TMHS girls soccer celebrate senior night

Thunder Mountain High School’s four seniors celebrated the end of their high school soccer careers Saturday during a 2-0 loss to Juneau-Douglas High School. Seniors Rylee Landen and Amber White scored the goals for JDHS.

The Falcons girls played a much better game than their Friday-night 8-0 loss and ended the year looking like an improved squad. The girls made strides in a rebuilding year after three successful years which brought them two conference championships.

TMHS graduated four seniors from the team this year: Madison Polley, Abbey DeRocher, Tiana Tuber and Rebecka JoAnne Miller.

The senior girls leave a self-described “quirky” team, who will always be known for cheering each other on through the hard times and the good.

“It sounds cliche, but it’s basically a second family,” DeRocher said.

“Today was really hard, I was crying before the game. It’s our last one in high school,” Huber said.

The group has been a part of the Falcons most important moment as a soccer team: their freshman-year win over JDHS.

“That was crazy. It was so much fun,” Polley said. “I just remember crazy emotions. People were crying they were so happy.”

TMHS beat JDHS all four times they played them in 2013 and won the Southeast conference title. The Falcons went undefeated in conference play in 2014 with six wins and two ties. Last year the conference title came down to the last game between JDHS and TMHS, which JDHS happened to win with two late goals.

The Falcons seniors are proud to be a part of the group that helped the program grow.

“Our team is always going to go through those growing stages, and it just has to get to that point where you’re that set team and you dominate. There are those years where you lose players and you gain players and you just have to start fresh,” Polley said.

A big part of the team’s improvement has been their coaching staff.

“John (Newell, assistant coach) was a really nice addition to the team this year. We’ve been learning through his pointers. I was coached by him when I was younger, but he’s a great mentor,” Huber said.

“It’s a bummer we only had John for one year,” DeRocher added

“Kris (Coffee, head coach) is my second mom, she’s great,” Polley said.

“Josh Odum was my one-on-one coach last year as a goalkeeper, and I would not have learned the position if it wasn’t for him,” Huber said.

DeRocher credits soccer with making her high school career worthwhile. She will attend Wyoming University next year to study sociology.

Miller will attend Northern Michigan University next year to study political science and economics.

Huber will continue playing soccer in college for an intramural team, though she didn’t specify where.

Polley couldn’t play in the senior night game because of a concussion she suffered in the Falcon’s Friday night game against JDHS, but she was out there for the opening kickoff. The Falcons refer to Polley as the team “mom,” a distinction she said she’s honored by and will miss greatly when she attends school at Linfield College in Oregon next year to study nursing in hopes of becoming a midwife.

More in Sports

La Perouse Glacier in Southeast Alaska retreats from a campsite in summer 2021. (Photo by Ned Rozell)
Alaska Science Forum: Number of Alaska glaciers is everchanging

A glaciologist once wrote that the number of glaciers in Alaska “is… Continue reading

An outdoor basketball hoop is seen in Bethel in October 2022. Alaskans will be able to play only on sports teams that match their gender at birth through college if a new bill becomes law. (Photo by Claire Stremple)
Alaska House committee advances, expands proposal to bar trans girls from girls sports

Bill adds elementary, middle school and collegiate sports to limits in place for high school.

Utah’s Alissa Pili, right, poses for a photo with WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert after being selected eighth overall by the Minnesota Lynx during the first round of the WNBA basketball draft on Monday in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Alaska’s Alissa Pili selected by Minnesota Lynx as eighth pick in WNBA Draft

Two-time All-American is fifth Alaskan to be drafted, third to go in the top 10.

Pseudoscorpions are very small predators of springtails and mites. (Photo by Bob Armstrong)
On the Trails: Intertidal explorations

A bit of exploration of the rocky intertidal zone near Shaman Island… Continue reading

The author’s wife fights a steelhead while the author contemplates fly selection. (Photo by Jeff Lund)
I Went to the Woods: The fear of missing fish

Student: “You know, FOMO, the Fear Of Missing Out” Me: “I know… Continue reading

Astrophysicists Lindsay Glesener, left, and Sabrina Savage enjoy the sunshine on an observation deck at the Neil Davis Science Center on a hilltop at Poker Flat Research Range north of Fairbanks. (Photo by Ned Rozell)
Alaska Science Forum: Waiting for the sun at Poker Flat

POKER FLAT RESEARCH RANGE — Under a bluebird sky and perched above… Continue reading

Purple mountain saxifrage blooms on cliffs along Perseverance Trail in early April. (Photo by Pam Bergeson)
On the Trails: Flowers and their visitors

Flowers influence their visitors in several ways. Visitors may be attracted by… Continue reading

Elias Lowell, 15, balances his way to the end of the pond during the annual Slush Cup at Eaglecrest Ski Area on Sunday, the last day of what officials called and up-and-down season. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Up-and-down season at Eaglecrest ends on splashy note with Slush Cup

Ski area’s annual beach party features ice-filled water, snowy shores and showboating skimmers.

Maddy Fortunato, a Chickaloon middle school student, sets to attempt the one-hand reach by touching a suspended ball while remaining balanced on the other hand during the Traditional Games on Sunday at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Striving for the perfect balance of competition, camaraderie at seventh annual Traditional Games

More than 250 participants pursue personal goals while helping others during Indigenous events.

Aren Gunderson of the UA Museum of the North inspects the back paw of a Siberian tiger donated recently by officials of the Alaska Zoo in Anchorage after the tiger died at age 19. (Photo by Ned Rozell)
Alaska Science Forum: Siberian tiger takes final rest at museum

It’s a safe bet that Aren Gunderson’s Toyota Tundra is the only… Continue reading

A rainbow connects with Kajson Cunningham (30) as he connects with the ball for Thunder Mountain High School during Tuesday’s game against Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé at JDHS, the opening match of the season for both teams. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
High school soccer season starts with a spectrum of goals and milestones

JDHS boys begin state title defense with 4-0 victory over TMHS, which is playing its final season.

A male rusty blackbird in breeding dress. (Photo by Bob Armstrong)
On the Trails: A hungry goshawk and some early spring observations

Every late afternoon, a bunch of mallards is in the habit of… Continue reading