Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The defending Division II state soccer champion Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé Crimson Bears girls had, arguably, their best start to a season with back-to-back 10-0 wins over host Ketchikan during weekend pitch action at Kayhi’s Esther Shea Field.
JDHS coach Matt Dusenberry noted that the score was not as important as the camaraderie on the pitch, including sharing junior varsity players with a Ketchikan team that has lower numbers than usual.
“It’s early on in the season and, like I said before, last year’s team is last year’s team,” JDHS coach Matt Dusenberry said. “And while I certainly have an idea of some of the kids, we are putting some other kids in different positions and things like that. And our first two matches of the season I am not letting the score dictate how things are going. I certainly saw some things we can improve on and I saw some things I was pretty happy to see so early on in the season with the team.”
Dusenberry said the experience of the team is a strong point, with 10 seniors starting out of the 11 on the roster.
“I actually had to ask if I could talk at halftime because they were coaching themselves and communicating and talking through some situations that they know they went through in the game,” Dusenberry said. “And they knew certain players were in a new position so they certainly were helping each other out through what they could have done differently…”
On Friday first half goals came from senior Marina Lloyd in the third minute unassisted, senior Kyla Bentz scored in the ninth minute (assist Lloyd), sophomore Cadence Plummer in the 11th minute (senior Blake Plummer) and senior Brooke Sanford in the 24th minute (freshman Cerys Hudson).
Second half goals came from Sanford in the 42nd minute (B. Plummer), senior Ella Goldstein the 45th minute (Bentz), B. Plummer 50th minute (Goldstein), C. Plummer in the 58th (B. Plummer) and 66th minutes (unassisted) and B. Plummer unassisted in the 79th minute.
The team’s Hard Hat Award went to B. Plummer for her calm presence on the pitch.
On Saturday Goldstein received the Hard Hat for her unselfish play on the pitch that included the first goal of the game but also three assists in a row, including two perfect touches to freshman Natalie Travis for her first career varsity goals.
“Certainly the stat sheet doesn’t dictate whether or not you get the Hard Hat or not,” Dusenberry said. “But both of those kids in both of those matches just came to play and they did fill the state sheet. Blake (Plummer) did really well on Friday night kind of calming down people and just letting the ball play and finding people… and giving them opportunities to score… and Ella (Goldstein) scored the first goal and then had three assists in a row in the first half…we had a freshman in there, Natalie Travis was playing up top and she was able to score her first two goals in her high school career and Ella fed her the ball and she put them away nicely.”
On Saturday Goldstein scored unassisted in the second minute, Travis in the third (Goldstein) and 13th (Goldstein), senior Natanya Reed the 20th (Goldstein), B. Plummer 27th (unassisted), Lloyd 40th, Bentz the 52nd (Travis) and 55th minutes (Travis), and Goldstein the 58th (B. Plummer) and 63rd (B. Plummer).
Senior Zuri DeJean registered the shut out wins in goal.
Dusenberry said the team still has areas to improve on.
“I think just early on it is trusting each other and maybe playing the ball a little bit quicker,” he said. “Friday night was great, weather wise, we thought we were going to get poured on but Saturday… the amount of wind and rain and things like that, sometimes knowing how to play to that and adjust to that it can be difficult. You hold on to the ball too much because that is easier to do rather than play it on or pass it on.”
The JDHS girls will travel across town to face the Thunder Mountain Lady Falcons tomorrow on Falcons Field. The varsity girls play first at 5:15 p.m. and the junior varsity follow at 7 p.m.
Above - Ketchikan High School freshman Aspen Bauer (13) closes in on Juneau Douglas High School senior Blake Plummer (13) during a 10-0 Juneau Douglas win at Esther Shea Field on Friday, April 1, 2022. (photo courtesy Dustin Safranek/Ketchikan Daily News)