Wood River High girls’ soccer coach Tanner Riley said her team is fortunate to have two talented goalkeepers—junior Marcella Fisher and sophomore Oleanna Liaboe.
Both played important roles Wednesday as the Wolverines (2-1-1, 2-0-1 Great Basin Conference) rallied for their first road win of the season, 2-1 at Mountain Home.
In a scoreless game at halftime, Riley moved Fisher from the keeper position up to a forward spot, and Fisher ended up scoring the game-winning goal on a pass from senior Samantha Brunker with five minutes remaining.
“Marcella is fast and has a keeper’s mindset—she understands where to place the ball when taking a shot. She received a pass from Samantha and buried it in the top right corner,” said Riley.
In her first action of the young season, Liaboe spotted Mountain Home’s speedy front line a go-ahead goal at the beginning of the second half. She held her own thereafter.
Then Hailey junior Sayler Peavey equalized 1-1 by hitting a shot from outside the 18-yard-line with eight minutes left in regulation.
The assist on Peavey’s goal went to fellow attacking center midfielder Brunker, her second helper of the half.
Riley said, “Samantha was a standout. She normally plays defense. We decided to try to use her strength on the ball to our advantage. Her ability to hold the ball and distribute was a key to our success at Mountain Home.”
Wood River was playing for the first time since a 2-0 loss at 5A Highland Aug. 28, another game scoreless at halftime.
Riley said about Wednesday’s league win, “We kept our intensity and held them. It was a lesson learned after our loss to Highland.
“This game was exactly what these girls needed. We gave up when Highland scored on us, and they weren’t going to let that happen again. Instead we answered their goal with two goals in return.”
Riley added that sophomore Zoe Bacca was a standout in the center in the first half. Unfortunately, Bacca was taken off the field for an injury in the beginning of the second half and did not return to play.
Wood River has two tough conference games coming up.
The Wolverines visit Jerome (2-2-0, 2-1-0 GBC) Saturday for a 1 p.m. varsity game. On Monday, Sept. 9, the Wolverines host top-of-the-table Twin Falls (4-0-1, 3-0-0 GBC), a team that has outscored its opponents 32-5 including Wednesday’s 9-1 rout of rival Canyon Ridge.
Twin Falls will enter Monday’s pivotal clash in Hailey after hosting Century of Pocatello (2-2-0, 2-1-0) on Saturday in a rematch of last fall’s GBC tournament championship won by Twin Falls 3-0. Century lost at home 2-1 to Preston (2-1-1, 2-0-1) on Wednesday.