Falcons Soccer Boys Rain on Crimson Bears Pitch

    Thunder Mountain juniors Wallace Adams (12), Phillip Lam (10) and Talon Briggs (11) celebrate a goal by Briggs in the Falcons 5-1 win over Juneau-Douglas. (Klas Stolpe)

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Thunder Mountain High School boys soccer team broke through the rain on the Juneau-Douglas pitch Tuesday night, for a 5-1 Falcons win over the Crimson Bears.

      “We started out slow but things really came together,” Thunder Mountain coach Tim Lewis said. “The guys got their feet under them and the weather calmed down for a little bit. We are just trying to preach working together, communicating, creating space, and creating movement off the ball.”

      The Falcons scored three times in the first half.

      “I think everything they did worked and pretty much everything we did, didn’t work,” Juneau-Douglas coach Gary Lehnhart said. “Hats off to them, it was definitely their night. We’ll learn from it.”

      TMHS junior Talon Briggs took an assist from senior Gavin Gende for the first goal, and from sophomore Preston Lam for a 2-0 lead.

      “Last game we didn’t quite lock in and at the start were a little slow,” Gende said. “Once we got it going tonight you can look at the score and see how we did. We were locked in, we made passes. We didn’t do that last game but we did this game and we came away with a much more satisfying win.”

      With field conditions around the league finally breaking out of Spring snow teams are finding more pitch time.

      “Now we are getting more practices and we are playing more together as a whole team, so I think that is what is bringing the team chemistry together,” Gende said.

      Falcons’ senior Logan Miller banged in a shot from a touch pass by junior Wallace Adams for a 3-0 lead before the break.

      Miller added an unassisted score in the opening minutes of the second half.

      Juneau-Douglas sophomore Gabe Cheng put the Crimson Bears on the board with a rebounding shot in front of the Falcons’ box but all momentum shifted minutes later when the Falcons’ Briggs rocketed a shot from 35 yards out that found a spot of air in the net.

      “I had hit a pretty similar shot in the first half that went in,” Briggs said. “I figured I might as well try again and it worked out. I think the win was pretty good because the last game was a little closer than we wanted it to be. So this game we really showed out, we showed everyone what we were capable of.”

      The Falcons recently had a week off of practice dealing with a coronavirus case but have recovered with a week of strong practices.

      “We had more practices in,” Briggs said. “So we got to get familiar with each other again and got some more touches in.”

      Coaches noted defensive efforts on both sides.

      Thunder Mountain senior Trevor Guesno got the Falcons' nod.

      “We definitely were playing well,” Guesno said. “They were coming hard and we played them hard. I just had to lock down certain players. I feel like I did that job pretty well.”

      Juneau-Douglas sophomore Will Robinson went end-to-end all match to earn the Crimson Bears’ pitch honors.

      “Just never giving up,” Robinson said. “We were down, like, four and it is easy to give up at that point. I think it is just good for the team to have somebody to keep trying and it gives everyone energy I think. We have to be ready to play every game because they are going to come fast, we can’t start slow. We are usually finishing strong, we have to go hard right away.”

      Crimson Bears senior Tim Degner also was noted for his non-stop field athleticism.

      “I think it is key for us to keep up our energy,” Degner said. “We definitely have to go home and look at what we can improve on and keep up our motivation and keep together as a team. TM is not an easy opponent, they are definitely working this year, but I think we also need to understand that they are beatable and that we need to work better as a team and communicate.”

      JDHS coach Lehnhart said the Crimson Bears will regroup.

      “Their offensive efficiency was off the charts and ours was horrible,” Lehnhart said. “When you do that you lose. I thought we played hard. It really came down to what happens when you are in front of the net. You take your shots and they made theirs and we didn’t. It is easy to let a game like this get away from you and have it mean more than it needs to. We’re young, we’re really inexperienced and hopefully we learned a lot today.”

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