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State soccer quest arrives for Wolverine girls

Tourney begins Saturday in Twin Falls

Wood River couldn’t keep up with the speed of the Great Basin Conference champ Twin Falls Bruins in last Thursday’s 4-0 home loss, but the Wolverines offered some speed of their own in freshman Tayte Kelly. Kelly is shown here blazing down the wing past Twin Falls star junior defender Carolyn Hernandez (left). Photo by David N. Seelig

Tournament time is here for the Wood River High School girls’ soccer team, seeking the Hailey school’s 18th consecutive trip to the state tournament in upcoming district play.

Coach Jenni Conrad’s Wood River girls (9-4-0, 8-2-0 league) are seeded second in the six-team Great Basin Conference tournament opening this week in a single elimination consolation bracket format.

The top two teams qualify for the State 4A tournament Oct. 18-20 in Idaho Falls. Favored heavily are the defending GBC champion Twin Falls Bruins (14-1-0, 10-0-0 league), who are outscoring opponents 78-5 and have been impenetrable.

Wood River, 3-0 and 4-0 losers to Twin Falls this season, hopes to get one more shot at the Bruins in next Tuesday’s championship game. First, the Wolverines need to win their second round game Saturday, Oct. 6 at 2 p.m. at SunWay Soccer Complex in Twin Falls.

The opponent for Wood River Saturday will be the winner of Thursday’s first-round tournament game between No. 3 Canyon Ridge of Twin Falls (5-6-2, 5-4-1) and No. 6 Burley (1-13-1, 0-9-1). The Wolverines have beaten Canyon Ridge 7-0 at home, 1-0 in Twin.

Certainly Wood River wanted a better result in its “Senior Night” home game against Twin Falls last Thursday. Although the Wolverines beat the Bruins to the ball in the first 15 minutes and out-shot Twin Falls 4-1, the visitors assumed control out-shooting Wood River 17-5 the rest of the game and finally prevailing 4-0.

The Twin Falls defense led by junior Carolyn Hernandez was tough to penetrate, particularly after Wood River junior forward Haley Montgomery (foot injury) left the game midway through the first half.

Hernandez punched home the first goal on an indirect kick in the box at 20 minutes, then junior striker Becca Behrens broke behind the defense for her first of three goals at 31 minutes. Her other goals came at 69 minutes and 71 minutes.

Wood River goalkeeper Kiana Chapman (saves) kept the score close with two excellent saves on shots by Madeline Watkins and Haley Hutchinson. But the speed of Twin Falls proved too much for even the best efforts of Hailey’s defense led by Timber Kelly.

It was Wood River’s first home league loss in 10 years and 56 games dating to 2002.

Freshman Tayte Kelly of Wood River had a couple of solid scoring chances and made strong runs down right wing.

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