A trio of Thunder Mountain freshmen led their respective teams to victories over Ketchikan in Friday night soccer action.
Talon Briggs and Wallace Adams tallied first-half goals in the boys’ 2-1 win, and Julia Robinson scored her team’s first goal of the season in the girls’ 3-1 victory. The Falcon boys victory arrived just 48 hours after the team’s breakthrough win over Juneau-Douglas on Wednesday. Like in Wednesday’s game, Thunder Mountain’s defense came up big late in the game as the opponent threatened to tie the game.
Briggs scored off a header midway through the first half, positioning himself under a long corner kick from sophomore Logan Miller. Adams doubled the Falcons’ lead just 10 minutes later.
“It was so fun,” Briggs said of his goal. “It was the first varsity goal I’ve had all season and freshman year.”
TMHS coach Josh Odum hasn’t been tentative this season about giving underclassmen varsity minutes. In years past, the program only had 20 players, so starting freshmen in varsity games is nothing new to the young coach.
“If you have these younger players coming in with skill, it’s easier to recognize that after having six seasons of having no choice (but to play freshmen),” Odum said.
Ketchikan’s Degan Linne cut into the lead early in the second half, and then in the final five minutes, the Kings put a flurry of shots on goal. This time though, goalkeeper Caleb Traxler made the stops.
Ketchikan coach Jacob Potts said he’s been surprised at Thunder Mountain’s play this season. The two sides battled two weeks ago in Ketchikan, and the Falcons won both those games, too.
“When they came out and did that to us, we didn’t really expect anything like that,” Potts said. “Thunder Mountain’s always been underdogs for us. So it’s always been like, ‘OK, we’re coming in nonchalant, we’re going to win this game, we got JD next week.’ They came out and beat our butts in the first game, beat our butts in the second game.”
“In those two weeks we worked on a lot of things,” Potts added. “I just couldn’t be more proud of them. I wish we won of course.”
Following the boys game, Robinson showed off her shooting skills, launching the ball into the top right corner of the net from long range.
“It’s so cool to see that happen, especially since Julia was not expected to start as outside left back. She basically came in and took that spot,” TMHS coach John Newell said. “She’s just been doing really well back there, and to see her come in and get that goal, our first goal of the season, the whole team was just stoked over that. “
Ellie Knapp scored the next two goals, both in close to the net.
“I just happened to be in the right place,” Knapp said. “A lot of it had to do with my teammates being able to assist it right to me.”
Juneau-Douglas soccer defeats Homer
The JDHS soccer teams vanquished visiting Homer on Friday night at Adair-Kennedy. Senior Clem Taylor-Roth scored the go-ahead goal for the boys’ 2-1 victory, while senior Michaela Bentley had four goals in the girls’ 11-0 shutout.
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Empire Sports on Twitter at @akempiresports.