West Anchorage High School brings out the best in Juneau-Douglas High School junior Michaela Bentley.
At the state tournament last season, the forward scored one of the goals in a 3-3 tie against the Eagles in the third-place game. In Thursday night’s nonconference game against West Anchorage at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Field, Bentley scored twice, with both goals coming after teammate Malia Miller went out with an ankle sprain.
“I knew I had to work up to how aggressive to how Malia plays,” Bentley said.
“We’ve been playing together since we were like 5, so we’re used to each other on the field,” she added. “So not having her (on the field), it’s like, I’m looking for Malia and then she’s not there.”
The 3-0 win maintains a perfect record for JDHS, now at 5-0 for the season. Four of the five Crimson Bear wins have come via a shutout.
West Anchorage, just 24 hours removed from tying Dimond High School 0-0, are now 2-1-2 overall.
JDHS senior Marlena Romanoff scored the first goal of the game in the 10th minute.
“Knowing that we were up 1-nothing at half, we knew that all we really needed to do was defend and we walk out with the ‘W,’” JDHS head coach Matt Dusenberry said. “Luckily, we were able to get two more in there, too.”
Bentley made it 2-0 in the 42nd minute on a 36-yard shot that remained on the grass most of the way. To make it 3-0, the junior elevated a 33-yarder that caught goaltender Marisol Vargas off guard.
West senior captain Isabella Roberts produced her team’s best scoring opportunity not long before Bentley’s second goal. Sophomore Kiara Melendez made a gorgeous pass to Roberts, who was being chased by several defenders. Roberts mustered a short shot on the net, but JDHS keeper Shaylin Cesar made a diving save to keep the shutout alive. Cesar turned aside eight shots in the shutout.
The two teams play again on Saturday morning at 8:45 a.m. at Adair-Kennedy.
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org.