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Service boys turn up intensity

Doyle Woody
Austin Portch of Dimond, center right, helps Jake Henke celebrate one of his two goals during Cook Inlet Conference soccer tournament action against Service Friday May 18, 2012 at Eagle River.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Bad haircuts propel the Dimond Lynx to a 4-1 win over Service during Cook Inlet Conference soccer tournament action Friday May 18, 2012 at Eagle River.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Austin Portch of Dimond reverses direction against Service defenders Hugh Cosgrave, left, and Ian Kroloff during Cook Inlet Conference soccer tournament action Friday May 18, 2012 at Eagle River.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Brock Crowe of Dimond gets past three Service defenders to advance the ball during Cook Inlet Conference soccer tournament action Friday May 18, 2012 at Eagle River. Dimond won 4-1.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Brock Crowe of Dimond, left, and Hugh Cosgrave of Service battle for the ball during Cook Inlet Conference soccer tournament action Friday May 18, 2012 at Eagle River.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Travis Merritt of Dimond finds tough going against Service during Cook Inlet Conference soccer tournament action Friday May 18, 2012 at Eagle River.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Jack Sedor of Dimond fires a shot on goal against Service during Cook Inlet Conference soccer tournament action Friday May 18, 2012 at Eagle River.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Kirby Graff, left, and Hugh Cosgrave of Service defend Jack Sedor of Dimond, center, during Cook Inlet Conference soccer tournament action Friday May 18, 2012 at Eagle River.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
John Yoon of Service, left, slides to knock the ball away from Brock Crowe of Dimond during Cook Inlet Conference soccer tournament action Friday May 18, 2012 at Eagle River.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Ryan Van Blankenstein of Service, left, and Jake Henke of Dimond vie for the ball during Cook Inlet Conference soccer tournament action Friday May 18, 2012 at Eagle River. Dimond claimed a 4-1 win.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Adam Klie of Service heads the ball against Dimond during Cook Inlet Conference soccer tournament action Friday May 18, 2012 at Eagle River.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Reece Robinson of Service punches the ball toward the net against Dimond during Cook Inlet Conference soccer tournament action Friday May 18, 2012 at Eagle River.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Ihro Raguindin of Service, right, keeps the ball away from Clayton Nadon of Dimond during Cook Inlet Conference soccer tournament action Friday May 18, 2012 at Eagle River.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Service defender Colin Ely, left, tries to slow Jake Henke of Dimond during Cook Inlet Conference soccer tournament action Friday May 18, 2012 at Eagle River. Henke recorded two scores in a 4-1 Dimond win.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Matt Marino of Dimond, left, and Adam Burris of Service battle for the ball during Cook Inlet Conference soccer tournament action Friday May 18, 2012 at Eagle River.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Matt Cerveny of Dimond, center, prepares to knock home a goal as Service keeper Craig Briske reaches for the loose ball following a corner kick during Cook Inlet Conference soccer tournament action Friday May 18, 2012 at Eagle River.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News

The Dimond High boys possessed two things in abundance Friday -- the soccer ball and some awesomely tragic haircuts.

The first element was easy on the eyes -- Dimond's possession game, filled with nimble passing and dynamic dribbling, generated a 4-1 semifinal victory over Service in the Cook Inlet Conference tournament and a berth in next week's state championships.

The second wasn't exactly an equal vision, but instead bordered on cringe-worthy, though in a fun way.

The Lynx have long held to a tradition of giving themselves terrifically bad haircuts for the conference and state tournaments as a sort of team-bonding deal. Usually, the seniors wield the clippers on freshmen or newcomers, though upperclassmen often join in and likewise end up with haircuts that will no doubt haunt them one day when their children find the family photo album.

And the Lynx don't just go the old standard mohawk route, though there are a few of those.

No, they go surreal, which is how Clayton Nadon's blond locks ended up shorn nearly to his scalp, except for some sheepdog bangs up front and matching bangs at the back. Then there's Ron Drake, who has a strip of horizontal hair around his head above the ears -- sort of a horseshoe of hair, as it were.

Yet the trippiest 'do may belong to sophomore Cory Schneider, who looks as though a tarantula, or perhaps a starfish, was dropped upon his melon.

"We were going for an X initially,'' allowed teammate Jake Henke, "then I don't know what happened. We just left a bald spot in the middle of the X. It looks awful.''

Schneider, however, reported his haircut is all the rage.

"Oh, I've been getting a lot of compliments about it,'' he contended.

At least it gave his mom, Janine, a good chuckle.

"She just laughed at me, then took pictures, and then posted them on Facebook,'' Schneider said. "I've been getting a lot of requests from people to tip my head forward so they can take a picture of it.''

On the pitch, the Lynx proved more traditionally stylish, which earned them a spot in Saturday's 4:30 p.m. championship game against South, which beat West 1-0 in the earlier Friday semifinal at Eagle River High and has not permitted a goal in two tournament games.

Both Dimond and South locked berths in the state tournament. The CIC's third state berth will be determined in Saturday's 9 a.m. third-place game between West and Service.

In the opening 30-plus minutes on the artificial turf Friday at Eagle River High, the Lynx were in near constant possession of the ball and seemingly always on the attack.

Service's stout back line and goalkeeper Craig Briske held Dimond in check until Henke headed in a Travis Merritt rebound -- Henke's header glanced off Briske and trickled into the net in the 36th minute. Henke rocketed a 30-yard strike one minute later for a 2-0 lead.

Patience and poise finally produced prosperity, Henke said.

"We kept our focus and the goals came, finally,'' he said.

Henke, by the way, didn't go for one of those weed-whacker haircuts, but employed his seniority to simply change hair color from brown to yellowish blond.

"I'm a senior, and that's why I chose to dye my hair,'' he reported.

Service trimmed Dimond's advantage to 2-1 just before halftime, courtesy of Adam Klie's goal on the Cougars' first shot on goal.

Dimond gained second-half goals from Austin Portch, who delivered off a Merritt feed that was preceded by Henke's strong work on the wing, and Matt Cerveny to win going away.

You could say victory Friday was the one thing that wasn't a close shave for the Lynx.

Find Doyle Woody's blog at adn.com/hockeyblog or call him at 257-4335.


By DOYLE WOODY
Anchorage Daily News