Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The Juneau-Douglas High School Yadaa.at Kalé girls soccer team defended their home pitch against Thunder Mountain on Monday night at Adair Kennedy, winning on a last minute kick from the corner flag that was redirected in the box.
Crimson Bears senior midfielder Taylor Bentley scored off a corner kick by junior forward Blake Plummer in the 79th minute for the 3-2 win.
“Blake put it in the perfect spot,” Bentley said. “And then I just ran onto it and I just ran into the ball and it went into the goal and it was pretty exciting.”
Both Juneau-Douglas coach Matt Dusenberry and Thunder Mountain coach John Newell said the game was one of the better ones played in their careers.
“I thought it was an exciting game,” Dusenberry said. “Both teams worked and played really hard.”
Newell concurred, saying “The game was well played, well reffed and was a hard fought, but clean game. Each team only committed three or four minor fouls that were called.”
Juneau-Douglas senior forward Jasmin Holst put in the first goal of the game half way through the first half.
Thunder Mountain junior midfielder Julia Robinson scored at the end of the first half, set up by two teammates.
Senior midfielder Bella Hanna put a brilliant crossing ball to freshman forward Kaidree Hartman. Hartman spun with the ball and laid it off to Robinson who scored from past the top of the keeper’s box at 18 yards out for the 1-1 tie going into the break.
Coaches said the game had a defined ebb and flow with Juneau-Douglas applying pressure from the opening kickoff and Thunder Mountain taking control of the game for the last 15 minutes of the first half to get the tying goal.
The second half featured the same back and forth movement with both teams taking turns pressing and attacking.
In the second half of action Crimson Bears junior midfielder Ella Goldstein struck at the 60 minute mark, lofting a shot from 20 yards out that floated over Falcons’ keeper Sam Dilly for a 2-1 Juneau-Douglas lead.
Thunder Mountain went on a beautiful attack that resulted in a gathering in the Juneau-Douglas box and resulted in Crimson Bears defender Sophia Pugh being called for a hand ball.
The Falcons’ Ellie Knapp took the penalty kick, calmly stepping up and slotting the ball into the corner to tie the score at 2-2.
The final minute of action saw Juneau-Douglas awarded a corner kick.
A gathering of players moved and pushed and waited to see where the ball would dip and curve on its path to the Thunder Mountain goal.
Crimson Bears’ senior captain Taylor Bentley lost her defender and moved into the path of junior Blake Palmer’s corner kick and directed the ball into the net for the 3-2 final.
“We didn’t have any plans really,” Bentley said. “We just run into the net or run towards the net and hope it works. You just have to be at the right place and the right time I guess. TM was doing really good and kept us on our toes. It was a fun game.”
Juneau-Douglas will be on the road system this weekend playing at Soldotna, Kenai and Nikiski.
Thunder Mountain will host Ketchikan on Friday and Saturday, May 7-8, at 5:15 p.m. both nights (JV following).
The Crimson Bears and Falcons next meet at Adair Kennedy Pitch on Thursday, May 13, at 5:15 p.m. The match will be the Crimson Bears girls senior night.
“I’m pretty excited but I am also pretty sad that it will be my last game in my home town,” Bentley said. “It is going to be an exciting one so at least it will be fun.”