For those who say the people of Juneau can never work together and get things done, I give you the Juneau-Douglas High School boys soccer team.
The Crimson Bears continued to show they are one of the most dominant programs in the state in picking up a 4-0 nonconference victory over Homer Thursday at Skyview High School.
Juneau had originally planned to play West Thursday, but when the Eagles backed out, Homer agreed to meet the Mariners at Skyview for a match.
With the victory, the Crimson Bears improved to 10-0-1 this season. Juneau has been in the state finals the last four seasons, picking up two state championships. With a victory over Anchorage power Service earlier this year, the Bears have again established themselves amongst the state's elite despite losing 17 seniors from last season's state championship squad.
The Bears are relatively young this season, with six seniors on the roster, but they didn't allow Homer to put a solid shot on goal Thursday.
Homer coach Mike Olson said he was glad his team made the trip to Skyview to face Juneau even though his team fell to 0-2 on the year and still has not scored a goal.
"I would like to face opposition like that every game," Olson said. "They can teach us a thing two.
"Hopefully, the guys feel that way, too, even though it's tough to go down 4-0."
Olson said the main thing Juneau taught his team was how important it is to control the ball in the midfield.
The Crimson Bears were able to possess the ball in the midfield all game using short passes. This let them set up a number of nice combinations resulting in solid chances on Homer goalie Taber Webb.
Homer had a harder time controlling the ball at midfield. This meant all the Mariners could do was boot the ball upfield and run after it. This attacking style presented little trouble for Juneau.
Juneau coach Gary Lehnhart said his defense played a great game, but said his players were too selfish with the ball in the first half.
"We held on to the ball too long, and when we did that, Homer did a great job of tackling," Lehnhart said. "The players in the second half were more we than me.
"They weren't focusing on beating Homer one-on-one."
The Bears scored two goals in each half, but put five shots on goal in the first half compared to eight in the second half.
Lehnhart gives away a lunchbox award after every game to the player showing the most effort. Thursday that award went to Kabil Seesan, who gave the Bears a boost when he came on eight minutes into the game. He immediately took a cross from Nathan Schroeder and deposited it in the net.
At the 33-minute mark, Juneau scored again when Ephraim Froelich put a shot on goal and Jamaal Bailey tapped in the rebound.
In the 43rd minute, Ian Brinkman played a corner kick to Schroeder for a 3-0 lead. Keil Urata finished up the scoring in the 63rd minute when he converted a penalty kick after Seesan was brought down in the box.
Despite the loss, Olson took away some positives. Llosh Winne had a great game at defense for Homer. Winne, the tallest player on the field, turned away countless Juneau attacks with his head.
Olson said Webb held up reasonably well in goal, while Brady Boone made some nice runs at striker and Dylan Toole put up a fight in the midfield.
"They're a well-coached team with a lot of talent," Olson said of Juneau. "When you get those two combinations, it's going to take you a long way."
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