JDHS, TMHS Cross-Town Boys Soccer Derby Ends in Tie

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé rookie Ahmir Parker takes a corner kick in front of Thunder Mountain senior Wallace Adams (12) in Saturday’s 4-4 draw at Adair Kennedy Field. (Klas Stolpe/KINY)

Juneau, Alaska (KINY) — The Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé Crimson Boys Soccer Team hosted defending Division II champions Thunder Mountain in a crucial Southeast Conference cross-town derby that was running out of minutes before both teams lost sporting enthusiasm in a 4-4 draw.

“It was an absolute brawl,” said Thunder Mountain assistant coach Josh Odum. “It was a fast-paced, hard-hitting game from both teams and we couldn’t have expected less from either group. It’s the kind of football we’ve been trying to build for both programs for years. It feels good to have that level of intensity for Juneau football…”

Juneau-Douglas head coach Gary Lehnhart said it was quite a game.

“I trained a lot of games and this one was at the top,” said Lehnhart. “Up there in terms of excitement. We played two different games. We had two games in Ketchikan with only one day off. We wanted to play a real counter style style because it just helped us not having to run as much… it was the best we could do and it worked… we played well, we had chances, hats off to them, both teams, neither team gave up. Great fun…”

TMHS’s attacking style and JDHS’s counter-attacking action resulted in frenzied crowd excitement.

TMHS threatened the net first with a corner two minutes into the game that JDHS freshman keeper Ahmir Parker grabbed to save.

Shots from TMHS sophomore Owen Adams and JDHS senior Tias Carney would come at halftime with 37 minutes left, but then the Falcons pushed their game plan forward.

“Our game plan was to get high intensity from the start,” Odum said. “We wanted to drop a hammer as hard as possible…”

TMHS Senior Wallace Adams shot a free kick that was ruled out. A TMHS corner was stopped and JDHS junior Will Robinson tagged TMHS’s Owen Adams to stop a threat.

Wallace Adams got another hard shot that Parker caught from JDHS, then TMHS senior Phillip Lam hit the Crimson Bears post and followed up with a shot up.

“I loved the energy the guys gave,” Wallace Adams said. “I really felt like I saw lightning from our team last year. The guys gave everything they got and I knew they were pushing themselves. We made some critical mistakes and I think if we clean them up we should be looking good for a few more games.”

JDHS matched TMHS physical play with heavy coverage and Carney had a scoring opportunity with 24 minutes to go and junior Gabe Cheng had a chance with 23 minutes to go but Falcons senior keeper Miles Peterson thwarted both.

“Last year my mindset was very different,” Peterson said of hard hits in the penalty area. “This year I’ve made it a goal to keep my headspace clear after goals and just keep my head clear and just think, next shot, next shot, next shot… it’s part of goalkeeping, you kind of report for it at. It’s quite a stressful position and it only takes one specific person to play.

A TMHS throw-in resulted in the Falcons’ Briggs missing from the JDHS box, and the Falcons’ Wallace Adams’ rebound was covered and hugged by Crimson Bears keeper Parker.

TMHS to hit the first hole into the opposing net, with 16:55 still to play in the first half.

Falcons senior Talon Briggs fired a shot into the top corner from 25 yards to take a 1-0 lead.

“I see it more as a team game,” Briggs said of the game. “We can’t let them score because of our mistakes… more than half of their goals this year are our mistakes so we just have to finish and not let them… we’re really trying to go out with a bang and hopefully we’ve got something to do with that did it again last year.”

About a minute later, JDHS responded as newcomer Kai Ciambor knotted the score clock to make it 1-1 with a left foot spin that reaped oohs from fans on both sides.

“I knew in the beginning I wanted to use my left foot as much as possible because I know I had that flexion,” said Ciambor. “When I got the ball I quickly turned and shot it and it went in the top corner…”

JDHS scored a corner four minutes later that missed, and a JDHS run by Ciambor with a shot by Cheng was stopped by Falcons keeper Peterson, who also fired the following shot from JDHS’ Carney.

During first-half injury time, JDHS senior Andre Peirovi shoved a run down the right flank that dragged TMHS keeper Peterson wide to defend.

Peirovi slid a pass past the keeper, through two defenders into the box, where the Crimson Bears blocked Carney’s shot from three yards to put them 2-1 up.

“Really intense game,” said Carney. “I’m really proud of this team, everyone played hard. It’s great to fight with TM and it’s been really fun to be a part of it…it’s amazing how both schools are at a really high level at the moment. It just speaks for itself that we have a really good football community and it’s nice to be a part of it.”

In the second half, the shots continued quickly and the defenders marked harder.

A JDHS throw-in was headed up by Ciambor…on a run by TMHS Wallace Adams, JDHS’s Robinson cleared him off the ball…in a TMHS corner, a Falcons header was intercepted by JDHS’ Parker…another TMHS corner headed up…a ​​JDHS run was marked.

Falcons senior Omar Alvarez pushed a run down the right flank and touched a pass to Briggs, who was surrounded by three defenders above the 10-yard line. Briggs pivoted left and right, leaving the ball down center for Wallace Adams, who struck just outside of center space to level the 2-2 with 32 minutes to go.

JDHS had chances from Ciambor, who went wide, a corner from Cheng missed wide and Carney attempted a header within four minutes.

TMHS had back-to-back corners with less than 26 minutes to go.

JDHS keeper Parker threw one down and sophomore Samual Cheng headed the ball wide. JDHS’ Holst and junior Tayten Bennetsen battled TMHS’ Wallace Adams for a header that hit the post, fell in the middle of the box and resulted in JDHS’ Parker and TMHS’ Briggs taking the Orb out of play.

Bennetsen said his mindset is to do what he can on defense “and hope we can score on offense. It’s a lot of back and forth. it was crazy It was way up. I think that was the most intense game so far. It was really stressful.”

JDHS’ Parker made another good catch with a shot from TMHS Lam in the 23rd minute, and the Falcons’ Wallace Adams fired a shot from the top post just over the box with 21 minutes remaining.

TMHS’ Owen Adams placed a shot that tipped high, resulting in a Falcons corner from Lam, but that placement was disrupted by JDHS’ Sam Cheng.

The rebound was obliterated by JDHS’ Parker but returned by TMHS’ Briggs, who was expertly marked by Robinson, forcing another corner that was long-missing.

JDHS had a run with 15 minutes to go, TMHS with 14:12 on the clock and both sides had shots on goal at the 10 minute mark

A 2-2 draw with eight minutes remaining would see both sides double that tally.

In a multiplayer tangle above the JDHS box, the Crimson Bears appeared to have possession as the Falcons regained the ball, and Lam was rewarded for his eagerness with a shot at the goalie yellow line, despite being defended by JDHS junior Micah became Brown, junior Kean Buss and Robinson still found a way into the back net for a 3-2 lead for the Falcons with 7:34 remaining.

“I thought I won the game,” Lam said. “But guess not because there were two more goals scored after that. But it was a good shot. I would like to thank my teammates for that. They prepared me pretty well for that. All I had to do was hit the top corner…the first game of the season we lost to them. Really this game we just wanted to hit back, show them we’re a good team because we’re defending state champions for a reason… we played really well, they played really well too… lots of unforced mistakes from us, we’ll make them cut out and we will be ready…”

A JDHS miss and a TMHS miss earned another possession for the Crimson Bears near the Falcons box, and in a scrum, Holst gave a one-shot pass to JDHS Brown to tie the score clock again.

“It was pretty lucky,” Brown said. “It was a beautiful ball from Sam. I was in the right place. TM tapped it around a few times and I got it in…

“It was high,” Brown said of the intensity of the game. “We did our best and I’m sure TM did the same. They played great and it was a good game…it’s going to be a good season, I know that.”

The game ended in stoppage time and looked set for a 3-3 draw. That was a point short of both teams looking like they could play a third half.

JDHS’s Peirovi benefited from an excellent run through the middle by Holst. Holst passed the ball to Peirovi, who put the shot up for a 4-3 lead through a tackle from TMHS keeper Peterson.

“Oh man, I don’t even know what to make of this,” Peirovi said. “Miles (Peterson), you know, he just slipped his hands on it and I managed to pick it up. I didn’t have a really good contact, but it was just enough to go in goal, so I’m happy with that. And it was a nice pass from Sam (Holst) and it worked. It is really fun. TM have a good team, we have a good team this year. I think we are very balanced and the games are just great. The games are fun and intense. It’s fights… I think it will come down to who plays the hardest and who gets the ball more in goal I think. At this point it’s really 50/50.”

TMHS responded with a run that saw Briggs attack the JDHS box and bring down the Crimson Bears “18” for a penalty kick.

Briggs used the shot to tie the game at 4-4.

“I was pretty nervous about that,” Briggs said. “I was shaking as I walked towards it. I knew what to do. I was shooting where I always do in training and really hoping for the best.”

A final shot from the cross by JDHS’s Ciambor was saved and the referee wasted the time.

“No one in the Southeast is going to take it easy,” TMHS assistant coach Odum said of the title defense. “Especially JD, these bears are pushing hard. Obviously we have some scrubbing to do. There are little things we can work on. Maybe we’ll just bring it back to basics. Our first touch could use a bit of work, of course, but our finish looks head over heels better than last week…”

TMHS will host Ketchikan Wednesday and Thursday at 7 p.m. at Falcons Stadium. JDHS plays next TMHS at 5:15 p.m. Saturday at Adair Kennedy Field.

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