Pugh and Zuri DeJean on May 22, 2022. They’ll play their final high school games together this week at the state tournament in Anchorage. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

JDHS seniors Tias Carney, Sam Marnon, Callan SMith, Zayden Schijvens, Samuel Holst, Andre Peirovi, Owen Costello, Ahmed Mezel, Solomon Alper, Will Rehfeldt and Ben Goldstein stand in formation as they’re recognized at senior night on May 22, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

JDHS seniors Tias Carney, Sam Marnon, Callan SMith, Zayden Schijvens, Samuel Holst, Andre Peirovi, Owen Costello, Ahmed Mezel, Solomon Alper, Will Rehfeldt and Ben Goldstein stand in formation as they’re recognized at senior night on May 22, 2022. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

TMHS seniors Jade Blackwell, Abigail Booton, Molly Brocious, Maryellen Bryson, Kiah Dihle, Ruchi Haight, Jamie Heidersdorf, Grace Hudson, Naomi Olver, Julia Robinson, and Rayna Ghering pose for a photo during JDHS’ senior night on May 19, 2022. (Courtesy photo / CIndy Erikson)

TMHS seniors Jade Blackwell, Abigail Booton, Molly Brocious, Maryellen Bryson, Kiah Dihle, Ruchi Haight, Jamie Heidersdorf, Grace Hudson, Naomi Olver, Julia Robinson, and Rayna Ghering pose for a photo during JDHS’ senior night on May 19, 2022. (Courtesy photo / CIndy Erikson)

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