High School Sports

Total team effort has been the key to South girls soccer’s dominance this season

Not giving up a goal in soccer over an extended period is extremely rare given the mercurial nature of the sport.

All it takes is just one lucky bounce of the ball, a slip or a misstep for an opponent to find the back of the net.

The reigning Division I state champion South Anchorage girls soccer team hasn’t experienced a loss so far in its title-defending campaign. The Wolverines also haven’t given up a goal in their last eight games going back over a month.

While the goalkeeper is the last line of defense, South has succeeded thanks in large part to an incredible total team effort.

“It’s nice to be able to keep the streak going but also be able to work well as a team together, and keep moving forward and look forward to the next game,” junior goalkeeper Skylar Lind said.

South head coach Lauren Lux also credited the Wolverines’ talent and depth for their ability to keep the heat on opposing teams. That has taken the pressure off South’s two goalkeepers, who sometimes rotate from half to half.

“I think we have really strong players on every line, from goalkeeper to our front,” she said. “They’re hard workers, they’re competitive, so it makes for good success all over the field. ... All the girls on the team have a really competitive mentality, and they’re always pushing and driving to get to goal. It’s just the types of players that they are. They’re eager to attack, and they have the talent to back it up.”


South, which is 11-0, has given up its only goals this season against longtime rival and 2023 state runner-up Dimond on April 3. Lind will try her best to “keep a clean sheet” when the two teams next meet.

“My biggest thing is to focus on my positioning and making sure that I’m where I need to be, so I don’t let any goals in, and make sure I can effectively communicate with my back line so that hopefully, I don’t have to do as much work,” she said.

Lind and freshman backup goalie Samantha Stoehner spend more time hovering around 20 yards away from the goal than they do actually in front of it as shot attempts for opposing teams are few and far between.

“I’d like to see them more involved in our possession rather than scramble to make a bunch of saves, but I know they’re both ready when called upon, so they do a great job,” Lux said.

While they aren’t certain what the longest streak without giving up a goal is in the program’s history, the Wolverines take tremendous pride in what they’ve been able to accomplish during this dominant stretch and are determined not to let up as they approach the postseason.

“Ending with a zero on the scoreboard is not just about a win, but how we get there,” Lux said. “The defensive side is important as well.”

Unlike in baseball, where it’s taboo to talk about when a pitcher has a no-hitter going, Lux wants her kids to have fun and celebrate their accomplishments.

“I want these players to express themselves and not feel limited regardless of what the game situation is, so we just kind of stick to that belief,” she said.

Often in sports, the best defense can be a potent offense that forces the other team to press to keep up.

“It’s fun scoring goals,” South senior Ali Adkins said. “I believe that all this offense is helping us with our runs for when we have bigger games and be ready to score on Dimond and figure out where to go.”

She was one of five players who scored a goal in the Wolverines’ 7-0 shutout of Bettye Davis East Anchorage on Tuesday night and joined sophomore Mia Glorioso as the only players to record a pair of goals in the victory.

“Ali is really strong, whether she is on the wing, on the outside as a defender or further up the field,” Lux said. “She’s really dangerous on the dribble, a strong defender. ... She creates a lot for us and it’s always fun when she gets goals.”

The South players are looking forward to their second meeting with Dimond at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday for the Wolverines’ home finale because it’ll be what they believe is their first really tough test during this run.

“It’s been a while since we had a super intense matchup, so I think it’ll be good for us to try to get into that mental mindset again and just focus on playing well, working together and winning,” Lind said.

Josh Reed

Josh Reed is a sports reporter for the Anchorage Daily News. He's a graduate of West High School and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.