Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The beautiful game returned to the Thunder Mountain high school soccer pitch over the weekend as the Falcons downed Ketchikan.
The Falcons boys soccer team used a mix of technical passing and physical defending to blank the visiting Ketchikan Kings 7-0 on Friday and 3-1 on Saturday.
“We have gotten a lot better since my freshman year,” Falcons senior Logan Miller said. “It has been really cool to see the whole process. It felt really good, we haven’t played, obviously in about two years, but it just felt good to be back on the field and playing with all my friends. I have been playing with these guys since sixth grade and we all know how to play together.”
Miller scored three goals on Friday night, junior Wallace Adams notched two and junior Talon Briggs put one in the back of the net.
Adams hit the first goal of the season at 5:20 into the first half, striking from just off left of center from 35 yards out.
“We have been waiting on this for two whole years now,” Adams said. “We didn’t get a season last year so we were just waiting to come out with the same hot team from my freshman year. We really wanted it. We want to take everything this year. We have been waiting on it forever. We have been talking about this since we were fifth and sixth graders. We all grew up together and this is everything we have ever wanted as a team. We are happy to be here and happy to take our first win.”
Miller struck a corner kick that Briggs put in over the Kayhi keeper 17:05 into the first half.
“We came out strong this year,” Briggs said. “I think everybody clicked. For a while we could only shovel the field and only got a few practices in but we really turned out today.”
Miller scored his first goal at the 24 minute mark, making two defenders miss marking, and striking from 10 yards out at center.
Adams hit his second at the 33:48 mark, beating his defender on the left side and striking past the Kayhi keeper from 10 yards.
Miller added his second score with a hard strike from 15 yards at center and two minutes later Miller ran into a pass from Adams to fire a shot past the keeper on the left side for his third tally and ending the half.
At 12:40 into the second half Thunder Mountain pressured Ketchikan to score an own goal.
Falcons senior Gavin Gende caused a Kings player to mishandle a shot into the Kings own net.
“We have been working towards this all our high school career, building from our freshman year,” Gende said. “We are going to break records and we are going to go all the way.”
Gende had a solid match in his defensive role, moving quickly to the player with the ball and sacrificing for the team.
“It feels really good,” he said. “We have the support we need to just work the ball up and eventually, having that strong base at the back and working our way up and that’s how we score goals. We are able to make those connections, those quick plays all the way.”
On Saturday Adams scored on an assist by Miller at 14:40 of the first half and Ketchikan tied the match at the 28:53 mark.
The two teams were in a more even run during the first 40 minutes of action.
In the second half freshman Owen Adams elbowed his way into the keepers box to smack a rebound shot at point blank range for a 2-1 Falcons lead just 12:25 in.
Briggs made it a 3-1 Falcons game with the season’s first penalty kick after being brought down on a run at the 27:40 mark.
“That was some awesome soccer to watch today,” Thunder Mountain coach Tim Lewis said. “I thought they played great. It has been a while and it definitely showed with their eagerness and excitement. I think it showed in how they played and the score reflects that.
Lewis said the team had “good progressions, we made passes and we didn’t make too many mistakes.”
The next scheduled games for TMHS are against Juneau-Douglas on the Falcons pitch Tuesday, April 27. Varsity game time is 7 p.m., JV is 5:15.