Crimson Bears freshman Malia Miller had a bit of a coming out party at Thunder Mountain Field on Tuesday.
Miller scored a hat trick as the Juneau-Douglas High School girls soccer team jumped on Thunder Mountain High School early and didn’t let up in their 5-0 shutout.
Senior Maddie McKeown scored the first two and Miller the final three. Though TMHS looked more organized than their first game, JDHS’ McKeown scored her pair of goals in the first 10 minutes, taking the wind out of her opponent’s sails and grounding the Falcons.
Juneau’s two teams have played three times this year, but this was JDHS’ first shutout of the Falcons.
“I think we’re little by little each time we play making minor adjustments and getting better at what we do,” said JDHS coach Matt Dusenberry. “It’s nice to see them see each other, move the ball around and create opportunities.”
Miller scored her first goal in the game off an assist from McKeown, who slid a perfectly-weighted ball through TMHS’ back line and onto Miller’s run on the left side. Miller pulled her shot across goal, placing it low and well out of reach on the Falcons’ right post.
Miller’s second came off a free kick from senior Amber White, whose 50-yarder found senior Rylee Landon’s head in the six-yard box. Landon sent it straight up in the air and Miller tapped the ball in from Thunder Mountain’s goal line.
The freshman scored her third with 10 minutes left. A corner kick deflected out to senior Meranda Frenzel who, with her back to goal, kicked the ball overhead to find Miller six yards out for her hat trick.
Miller has five goals already this year. TMHS’ Sierra Mccain, a fast striker who can stretch defenses out, did her best to track down balls over the top of the Crimson Bears’ back line, but threatened JDHS’ goal only a handful of times.
While Dusenberry said that McCain can “flat out run and play,” he felt his defense did just fine handling the few offensive opportunities TMHS had.
TMHS senior Abby Derocher, a rock in the middle for the Falcons, felt her team may have hung their heads a bit after McKeown’s two early goals.
“I felt like, maybe after the goals that we got scored on us we hung our heads and gave up a bit,” Derocher said. “It happens, though, it’s hard to get back up from being so low.”
Though Derocher wished her team had more belief, she is happy with their improved organization.
“We had more organized passing than our first games against them, but we lacked communication a little bit,” she said. “I felt we were more complete than the first game, for sure, I felt we passed a lot better.”
Senior Amber White and junior Erika Holst were credited with assists on the first and second goals.
JDHS and TMHS play Service High School this weekend. JDHS has games at 6 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. Saturday at Adair-Kennedy Field. TMHS plays Service at 11:30 a.m. Friday.