The Thunder Mountain High School boys soccer team had no answers for Clarkston junior Steve Baiye on Thursday afternoon.
After putting together a strong first half in their home opener, the Falcons allowed Baiye to let loose with three goals in a 4-1 loss at TMHS.
It was the Bantams’ second win in less than 24 hours after arriving in Alaska’s capital on Tuesday for nonconference games against Juneau’s two high school boys soccer teams. Clarkston defeated Juneau-Douglas 1-0 on Wednesday night at Adair-Kennedy Memorial Field. The team hails from eastern Washington.
“The team finally came together and we bypassed the other team,” in the second half, said Baiye, a midfielder who along with his brother, Theodore, had possession of the ball more than any other players.
The Falcons were coming off back-to-back road wins over Ketchikan, winning last Friday and Saturday 4-0 and 3-1 respectively.
Head coach Josh Odum appreciated the physicality in which Baiye and his Clarkston teammates brought, even though sometimes it resulted in his players going flying to the turf.
“It was nice play against a team that doesn’t mind taking a hit, throwing a shoulder,” Odum said. “This is how soccer should look. They were aggressive in all the right places, but both teams were talking and making jokes. It was great, this is what it should be like.”
The Bantams started getting the ball deep into the Falcons’ end midway through the first half. Baiye unleashed a shot from from about 30 yards out that sent Falcons goalkeeper Caleb Traxler sprawling to come up with a diving save.
Theodore Baiye, Steve’s older brother, gave the Bantams the lead with eight minutes left in the first half, firing the ball into the corner of the net.
Steve Baiye then scored at the 52, 60 and 65-minute marks in the second half, the first of which included a picture-perfect bicycle kick that beat freshman goalkeeper Miles Peterson.
“I saw no one close to me so I was like, ‘Oh yeah, I got to do it,’” Baiye said. “Normally, when there’s people close to you, the ref’s definitely going to call it.”
Thunder Mountain sophomore Logan Miller closed out the game’s scoring, beating Clarkston goalkeeper Jarret Armstrong with under 10 minutes to play.
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or email@example.com.