The Juneau-Douglas High School soccer teams got off to strong starts in their respective season openers on Wednesday night under overcast skies at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Field.
Only one of the two squads would prevail, however.
After dominating play and scoring what appeared to be the first goal of the season in the first half, the Juneau-Douglas boys fell to Clarkston High School 1-0. The Bantams, hailing from eastern Washington, played Thunder Mountain on Thursday before facing Ketchikan on Saturday.
“We came out on fire and we dominated the first 15 to 20 minutes, the ball barely crossed half field,” JDHS coach Gary Lehnhart said.
It was during this time senior Kanon Goetz put in what looked like his first goal of the season. The officials waved it off, however, because of an offsides ruling, and Clarkston junior Spencer Strasser scored just before halftime. Lehnhart said he was a little caught off guard by how quickly Clarkston got back in the game.
“It’s kind of surprising because you’re doing well and moving the ball and then all of a sudden it slips,” he said. “But there’s a good lesson in that for players. I think they kind of willed themselves into the game and then they definitely found their game.”
JDHS put several shots on net as time winded down on the second half, but couldn’t crack Clarkston goalkeeper Alessandro Itatlia.
“Slowly as the half went on, I felt like we started to get it back, we started competing, creating chances,” Lehnhart said. “But at the end, we never really put together the great chance.”
It was the first meeting between the two schools separated by well over 1,000 miles. Clarkston, who went 15-6 last season and made it to the first round of the Washington Class 2A state tournament, took up an offer by Ketchikan to play some games in Southeast Alaska. The Ketchikan Kings played against the Bantams last April in Clarkston, losing 5-2.
The Crimson Bears boys soccer team hit the road on Thursday for a three-game swing in Washington.
JDHS girls coast to crosstown win
The JDHS and TMHS girls faced off in the first game of the night. The Crimson Bears’ Malia Miller and Blake Plummer each scored two goals in the 8-0 win, extending JDHS’ win streak to five games dating back to last season.
“I think this was a collective win, they all put it together as a group,” JDHS coach Matt Dusenberry said.
Plummer opened the scoring in the 8th minute from senior Jessie Mayer. Miller extended the JDHS lead with back-to-back goals over the ensuing 16 minutes, rocketing the first one in with a left-foot strike and the second one on a penalty kick. Senior McKenzie Dimond converted a second penalty kick in the 39th minute and Bailey Wery Tagaban, Taylor Bentley, Eva Goering and Plummer added goals in the second half.
The JDHS girls play at Ketchikan this Friday and Saturday.
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or email@example.com.