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By JOE JUDD
Daily News Sports Editor
The Kethikan High School girls soccer team will play host to Thunder Mountain High School on Wednesday and Thursday, which are makeups of games originally scheduled for March 31 and April 1.
It will be the first time the Lady Kings will play on the home turf of Esther Shea Field this season.
“We always play better at home,” head coach Niel Kinunen said before Tuesday afternoon’s practice.
Kinunen said that he thinks his team will respond well to being back at home in a familiar spot.
While preparing to welcome the Falcons to Ketchikan once again, the Kings don’t feel as if a specific, Thunder Mountain-centric game plan needs to be implemented in order to earn a victory.
Kinunen said he doesn’t plan for it to be as stressful as preparing for a game can tend to be.
“We know we can compete better against the Thunder Mountain girls,” Kinunen said. “Of course, saying is one thing; you need to go out and do it, and I think the girls should be fired up.”
Kayhi is coming off of a rough trip to Juneau, which saw the Lady Kings play two difficult games against Juneau-Douglas High School, a team that has traditionally had a great deal of success against Kayhi over the years.
According to Kinunen, preparing for the Crimson Bears is more physically and mentally taxing than preparing for the Falcons.
Playing Thunder Mountain at home doesn’t pose as much of a threat to Kayhi, which should allow for a much calmer starting 11.
Esther Shea Field tends to put Kinunen’s team at ease, which he thinks will help them over the next two days.
“We’re used to our field and comfortable on our field,” Kinunen said. “We pass the ball better and have a little more energy.”
The Kings will not have two key components for their games against the Falcons this week.
Senior and team captain Cameron Edwards is currently visiting colleges out of state, and senior Sydney Nichols suffered a sprained ankle just moments into Kayhi’s most recent game against Juneau-Douglas on Saturday.
Kinunen said they will need to bring up a handful of players from the junior varsity team to fill in the missing spots.
“We’re going to miss (Edwards) and her leadership this week. It’s an opportunity for other girls to step up and get some playing time,” Kinunen said.
Wednesday’s game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. and Thursday’s game will begin at 5 p.m. at Esther Shea Field.
Kayhi’s junior varsity girls soccer team will play its games at 5 p.m. on Wednesday and at 3 p.m. on Thursday.