Thunder Mountain’s goalkeeper Alan Plosay, left, and teammate Kieran Kollar, center, knock the ball away from Kenai’s Nathaniel Beiser at THMS on Friday. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Thunder Mountain’s goalkeeper Alan Plosay, left, and teammate Kieran Kollar, center, knock the ball away from Kenai’s Nathaniel Beiser at THMS on Friday. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Tuttle dashes Thunder Mountain upset hopes

It was hard to reconcile the Thunder Mountain High School boys soccer team’s first game of the season with its second.

Playing against Kenai Central High School Friday night at TMHS, the Falcons hardly resembled the team that got pushed around in a 5-0 loss to Juneau-Douglas High School nine days earlier.

TMHS scored two goals in under 20 minutes and continued to put pressure on Kenai’s defense for the entire first half.

“This was a 180,” TMHS coach Josh Odum said of his team’s turnaround. “I think that first game we were kicking off some rust and we’re always a little timid against JD, they’re the big dogs in town. … This felt good. This is a victory for us.”

But only a moral victory — the Kardinals, which finished in third place at the state tournament last season, scored four unanswered goals to come away with a 4-2 victory and improve to 5-1-0. TMHS drops to 0-2-0

“It was good to finally get everybody to settle in,” said Kenai’s Zach Tuttle, who scored all three second-half goals. “We knew we could beat this team but everybody came in maybe a little too confident and we didn’t settle down and play our game until towards the end.”

It was all Falcons at the beginning of the game. TMHS junior Marc Manlulu registered the first shot on net in the first 30 seconds of play and capitalized on a separate play some four minutes later.

TMHS’ Shay McCormick lined up a free kick from just outside the penalty box, delivering a good strike on net. The ball was struck down and but remained long enough in the goal area (the small box that sits in front of the goal line) for Manlulu to get behind it.

“In there, it gets really chaotic,” Manlulu said. “But I saw the opening and I took it.”

The Falcons added another goal a little over 10 minutes later after freshman forward Logan Miller took a chance on a shot from distance.

Kenai answered back in the 36th minute on Nate Beiser’s goal that brought the Kardinals within one. The visiting team dominated play for most of the second half and finally found the equalizer on an excellent header by Tuttle in the 70th minute.

He wasn’t done there, though.

The reigning Northern Lights Conference player of the year broke the tie in the 76th minute on a lightning-quick rush up the field and added another in stoppage time. Senior Luke Beiser assisted on the first goal and junior Damien Redder assisted on the second two.

“I guess we just got tired at the end,” Manlulu said. “Second half, they stayed on our half for a while … they had so many corner (kick) opportunities, it really stressed us out.”

Despite the loss, Manlulu and the Falcons are keeping their heads up.

“Knowing that we can score against Kenai, we have a chance against anyone else, like JD, West,” he said. “This scoring gave us that little boost.”

After a game against West Anchorage on Saturday, the Falcons host Ketchikan on Thursday and Friday at TMHS.


• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or nainsworth@juneauempire.com. Follow Empire Sports on Twitter at @akempiresports.


More in Sports

A roadside daisy displays a fasciated center. (Photo by Deana Barajas)
On the Trails: An odd plant malady, a clever duck, and more

I recently learned about a mysterious, relatively rare affliction of plants called… Continue reading

Juneau’s Jacob Thibodeau (right) takes a selfie with WSOP legend Phil Hellmuth in the background. (Photo provided by Alaska Sports Report)
Juneau’s Jacob Thibodeau and Mario Fata consistently cashing in at World Series of Poker

Anchorage pro Adam Hendrix remains Alaska’s most prominent poker player, but don’t… Continue reading

Heidi Reifenstein reaches Father Brown’s Cross to complete the Goldbelt Tram-Mount Roberts Trail Run on Saturday, setting a new women’s record for the 3½-mile race with a time of 37 minutes and 40 seconds. (Photo by Jeff Gnass)
A mother of a mountain: Heidi Reifenstein sets new women’s record for Goldbelt Tram-Mount Roberts Trail Run

Longtime Juneau resident returns to peak form after taking break from racing while raising kids.

After a morning hike, a satisfying breakfast for under $20 hits the spot. (Photo by Jeff Lund)
I Went to the Woods: Food for thought

To my left is a man with a thick British accent who… Continue reading

The Nogahabara Sand Dunes in the Koyukuk Wilderness Area west of Koyukuk River. (Keith Ramos / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
Alaska Science Forum: Mystery of the glass tool kit in the sand

From space, the Nogahabara Dunes are a splotch of blond sand about… Continue reading

A bumblebee pollinates the flower of shy maiden, which will turn upward soon afterward. (Photo by Bob Armstrong)
On the Trails: Flowers, showy and otherwise

The spring and summer flower show at Cowee Meadows (way out on… Continue reading

Athletes compete in a swim event at the Dimond Park Aquatic Center on Sept. 16, 2023. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire file photo)
My Turn: It’s OK to say an athlete failed at obtaining a goal

During the telecasts of the 2024 Olympic trials commentators stated that around… Continue reading

A brush turkey on a mound the size of a car (Flickr.com photo by Doug Beckers /CC-BY-SA-2.0)
On the Trails: Nest-building by male birds

Most birds build some sort of nest where the eggs are incubated.… Continue reading

Insects like these flies clinging to a tent seem to be in ample supply in Alaska’s boreal forest. (Photo by Ned Rozell)
Alaska Science Forum: Insects of Alaska forest humming along

Recent long-term studies revealed a three-quarters reduction of insects in parts of… Continue reading

An estimated 185 people, many dressed in unconventional attire for running or walking, take off from the starting line outside Centennial Hall during the Only Fools Run At Night on Friday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Juneau revives its summer solstice spirit with Only Fools Run At Night

Runners and walkers in madcap costumes fill downtown streets as race returns after six-year absence.

Lydia Jacoby, Alaska’s gold-medal swimmer, announced Tuesday she is withdrawing from the U.S. Olympic Trials. (Alaska Sports Report photo)
P.J. Foy does not advance, Lydia Jacoby withdraws from U.S. Olympic swimming trials

First-ever Juneau swimmer to compete in trials finishes 49th among 61 competitors Friday.

Trout Unlimited's Matt Boline holds a container with coho fry for official documentation of anadromous fish use in an unnamed creek in the vicinity of Juneau. (Photo by Jeff Lund)
I Went to the Woods: Survey says…

Our floatplane cleared the notch in the snowy ridge then turned slightly… Continue reading