Community School senior striker Hannah Dies, the only small-school All-State girls’ prep soccer player last year, has stepped it up during her final season of competition at the Sun Valley independent school.
And so has the rest of her team with its unblemished 14-0-0 record and a decent shot at the first State 3A championship in school annals.
For the sixth time during the unbeaten Cutthroat season, Dies scored a three-goal hat trick Tuesday leading coach Kelly Feldman’s top-seeded squad to a 9-0 victory over No. 4-seeded Buhl (8-9-0) in the semi-final game of the High Desert Soccer Conference tournament.
It was Dies’ 15th career hat trick, helping 12th-year coach Feldman to her 150th career Cutthroat victory. Dies was the “Player of the Game.”
Dies (19 freshman, 27 soph, 25 junior, 29 senior) reached the 100-goal career mark as a prep scorer with her third goal Tuesday. The school’s all-time top scorer stretched her current season total to 29 goals, just one behind Hannah Hennessy (in 2007) on the list of the school’s top single-season goal scorers.
She has entered the rarified air occupied by 2011 Wood River High School graduate Tanner Dredge, who scored 115 goals in four seasons for the Wolverines from 2007-10 including 21 three-goal hat tricks.
The Cutthroats advanced to host Thursday’s league championship game against No. 2-seeded Filer (12-3-1), a 3-1 semi-final winner over No. 3 Bliss (9-5-0) Tuesday. Last October the Cutthroats beat Filer 7-0 for their fourth consecutive HDSC tournament championship.
If the Cutthroats defeated Filer Thursday and earned their 13th straight state soccer trip, the Sun Valley girls will enter the State 3A tournament Oct. 24 at Vallivue High School in Caldwell as the top HDSC seed and will play either Shelley or Teton of Driggs in a first-round state game at 2 p.m. next Thursday.
They’ll be watching closely to see if two-time defending State 3A champ McCall-Donnelly was able to beat Fruitland Thursday for the 3rd District title and the only state berth from the area. McCall needed a 2-1 overtime win over Fruitland Monday to make the title game, then Fruitland ousted Weiser 5-0 Tuesday.
McCall-Donnelly edged the Community School 2-1 for last year’s state title, giving the Cutthroats their best-ever state finish to date with the runner-up trophy.
Regardless, the deep and talented Cutthroats with their eight seniors are taking it one game at a time with a 79-3 scoring edge in their pocket.
Sophomore Lilly Jenner, for instance, is the second-leading scorer with 15 goals (31 career) and has been a consistent producer—having found the net in 29 of her 38 career games (76%), a total that eclipses Dies’ 64% of scoring in 48 of 74 games over the course of her career.
Jenner (1 goal, 3 assists) added to the 9-0 score Tuesday. Seniors Whitney Engelmann (5 goals season, 25 career) and Jordan Fitzgerald (10 goals, 31 career) each scored twice. Sam Busby added her fifth goal of the season. Other assists went to Dies, Emily Siegel and Kate Rathfon.
Cutthroat boys host third-place game
Community School boys’ soccer coach Richard Whitelaw sang the praises of the Wendell Trojans after the No. 3-seeded Cutthroats (12-4-2) lost 4-1 to host Wendell (11-2-1) in Tuesday’s HDSC semi-final game.
Roger Figge scored the Cutthroat goal. “Man of the Match” was defender Jack Swanson.
It was the second time in five days that No. 2 seed Wendell beat the Community School, coming on the heels of last Thursday’s 2-0 win in Sun Valley that relegated the Cutthroats to the No. 3 seed in the seven-team small-school meet.
Whitelaw surmised that Wendell could very well upset defending State 3A champion Gooding (10-1-2) in Thursday’s HDSC championship game at Gooding. The Senators slipped past No. 4-seeded Buhl (7-6-3) by a 3-2 score in Tuesday’s other semi-final game.
Commenting after the 4-1 loss, Whitelaw said, “On tonight’s performance I think Wendell will edge out Gooding, they are the more potent side with the more creative players.”
Whitelaw’s team still had a chance to return to the state tournament for the first time in two years.
The Cutthroats hosted Buhl on Thursday at Browning Field in Elkhorn—the winner advancing to state and the loser going home. The Cutthroats won 2-0 over Buhl at Browning Field Sept. 19, and tied the Tribe 1-1 on Aug. 27 at Buhl.
With their semi-final wins, both Wendell and Gooding earned automatic berths to the State 3A tournament Oct. 24 in Caldwell—although the loser of Wendell-Gooding will open state tournament play Thursday against the 3rd District champ, either Weiser of Fruitland.
Rarely do teams in the same district play each other in the first round at state, but that’s the way it works this year because the HDSC winner opens against the HDSC third-place team next Thursday at 2 p.m. That means the Gooding-Wendell winner meets the Community School-Buhl winner in the knock-out contest.
Gooding (14-1-2) defeated Fruitland 1-0 in last year’s state championship game for its second state title in four years.