Showing determination after a first-round setback, the Sun Valley Community School girls’ soccer team earned the consolation trophy of last weekend’s Idaho High School Activities Association State 3A meet at Vallivue in Caldwell.
Coach Kelly Feldman’s Cutthroats (19-1-2) built a 2-0 lead at halftime on goals by
junior defender Caroline Estep and senior wing Alli Rathfon during Saturday’s cold and windy consolation final against north Idaho runner-up Grangeville (9-10-0).
That was the final score as senior goalkeeper Sophia Sturgeon secured the record 16th shutout of the season for the High Desert Soccer Conference champion Cutthroats.
It was the 10th state tournament trophy in the elite program’s last 11 state visits.
Coach Feldman said, “Caroline Estep scored a blistering free kick to get us started in the consolation final. Alli Rathfon picked up a ball in our own half and dribbled it into the goal for our second of the game. We went into halftime up 2-0. We started the second half facing into the wind and struggled to really create anything.”
Saturday’s SVCS win in the eight-team tourney presented by Dairy West came after Friday’s 2-1 knockout win over American Falls (11-9-0). Rathfon and freshman Maya Lightner scored. “Players of the Game” were juniors Aubrey Duffield and Lily Pogue.
The Cutthroats dropped their first game of the season Thursday 2-1 when Marsh Valley of Arimo struck the game winner in the 78th minute.
Freshman Charlotte Davis-Jeffers scored early in the second half. “Players of the Game” were junior midfielder Falon Hanna and sophomore defender Logan Lindstrom.
The loss was tough for a program boasting a 77-5-3 record over the last four seasons with 509-50 goals-against.
Feldman said, “To lose in the final minutes of any game, but especially the first at state, is so difficult to rebound from. To come back and win two intense games 2-1 and 2-0 shows a determination and grit I’m not sure that the girls knew they had. We are so proud of this team.”
In her 18th season, Feldman (259-67-17, .755 winning percentage), is now 20-12 in the last 10 state tournament visits for the independent school.
The Cutthroats have been state runners-up in 2016, consolation champions in 2017 and 2019 and winners of the third place trophy in 2018.
Feldman said, “The seniors, Alli Rathfon, Chloe Tanous, Rylee Whorton and Sophia Sturgeon provided excellent and consistent leadership throughout the season and especially through the tournament.
“It was a fantastic group of players who enjoyed being together. That connectedness showed in their play and resulted in another great season.”
Coeur d’Alene Charter Panthers (18-1-0, 147-5 goals-against, 14 shutouts) won an unprecedented fourth straight State 3A tournament title Saturday by a 3-0 score over Sugar-Salem of Sugar City (18-2-1). CDA junior Sarah Hines scored six tourney goals.
CDA Charter is now 72-4-2 over four seasons. The Panthers have now won five titles in six years. Marsh Valley (15-3-2) earned third place trophy 2-0 over Weiser (12-7-2).
Also at state, Sandpoint snapped the 84-game unbeaten streak of Bishop Kelly of Boise 0-0 (10-9 penalty kicks) in Friday’s State 4A semi-final, and went on to beat Kuna 2-0 in Saturday’s girls’ championship. Eight-time state girls’ champ Sandpoint (15-2-0) earned its first title since its 2013-14 double.
In 5A, Rocky Mountain of Meridian (17-1-2) repeated as girls’ champ in another title game shootout with Boise (17-3-2) and its star Logan Smith of the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation. This year the final was 0-0 (4-3 kicks). Last year it was 3-3 (6-5 kicks).
· Final SVCS team statistics: Community School 19-1-2 (10-0-1 home, 50 consecutive home wins, 9-1-1 away, 14-0-0 league, 1st place in HDSC tournament for the 11th straight year with a record 16 shutouts in 22 games). SVCS qualified for the state tournament for the 19th consecutive year. Goals scored: 131 in 22 games (6.0 per game). Goals conceded: 10 in 22 games, with 16 shutouts. Individual scoring: Christine Estep 26 (60 career), Tatum Minor 17 (25 career), Alli Rathfon 15 (19 career), Marit Kaiser 13 (17 career), Aubrey Duffield 12 (20 career), Charlotte Davis-Jeffers 10, Falon Hanna 8, Maddy Dunn 6, Chloe Tanous 4, Crosby Boe 3 (13 career), Laine Allison 3, Caroline Estep 3, Maya Lightner 3, Lyla Maxwell 2, Rylee Whorton 2, Hannah Ferris 1, Logan Lindstrom 1, Audrey Harmon 1, own goal.