Service High School is in town this weekend looking to bolster its reputation as a powerhouse in prep soccer on both the boys’ and girls’ sides.
On Friday at Thunder Mountain the Service Bears did just that, taking the Falcons girls down 7-0 and the boys 3-0.
SHS 3, TMHS 0
Thunder Mountain’s boys soccer team looked quite a bit improved in comparison to early games against a strong Juneau-Douglas High School team, holding possession for much longer stretches than their first matches against the Crimson bears.
The Falcons still fell however, failing to score a goal and giving up three on Thursday afternoon.
Service scored twice in the first half, with goals coming from Azzam Azzam and Brady Graff, who scored on a penalty kick.
With nine minutes to go in the game, Hugo Heraldez added a third for the Cougars, slotting his goal in from ten yards out.
Coach Dan Rufner, whose Service team plays three games in 24 hours, saw a lot of good things on the pitch, despite being surprised by the rain and wind at Thunder Mountain.
“We really haven’t had conditions like that yet this year, so we were pretty sloppy,” Rufner said. “Our defense held, and didn’t make many mistakes. Overall I thought we were good.”
The Falcons looked a much better side than previous competitions. Senior Jeremiah Stephens — a workhorse who plays all over the pitch — covered tons of ground, and kept his team looking dangerous. For the final 15 minutes the Falcons dominated possession as Service looked content with their three-goal lead.
“We’ve been practicing our ball movement, we’re moving the ball a lot better but it’s just the beginning of the season,” Stephens said. “We used to not talk to eachother, and just pass the ball, but now I can hear us talking a little better. … They (Service) are a good team, but we weren’t going to go in with a losing mindset.”
The Falcons boys play next at 6:15 p.m. Friday May 6 and 4:30 p.m. Saturday May 7 against Ketchikan at Adair-Kennedy.
SHS 7, TMHS 0
The Falcons girls took more punishment from Service than the boys team, but still found some positives at the end of Thursday’s match.
The Service girls are an experienced and technical bunch, who pass the ball patiently and bide their time on offense, content with pressuring the eighteen-yard box until the right moment opens.
Service scored four in the first half, with an own goal and scores coming from Savannah Nicholes, Natalie Goeth and Aislinn Waite, who also notched three assists.
In the second half Service scored three more times, with goals coming from Siri Parker, Mia Hayes and Lauren Hepler.
Service coach Mark Cascolan:
“We were a little slow in the attack, we’re trying to get into the attitude of possessing with purpose. Instead of just possessing the ball, thinking about what’s the final step. We were building up on that pretty well.”
TMHS coach Kris Coffee said her team linked together a nine-pass string towards the end of the game, a sequence they’re proud of, and can take that away as a bit of a silver lining in the loss.
The Falcons girls play next at 8 p.m. Friday and 2:45 p.m. Saturday against Ketchikan at Adair-Kennedy.