Soccer can be a tough sport.
Sometimes a team that should win loses, and sometimes a team that should lose wins.
Such was the case for the Wood River High School girls varsity soccer team as the Lady Wolverines suffered the losing end of their matchup against the visiting Mountain Home Tigers on Wednesday night at Phil Homer Field in a loser-out game in the Great Basin 7 girls soccer tournament.
As the final whistle blew, the Lady Wolverines ran out of gas and out of time with the score 1-0.
“We had a lot of good shots and played so tough,” WRHS head coach Vicki Foster said. “We deserved that, big time.”
Regardless of the outcome, WRHS dominated the second half and had multiple opportunities to score and take the game; however, a stiff wall at goal prevented the Lady Wolverines from getting one in the net. Mountain Home recorded 17 saves on the night and was a brick wall. Wood River outshot Mountain Home 25-11, but none were able to get by the Tigers.
In the 39th minute of the first half, Mountain Home struck gold by netting the game’s only goal.
Wood River’s goalkeeper, sophomore Tatum Ware, was strong in the net, totaling eight saves.
The Lady Wolverines were led by junior Josie Gilman who had six shots on goal.
However, it was the seniors who played with the most pride. As hearts bled and tears poured, seniors like Zoe Bacca (4 shots), Jasmine Santacruz (2 shots), Channing Curci, Yohenny Gomez and Bel Clayton left it all on the field.
“We deserved it for [the seniors],” Foster said. “We wanted to get another game and to have another chance to make it to state, which was our goal. My goal was to give them that opportunity. That is what breaks my heart the most. I can remember my last game as a senior in high school, and it is bittersweet. They have a great future ahead of them and some exciting things to look forward to. I couldn’t be prouder of my team; they fought hard to the very end.”
Wood River had its chances, especially late in the game. In the 61st minute, Wood River finally recorded its first corner kick of the game. Bacca booted a perfect corner and freshman Peyton Wood nailed a header that nearly tied the game, but to no avail.
Then in the 75th minute, Bacca gave junior Kate Shaffer a perfect through-pass that allowed Shaffer to kick a cross pass to sophomore Bella Parke, but that was also denied.
“We worked as a team and believed we could do it, but even though we lost we were able to see what we truly can do,” Foster said. “Everyone who came out here wanted it, we were all in the same boat.”
Wood River came into the Great Basin 7 Conference tournament as the No. 3 seed having beaten Mountain Home, 3-0, and tied the Tigers, 2-2, previously. However, Wednesday, all it took was one shot that made the difference.
Wood River finished the season 10-7-1 overall and 5-5-1 in the conference.
To end the season, Bacca led the Lady Wolverines with eight goals scored. Sophomore Evy Kimball and Gilman had five goals each while junior Kate Shafer had four and sophomore Drew Willet had three.