The Jerome Tigers, led by last year’s All-Conference goalkeeper Taylor Hill and sweeper Ashley Cox, have come a long way this season—but not far enough to hurdle the huge obstacle of the Wood River High School girls’ soccer team.
No. 2-seeded Wood River (10-5-1) bounced back in a big way from its 2-0 upset loss to Canyon Ridge Saturday and chalked up a commanding 7-0 win over No. 5-seeded Jerome Tuesday in a loser-out game of the Great Basin Conference tournament.
Wood River built a 2-0 halftime lead on a pair of Jesse Cole goals and poured it on with five additional goals in a 17-minute stretch late in the second half. The Wolverines out-shot Jerome 25-4 and 6-0 in the corner kick department. Busy Tiger keeper Hill made 13 saves, several on breakaways.
Freshman Cole (29 goals, scoring in 12 of 16 games) posted her fifth three-goal hat trick of the season and tied 2011 graduate Tanner Dredge at No. 5 on the all-time Wolverine single-season goal scoring list. Adding single goals in the 7-0 romp were juniors Brigette Thomas, Sammi Sutton, Tate Morell and Cheyanne Stopol.
Wood River scored first when Cole picked up a loose ball in the box after a Sutton corner kick in the 10th minute. Lucy Brannon drilled a hard shot that keeper Hill couldn’t control, and Cole rushed in and one-touched the ball home in the 32nd minute for a 2-0 lead.
Jerome (5-12-2), flooding its defensive zone with players, didn’t apply much offensive pressure but Wood River defenders Olivia Thornton, Timber Kelly, Rory Cole and freshman Megan Johnston stopped anything that started.
Hill kept her team close stopping a Jesse Cole breakaway early in the second half, and Thomas and Sutton hit the crossbar with bids. But Hill had no answer for Thomas when Sutton sent her in alone for a goal into the corner at 22 minutes. Sutton cashed in on a penalty kick off a hand ball, 4-0.
Megan Murphy’s pass enabled Jesse Cole to score her hat trick at 36 minutes. Sutton had another assist on Morell’s goal at 37 minutes, then Morell gave Stopol a chance for her first-ever goal—and Stopol made it.
Coach Jenni Conrad’s Wolverines accomplished three things with their seventh shutout victory of 2013. They ended their home season on the plus-side with a 5-4-0 mark. They posted the school’s 19th straight season of 10 or more wins.
And they gave themselves a chance to achieve Wood River’s 19th straight visit to the state soccer tournament. To do so, the Wolverines needed to gain revenge over No. 3-seeded Canyon Ridge (11-7-0) with a win in Thursday’s loser-out GBC second-place game in Twin Falls.
Canyon Ridge, seeking its first state tournament trip, was walloped 8-0 Tuesday by No. 1-seeded Twin Falls (12-4-1) in the GBC tournament title game. But the Riverhawks have enjoyed a great season led by last year’s All-Conference midfielder Ellie Packham, a senior whose penalty kick goal was the game winner over Wood River.
The problem lying ahead is that either Canyon Ridge or Wood River will have a mountain to climb in a first-round State 4A tournament game Thursday, Oct. 24 at 2 p.m. at Brothers Field in Caldwell. In fact, both Great Basin state entries this year have drawn challenging state assignments.
Down in the Boise Valley, three-time defending state champ Bishop Kelly of Boise (17-0-1) played Middleton on Thursday for the 3rd District championship—and the outcome wasn’t a sure thing for the Knights. Middleton snapped Bishop Kelly’s 70-game winning streak with a 1-1 tie in September, then Bishop Kelly nipped Middleton 1-0 in October.
Thursday’s Canyon Ridge-Wood River winner will play its first state game against the Bishop Kelly-Middleton winner. And the Bishop Kelly-Middleton loser will go against Twin Falls in the 11 a.m. game Thursday. Twin Falls defeated Middleton 1-0 in the first round last year.
Hailey boys tangle with Twin for state berth
It couldn’t have been closer Tuesday when the No. 3-seeded Jerome Tigers hosted the No. 4-seeded Wood River Wolverines in the championship game of the GBC boys’ soccer tourney.
Jerome (12-4-0) scored early in the game and made it stand up for a 1-0 victory over Wood River (9-3-4). The Tigers under coach Robert Garcia won the rubber game of their three-game season series with Wood River and captured their second straight GBC tournament title and fifth in seven seasons.
“Just a long shot in the 17th minute and our keeper could not control the ball and it went in. One mistake was all it took,” said Wood River coach Luis Monjaras, whose five-year coaching record against Jerome dropped to 5-6-2 with the loss.
Monjaras added, “It’s time to regroup and go to state as the second seed. It can be done.”
Wood River targeted its fourth state tournament berth in five years under Monjaras—and 21st in the 28 seasons of Wolverine boys’ soccer—during Thursday’s GBC second-place game against No. 2-seeded Twin Falls (9-7-2) at SunWay Soccer Complex in Twin Falls.
The Wolverines and Bruins tied twice during the season, 3-3 and 2-2 in penalty kicks Sept. 23 in Hailey, and 1-1 in Twin Falls Sept. 4. Jerome upset Twin Falls 5-2 Saturday at SunWay, then the Bruins bounced back with 4-1 and 3-1 victories over Burley and Canyon Ridge.
Wood River holds a 6-0-2 advantage over Twin Falls in the last three seasons, and 6-1-3 in 10 games dating back to 2008.
The winner of the Wood River-Twin Falls knock-out game qualified for the State 4A tournament Oct. 24-26 at Brothers Field in Caldwell. The opponent there will be the Boise-area champion, either Emmett or Caldwell, in the 2 p.m. game next Thursday. Caldwell defeated Emmett 4-1 and 2-1 during the regular season.