Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Thunder Mountain High School girls soccer team put their road game in high gear at Ketchikan over the weekend.
“These were impressive first games,” Thunder Mountain coach John Newell said. “It was a lot of pent up energy from the last year or so, these girls being cooped up in gyms and not being able to play. Both teams were just excited to be on the field.”
The Lady Falcons unleashed a team scoring frenzy with 7-0 wins on both Friday and Saturday against the Lady Kings.
On Friday single goals came from seniors Ellie Knapp, Bella Hanna and Macey Fuette, juniors Kiah Dihle, Ruchi Haight and Molly Brocious, and freshman Kaidree Hartman.
“That is exactly what we have been working on, the team concept,” Newell said. “We don’t just rely on one individual player, that we play as a team. As they pass the ball on the ground, and move around, one of them ends up finding themselves in front of the goal and that is exactly how it worked. With seven different girls scoring goals it was really impressive to watch.”
Thunder Mountain put up another seven goals on Saturday.
Hanna scored in the 12th minute of action and Knapp in the 13th minute.
Junior Julia Robinson then put in back-to-back goals in the 17th and 18th minutes of play.
Fuette scored in the 22nd minute and Knapp scored her second of the game for a 6-0 score in the first half.
Brocious put the final ball into the net in the 79th minute.
“It was absolutely awesome to get the girls on to the field and playing,” Newell said. “Not just for my team, for both teams after just sitting around and not being able to, basically, just go out in public. It was so cool to be able to go down there and everybody was just extremely excited because we were able to get out on the field and actually have a real game.”
Perhaps the only misstep the Falcons took was not expecting the hot and dusty Kayhi pitch.
“It was incredible how many mask-tans we ended up with,” Newell said. “We were not prepared with sunscreen or anything else. So everybody has mask-tans. Instead of a skiers’ goggle-tan, where the lower half of your face is tan and your eyes are white, it was the exact opposite.”
Newell said the team had planned for most contingencies and the masks were just an annoyance and not an issue.
“From top to bottom everybody on the team was happy, just so excited to be out on the field kicking around,” he said.
Next up for soccer fans are the Ketchikan Lady Kings playing Juneau-Douglas this Wednesday and Thursday (April 21-22). Those games will be played on the TMHS pitch due to a heavy layer of snow at the Crimson Bears Adair Kennedy Field. Varsity game times will be at 5:15 p.m. with JV following at 7.
“Since the JDHS girls helped us shovel our field we are letting them come up here and play Ketchikan because their field is not going to be ready to go,” Newell said. “So we will cancel our practices and let them play on our field. And we will come and cheer everybody.”
The Thunder Mountain girls then host Juneau-Douglas on Saturday with the Varsity game at 5:15 and JV following at 7.
Note: Newell award Game Balls on Friday to junior midfielder Kiah Dihle for her header goal and junior MF Abigail Booton for her hard work to reach the varsity game level. Game Balls on Saturday went to senior MF Bella Hanna for overall hustle and junior defender Julia Robinson for midfield control and scoring. JV players Mackenzie Over (so.), Kaidree Hartman (fr.), Jade Blackwell (jr.) and Kaylani Tupou (sr.) also received accolades. The TMHS JV defeated the Kayhi JV 5-0 and 2-0.