Boise Blast gives Bilo
a proper sendoff
Blast shades Weber State 2-1 in Ketchum
By JEFF CORDES
Express Staff Writer
Steve Bilo, Boise Blast’s beefy and often
brilliant goalkeeper, walked off the soccer field at Ketchum’s Atkinson Park
Sunday afternoon and made an announcement to his teammates.
Lefty’s midfielder Greg Gvozdas (center), who played college soccer at
DePauw University in Indiana, has a meeting with Boise United defender John
Vachek (left) during the Saturday evening Ketchum Classic tournament game won by
Boise 2-1. Vachek headed a certain John Campbell goal away from trouble in the
final minute to preserve the win. Express photo by Willy Cook
Pulling his shirt over his head and
removing it in the heat of the day and the satisfaction of a job well done, Bilo
said, "That’s it. Next year you’ve got to find another goalie. No mas."
Bilo wasn’t angry. His retirement
announcement wasn’t a surprise. Having founded the Boise Blast soccer team 20
years ago, the 45-year-old keeper with scores of memorable saves in his resume
had just had enough.
John Andonian (left), who scored five goals last weekend, battles for the
ball during the 2-1 Lefty’s loss to Boise United Saturday evening. Express
photo by Willy Cook
Fittingly, he went out a winner and so did
Boise Blast at the conclusion of the. 27th annual, 12-team Ketchum Classic men’s
Boise Blast became the winningest team in
the history of the long-running Ketchum tournament with a 2-1 victory over Weber
State University in Sunday’s championship game.
Andoni Artioch scored in the first half
for Boise Blast, and the champions added an own goal created by Mike Anderson
early in the second half. Bilo allowed a late goal, but the Blast hung on in an
increasingly physical game to beat the Wildcats.
It was the first Ketchum championship
since 1997 for Boise Blast (4-0 for the weekend, 14-5 goals-against), which now
leads the pack with five Ketchum Classic titles to four for Weber State
Lefty’s sweeper John Gerdis (center) wards off a Boise United player.
Express photo by Willy Cook
With Bilo in goal, the Blast dominated the
tournament in the 1990s—going 22-2-3 at Atkinson Park from 1991-97, landing in
the title game six times in seven years and winning in 1997, 1996, 1993 and
As the last decade came to an end, the
pendulum of winning in Ketchum swung toward Park City (Utah) and Lefty’s F.C. of
Ketchum. Park City won in 2000 and 2002, while Lefty’s triumphed in 1999 and
Last year was the first time in 17 years
that Boise Blast didn’t come to the Ketchum Classic—and that was chiefly because
Bilo got into a motorcycle accident and dislocated his elbow and tore his
Boise Blast returned with a vengeance this
year and got revenge over Weber State. Indeed, the only other time the teams
clashed in the Ketchum championship game was in 1995—when Bilo somehow yielded a
late goal to erase a 1-0 Blast lead and Weber State won the shootout 5-4.
Kurt Funkhouser (right), Lefty’s midfielder/captain, sets up a play
Saturday at Atkinson Park. Express photo by Willy Cook
It never went to an extra session this
year and Bilo walked into goalkeeper retirement with the Most Valuable Player
distinction in Ketchum.
Earlier Sunday in the semi-finals, Boise
Blast ousted defending champ Park City (1-2) by a score of 4-1 and Weber State
beat Boise United 4-2.
Boise United, strong on defense, was a
surprise semi-finalist because of its upset 2-1 victory over Lefty’s F.C.
Saturday evening. Otherwise, Lefty’s F.C. breezed to a couple of easy wins and
ended up 2-1 for the weekend.
John Andonian was the big Lefty’s scorer
for the weekend with five of the team’s 13 goals. Roman Rozmanek and John
Campbell each scored twice for Lefty’s F.C. Scoring singles were Stevie Fostvedt,
Robin Sarchett, Greg Gvozdas and Olin Glenne.
San Lorenzo, the other Wood River Valley
team in the two-day tournament, went 1-2 and lost to Lefty’s 6-3 in Sunday’s
Team captain Kurt Funkhouser of Lefty’s
thanked the team’s sponsors: Lefty’s Bar & Grill, Sun Valley Insurance, KBs,
Subshack and Sturtevants.
Lefty’s F.C. will take this week off, then
will continue to get together for practices Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6 p.m. at
Atkinson Park. The team is considering a trip to a sanctioned tournament at
Whitefish, Mt.. Sept. 6.
Games for local teams
Lefty’s F.C. opened with a 6-2 win over
Forest (Utah), then lost to Boise United 2-1 and beat San Lorenzo 6-3.
Andonian, a lightning-quick forward,
scored a three-goal hat trick against Forest. His first goal came on a cross
from Pomona College’s Josh Stanek at the five-minute mark.
Three minutes later Stanek cracked a shot
that rattled around in the Forest box before Andonian ended its misery. Robin
Sarchett made it 3-0 at half on a feed from Greg Gvozdas.
Forest emerged from intermission with a
head of steam and ripped off two goals in the first 21 minutes—Craig Smith and
Gregor Linsig capitalizing on sluggish Lefty’s defense.
Sarchett originated perhaps the biggest
goal of the game. He streaked down the right wing and dished a pass along the
grass to Andonian, who chipped it home for a 4-2 Lefty’s cushion at the
Center halfback Gvozdas helped give
Lefty’s some insurance when he sent a pretty pass against the grain to John
Campbell down the middle. Campbell made no mistake from a tough angle for a 5-2
lead, and Roman Rozmanek then finished the scoring.
The Lefty’s-Boise United clash Saturday
evening wasn’t an artistic success, indeed, it looked like it was headed for an
overtime shootout in front of the players and teams gathered for the annual
Ketchum Classic barbecue in the picnic shelter.
Lefty’s never scored cleanly, although
dangerous striker Dom Conti (nursing a tender ankle) made his only appearance of
the weekend and was held scoreless, closely marked, for the final 60 minutes of
Stevie Fostvedt, the only member of all
three Ketchum-based championship teams in the annual August tournament (1992,
1999, 2001), scored the only Lefty’s goal on a quick bouncer, from Funkhouser,
that went between the legs of the Boise keeper.
The 1-0 Lefty’s lead at 17 minutes lasted
only a minute. Boise’s Aaron Coats took a cross from John Vachek and rammed a
header past Lefty’s keeper Glenne for a 1-1 deadlock.
Early in the second half Lefty’s had two
decent chances. Fostvedt hit the post with a shot off his left foot at 47
minutes, then Conti just missed the corner of the net to complete a volley at
the 54-minute mark of the game.
The game turned into a standoff for much
of the rest of the 40-minute second half and it looked like a shootout would
settle the issue—the winner advancing to the semi-finals and the loser dropping
Boise United shocked everyone.
With only four minutes left, Mike
Taliaferro caught a centering pass from Mark Mays and did a little spinning move
in the box. Taliaferro, a Coloradoan living in Boise, blasted the eventual
game-winner into the net.
It was one of only a handful of shots
against Glenne that Boise United mustered all game. "Lefty’s was working the
ball better than we were. But I lost my guy and got lucky that Mark saw me,"
Unfortunately, Taliaferro said Sunday,
Boise United used up all its luck against Lefty’s and exited with a 4-2
semi-final loss to Weber State.
After Taliaferro’s goal, Lefty’s put
together an amazing array of desperation shots off corner and direct kicks in
the final four minutes. At one point, with a minute left, Funkhouser drilled a
direct kick deep into the box.
John Campbell worked his way into perfect
position and had a header that was headed directly toward the corner—for what
would have been a 2-2 tie. But Boise United’s defender John Vachek got his own
head on Campbell’s header, and the ball bounced lamely away, out of danger.
"I was in the right spot at the right
time," said Vachek.
The disappointing outcome ended Lefty’s
hope of making its third Ketchum Classic championship game appearance in five
One game remained, a meaningless
consolation contest against San Lorenzo Sunday afternoon. The game started on a
high note for San Lorenzo and a low note for Lefty’s F.C.
From the opening kickoff, San Lorenzo’s
Ciro De Lima blasted a shot from midfield that floated into the Lefty’s net—a
goal, for sure, in a tournament-record three seconds.
The lead didn’t last long. Andonian scored
twice in 23 minutes off lead passes by Rob Butterfield and Mike Stevens. Then
Gvozdas took a pass from Campbell and chipped a shot into the net for a 3-1 lead
A John Gerdis throw in and a little drop
pass by Campbell set the stage for Glenn’s 18-yard goal three minutes into the
second half. Then Josh Stanek raced down the right side and crossed perfectly to
Campbell, who scored for a 5-1 lead at 60 minutes.
Ciro De Lima made a penalty kick at 67
minutes and Alberto Gil launched a long shot that eluded Lefty’s goalkeeper Luke
Fostvedt slicing the Lefty’s lead to 5-3. Then Roman Rozmanek finished the
scoring with his second goal of the weekend.
In other games, San Lorenzo lost 4-2 to
eventual tournament runner-up Weber State and San Lorenzo also beat Boise Osprey
The team’s goal scorers for the weekend
included Ciro De Lima with four goals, Wood River High School striker Maicol
Corrales two along with singles by Alberto Gil, Randall Rodriquez and Marco
Hidalgo. Wood River senior K.C. Rivera also played.
In Saturday’s games, Boise United (2-1 for
the weekend) won the A division with a 2-1 victory over Forest (0-3) and its 2-1
win over Lefty’s F.C. Lefty’s raced past Forest 6-2.
The B division was the closest of all.
Park City, Logan and Missoula each won a game and ended up tied with 6 points,
but Park City got the top seed with its tiebreaking total of six goals and Logan
edged Missoula for #2 seed based on head-to-head.
Scores were Missoula 3-2 over defending
champion Park City, Logan 1-0 over Missoula, and Park City 4-1 over Logan.
Boise Blast won the C division rather
easily with a 5-2 triumph over Weber F.C. (0-3) and a 3-1 decision over The
Attic from Seattle (1-2). The Attic slipped past Weber F.C. 2-1.
And Weber State rolled to two big wins in
the D division by scores of 4-2 over San Lorenzo and 6-2 over Boise Osprey. San
Lorenzo (1-2) won its other game 5-1 over Osprey.
In consolation action early Sunday, Boise Osprey (1-2) earned
its only victory 5-3 over Forest of Utah and Missoula (2-1) picked up yet
another triumph 3-2 over Weber F.C.
Later Sunday, Lefty’s F.C. was a 6-3 winner over San Lorenzo
and Logan (2-1) outscored The Attic of Seattle 4-3.