The Sun Valley Community School girls’ soccer varsity has all the talent and tools to extend its run of state tournament participation to 20 consecutive years later this fall.
With one caveat.
“Fingers crossed we get to play any league games!” said head coach Kelly Feldman in her preseason assessment of this global pandemic year.
But the 2020 Cutthroats did get to play a non-conference game Saturday night. And, on a brilliant late summer evening at Hailey’s Phil Homer Field, it was a winning effort for the Sun Valley girls.
Trailing 2-1 at half, the Cutthroats stormed out with two goals to re-take the lead at 3-2 in the 56th minute, and closed the match with three goals in the final 12 minutes for a 6-3 win over what Feldman called “a tough Wood River team.”
Community School girls’ teams remained unbeaten in their last five meetings with the Wood River varsity dating back to 2015. The nine goals scored represented the third-highest total in the 32-game series dating back to 1993.
Last year’s top scorer Christine Estep finished with a three-goal hat trick. Adding single goals were Quinn Closser, Maya Lightner and Mia Hansmeyer. Assists went to Falon Hanna (2) and Closser.
“The Cutthroats were back in action after canceling their first four games,” Feldman said about pandemic safety restrictions on competition depending on an opposing school’s COVID-19 risk levels.
Whether the Cutthroats play a scheduled game will be a day-to-day proposition, but athletic director Richard Whitelaw has already added a game, and it’s a good one against a school from a safe region of the Gem State.
The Sugar-Salem Diggers from Sugar City are due to visit the Dumke Family Sagewillow Farm SVCS field in Elkhorn on Thursday, Sept. 10 at 4:30 p.m. Sugar-Salem has finished second to Coeur d’Alene Charter in the State 3A tournament title game for the past two years.
Meanwhile, the Cutthroats are working hard in practice.
Feldman’s Cutthroats (77-5-3 over 4 seasons, .963 winning percentage, 509 goals scored in 84 games) excel on the field and in class. They were Idaho Academic State Champs and earned United Soccer Coaches Team Academic honors.
The Cutthroats are now unbeaten in their last 50 home games and return from last year’s 19-1-2 record and 131-10 goals-goals against mark.
Feldman said, “This is a very experienced and talented team. We’re excited to see what they can do on the field.”
She added, “We have 37 players out this season, including 11 seniors, 7 juniors, 8 sophomores, and 11 freshmen.
“Senior co-captains Christine Estep and Falon Hanna lead the way, enhanced by a talented group of freshmen. Christine is fast and composed up front. Falon is technical, competitive and a ferocious defender.”
Last year Christine Estep led the Cutthroats with 26 goals (60 career) and in one game tallied six goals.
Feldman said, “Christine is joined by freshman Mia Hansmeyer on the front line, along with Crosby Boe, Maddy Dunn and Quinn Closser.
“Senior goalkeeper Julia Ott is back in the net. She is on top of her game. Last year, Julia and Sophia Sturgeon split time between the pipes. They recorded a record-setting 16 shutouts. Julia is more than ready to claim it as her own.
“Caroline Estep, Lyla Maxwell, Lily Pogue, Gretel Huss and Logan Lindstrom return to the defensive line. Lyla has ably stepped into the outside back position previously filled by Alli Rathfon.
“Freshman Meredith Bromley joins Falon Hanna, Tatum Minor, Marit Kaiser and Maya Lightner in the midfield.”
This year’s roster:
CUTTHROAT GIRLS’ VARSITY
Head coach—Kelly Feldman (19th year, 259-67-17 record, .755 winning percentage, 19 consecutive state tournament trips, 20-12 in last 11 state tournaments including 10 state tournament trophies, along with 11 consecutive High Desert Soccer Conference tournament titles).
Assistant coaches—Erika Daly, Lauren Thomas, Hannah Hennessy.
Co-captains—Christine Estep, Falon Hanna.
Seniors (10)—Crosby Boe, Quinn Closser, Maddy Dunn, Caroline Estep, Christine Estep, Falon Hanna, Marit Kaiser, Adair Martin, Lyla Maxwell, Julia Ott (GK).
Juniors (3)—Logan Lindstrom, Tatum Minor, Lily Pogue.
Sophomores (3)—Gretel Huss, Maya Lightner, Anika Vandenburgh.
Freshmen (2)—Meredith Bromley, Mia Hansmeyer.
Sliders—Adair Martin, Anika Vandenburgh, Amanda Dunn, Isabelle Thomson.
Juniors (5)—Frances Cherp, Hailey Jackson, Tanner Lee, Maria Mendoza, Isabelle Thomson (GK).
Sophomores (5)—Niki Cohen, Hadley Duke, Amanda Dunn, Anabel Viesturs, Reece Walther-Porino.
Freshmen (9)—Charlotte Andrews, Ruby Crist, Katie Gardiner, Emma Klingenfuss, Sophia Miller, Vaylente O’Brien, Maeve O’Connell, Betty Pitts, Scarlet Rixon.