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By JOE STURZL
Daily News Sports Editor
A solid defensive effort put forth by the Ketchikan High School boys soccer team helped the Kings emerge as victors in Thursday’s game at Thunder Mountain 4-1.
"Defensively I was concerned, but pleased from the effort we got," head soccer coach Scott Brandt-Erichsen said. "I had Sam Weston, Sam Ortiz, Jacob Guenther and Alex Daniels play defense, and they did a really nice job of denying Thunder Mountain any open shot opportunities. There was always a defensive player shoulder to shoulder or in the way."
Frederick Bjergen led Kayhi offensively, scoring two goals while Keefe Blankenship tallied two assists for the night.
Bjergen scored his first goal unassisted after he beat two defenders along the left side of the field. He placed a left-footed shot into the net from the left side of the box at the 28:55 mark of the first half to give the Kings a 1-0 lead.
Blankenship’s first assist came at the 34-minute mark when he passed the ball to Rudy Pankow 30 yards out. Pankow beat a defender and placed the ball in the lower-left corner to put Kayhi up 2-0.
Brandt-Erichsen said his players did well with shot placement.
"The goals that were scored had really nice placement," he said. "Rudy’s was in the lower-left corner of the goal; it was almost impossible for the keeper to get it. Evan’s was from 25 yards out, and he arced it in the opposite corner of the goal. It was a real pretty shot."
The Kings extended their lead at the 46-minute mark in the second half when a Bjergen shot bounced out to Evan Wick who was 25 yards out. Evan placed the ball in the top-right corner to make the score 3-0.
Thunder Mountain scored its lone goal of the game at the 60-minute mark of the second half.
"The ball came in from the side with a bunch of people in the box. It bounced around until it bounced out of the group before Thunder Mountain put it in," Brandt-Erichsen said.
Kayhi’s final goal of the night came when Blankenship and Bjergen teamed up at the 37-minute mark.
"Keefe headed it in to Frederick; he beat the keeper to the goal," Brandt-Erichsen said.
Brandt-Erichsen was pleased with Kayhi’s execution on throw-in plays and saw it as one of the keys to the team’s victory.
"One of the things that was really gratifying was, on the throw-in plays, seeing players on the JV and varsity squad execute them and have success," he said. "They didn’t necessarily lead to goals, but they did lead to shot opportunities. It always makes you feel useful when you practice something and then they successfully accomplish it."
In the JV game, Radek Radzilowski scored two goals to lead the Kings to a 2-0 victory.
"It was a pretty evenly matched game. The defense did a real nice job, in particular Trevor Wutzke. He was very vocal, and was a real solid defender. He prevented them from getting shot opportunities," Brandt-Erichsen said.
Jacob Guenther assisted Radzilowski at the 28:55 mark of the first half to give Kayhi a 1-0 lead.
Kayhi scored its final goal of the game at the 5:16 mark of the second half when Kenny Johnson provided the assist to Radzilowski.
With the victories, both the JV and varsity teams hold 3-0 records.
The JV team plays Friday night at 6:15 and the varsity squad takes the field at 8.