It wasn’t the Kayhi Lady Kings’ night Friday as the Thunder Mountain Falcons flew to a 6-0 soccer win at Falcons Sta- dium in Juneau.
The Falcons kept the Lady Kings on their heels and the Kayhi defense busy, getting several shots off early before the first TMHS ball hit the back of the net after a corner kick in the 13th minute.
Kayhi had difficulty mov- ing the ball past the midfield line against the Thunder Mountain defense, which quickly and consistently sent the ball back into the Kayhi half.
“They did a really nice job shutting us down and ... not giving us much space,” Kayhi coach Andrew Wessling said after the match. “We tried to cre- ate a ... little more space at times, but
that was tough.” The Falcons had multiple set piece op-
portunities in both halves, getting nine corner kicks in the first half alone. Only one of those paid off for TMHS, which
scored the other three of its first period goals on shots taken from a range of about 10 to 15 yards.
Down 4-0 at the half, the Lady Kings came out with some adjustments in the sec- ond period — only to have the Falcons hit another goal in the first minute.
“But then after that, we re- ally buckled down and started to change up some of the tactics a little bit — and that's always tough to do when you don't have time to practice it,” Wessling said.
Kayhi’s best chance in the game came on a corner kick in the 27th minute of the sec- ond half that found Ruby McCue in front of the goal, but the resulting shot went high.
McCue had some nice runs during the course of the match as well,
“She made some really good (runs), creating some stuff, — and her intensity and her speed, she's got a fire about her,” Wessling said. “It's pretty impres- sive to watch. She did a great job today.”
He also highlighted play by senior Emma Bowers, and freshmen Brooklyn Bauer and Skye Deal.
Regarding Deal, Wessling noted that she hasn’t played many varsity minutes thus far.
“I was very impressed with how well she (played at) left back defense,” Wessling said. “And she was a big rea- son why that second half went as well as it did, because she took every little coaching thing that I was telling her and put it to use. And she did a great job.”
Kayhi‘s sophomore goalie Francis Dickson was kept busy for most of the match and had several good saves on a difficult day.
Wessling said that Dickson’s confi- dence has been growing game by game, which is fun to watch.
“She’s dedicated — she really has that passion about it,” he said. “She wants to get better and that's ... just going to, make her a better player. But it is fun to watch that confidence start to pick up,”
On Thursday, Kayhi had played a closer game in a 3-1 loss to Thunder Mountain. And as they had in the second half of that contest, Kayhi played better in the second half but still came out with a 6-0 loss.
But for some good perspective on this Lady Kings team, Wessling noted that, after the JV game, one of the ref- erees spoke well of the Kayhi squad.
“He was just like, that was some of the best sportsmanship that he’d (seen),” Wessling said. “He was really complimentary of how well the girls were doing, just how kind they were out there.
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“It'sfuntogetawin—I'macom- petitive person myself — but having that type of thing being said to me by a referee after the game, ... that was pretty great to hear,” he said. So they're doing it the right way, and that's very important.”
Friday’s matches concluded the Lady Kings’ play in Juneau this week.
They’ll be on the road again next week on a four-game trip that will in- clude matches against Palmer, Red- ington, Colony and Grace Christian high schools.