It was close to pitch black at the Browning Field soccer pitch in Sagewillow Farms on Wednesday night, but the encroaching darkness didn’t dim the celebration of the Community School boys’ soccer team.
Coach Richard Whitelaw’s Cutthroats (5-3-1, 3-3-1 league) avenged a season-opening 3-0 road loss with a come-from-behind 4-2 victory over the Buhl Tribe (6-2-1, 4-2-1) in an important High Desert Soccer Conference boys’ game.
Snapping a two-game losing skid, the Cutthroats got goals by senior Zach Lindahl (2), senior Mason Noyes and freshman Keegan Whitelaw. Unbeaten at home, they took a head of steam into their final seven games, five planned for home.
“A truly exciting second half,” said Whitelaw. “Such determination and hustle from all players. What a team performance, the crowd loved it! Perhaps the turning point of the season for the Cutthroats.”
Trailing 1-0 early in the second half despite some marvelous goalkeeping from senior Christopher Nalen (7 saves), the Cutthroats accelerated their hustle and struck for four goals in a 23-minute stretch to subdue a talented Tribe team.
Held to just one shot in the first half, the Cutthroats outshot Buhl 6-4 after the half.
“Man of the Match” Noyes equalized 1-1 at 51 minutes when he chased down a perfect lead pass from senior co-captain Ben Kanellitsas and pounded a shot from the right flank into the net’s back corner. Two minutes later, a Buhl player took down Keegan Whitelaw in the box and Lindahl buried the penalty kick.
Buhl encountered adversity when a borderline red card infraction cost the Tribe the services of sophomore Kevin Hernandez and forced the visitors to play with nine players for the final 17 minutes. Tribe senior Patrick Arroyo made his own PK on a borderline foul for a 2-2 tie at 66 minutes.
Losing senior goalkeeper Gilberto Rizo to a head injury and going with a backup keeper may have hurt the Tribe more than the red card, because Lindahl’s long, long free kick from midfield was mishandled and dropped behind the line at 71 minutes. Keegan Whitelaw finished successfully for a 4-2 game after a lob pass into the area from Kanellitsas.
The Cutthroats traveled to Filer (1-8-0, 1-5-0) Thursday and meet 4A Canyon Ridge (2-4-1) Saturday at 11 a.m. in Twin Falls. Also on Wednesday, Gooding (5-0-2) took over first place in the league with a 4-1 home win over Wendell (5-2-0).
8-0 win for Cutthroat girls
Junior Hannah Dies (14 goals) recorded her third hat trick of the season Wednesday as the Cutthroat girls (6-2-1, 6-0-1 league) stayed unbeaten in league play and atop the High Desert standings with an 8-0 victory over Buhl (0-9-1, 0-6-1).
Sophomore Josie Allison stashed away her first two goals of the season while freshman Lilly Jenner (9 goals) added two more to her total. Lena Perenchio had a single. Those with assists were Allison, Taylor Figge, Emi Carr, Erin Hennessy and Olivia Ott.
Unbeaten in their last five games, the Cutthroats visited Filer (3-4-2, 3-1-2) Thursday and go to 4A Canyon Ridge (3-3-0) Saturday, Sept. 15, in Twin Falls for a 12:30 p.m. varsity game.