Juneau-Douglas’ Michaela Bentley and Malia Miller embrace following Miller’s goal in the second half of their 5-1 win over Soldotna in the 2019 ASAA/First National Bank Alaska soccer state championship match at Service High School in Anchorage. (Michael Dinneen | For the Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas’ Michaela Bentley and Malia Miller embrace following Miller’s goal in the second half of their 5-1 win over Soldotna in the 2019 ASAA/First National Bank Alaska soccer state championship match at Service High School in Anchorage. (Michael Dinneen | For the Juneau Empire)

Recent JDHS grads find success on college pitch

Remember them?

It didn’t take long for Juneau soccer standouts Michaela Bentley and Malia Miller to notch their first respective collegiate goals.

Bentley, a freshman midfielder at Scottsdale Community College in Arizona, scored back-to-back goals in a 6-1 win over Mesa Community College two weeks ago. It was the fourth game of the season for the Fighting Artichokes (3-3-1), who have eight games left on the regular season.

[‘A natural-born, goal-scoring machine’: JDHS grad named Alaska Gatorade Player of the Year in girls soccer]

“Since my playing time is limited, I have to make the most of the time I get,” Bentley wrote in a message to the Empire. “So scoring against Mesa felt good because I was able to not only add points to the score but hopefully show the coaches more of my skills and what I can do for the team.”

A 40-goal-scorer in high school, Bentley said it’s been tough to make the jump to college soccer.

“Coming into this, I wasn’t expecting it to be as competitive and serious, but it has pushed my limits every practice and every game,” she said.

Miller, a freshman forward at Bellevue College in Washington, scored in just her second outing with the Northwest Athletic Conference team. Miller, who led Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaat.at Kalé with 43 goals last year, was one of three Bulldogs with first-half goals in the team’s 4-0 rout of the Lane Titans last month.

Two weeks ago, Miller picked up a goal and assist as the Bulldogs (5-2) defeated Pierce 4-0 in their home opener. Bellevue has nine games remaining on its schedule.

“So happy for them that they’re able to continue to play the game they enjoy,” JDHS coach Matt Dusenberry said. “The fact that they’re contributing to their team already has to feel good for them, but it doesn’t surprise me as they both worked hard throughout their high school years.”

Miller scored 105 career goals for the Crimson Bears, and was named her senior year the Alaska Gatorade Player of the Year.


• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or nainsworth@juneauempire.com.


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