If you can’t trust the weatherman, you better know which way the wind blows.
The rain-soaked pitch favored Juneau-Douglas High School’s fast-paced game Friday night at Adair-Kennedy, but Service High School brought a superior air game, scoring on two set pieces which brought the Crimson Bears down 1-2 in an early-season prep soccer showdown.
JDHS outplayed Service for stretches of the match, but Service capitalized with its nose for goal on the game’s many free kicks.
The Cougars double teamed JDHS senior midfielder Oswaldo Magallanes — whom many place on the short list for state player of the year — nearly the entire game.
“We played well in the middle, we played fast, aggressive,” Magallanes said. “Our one-v-one defending in the back was flawless. … Tonight was very slick, balls just flew in and skipped around. We need to work on set pieces, and looking at that, we’ll do better in the future.”
Service senior defender and Oregon State University recruit Brady Graff peppered JDHS’ box with dangerous long balls off his big left foot.
“I might have taken nine free kicks, just trying to whip them in there,” Graff said. “JDHS is a good possessive team, and they know how to play in the rain; it took us a while to adapt to that.”
Service scored first off a free kick from the right corner of the 18-yard box in the game’s eighth minute. The ball bounced around before Service tapped it in.
Service’s second came off a late-game corner kick played to Service’s Hugo Heraldez. JDHS had chances to clear both goals out of the box but allowed Service shots after the ball bounced around.
JDHS found some urgency after conceding its second goal, with JJ Mosher getting one back from the top left of Service’s box, slipping while hitting a low shot into the left corner of the net.
Service coach Dan Rufner considered his team lucky to escape with the win as both teams possessed the ball with equal skill.
“It’s clear that Juneau is more practiced at that (playing in the rain),” Rufner said. “They played the kind of game that Juneau’s good at, switching the field of play, controlling skip balls and taking advantage of people that don’t get those skipped balls. … It could have went either way, for sure, but we did what we needed to on those set pieces. That’s what we’re good at.”
The JDHS boys head on a road trip this week to play games against East, Palmer, South and Bartlett high schools on May 4, 5, 6 and 7, respectively.