Isaac Esparza

Senior forward Isaac Esparza was on fire Monday by scoring a hat trick as Wood River beat Minico 4-2 in Hailey.

There wasn’t much the Wood River Wolverines varsity boys soccer team couldn’t do against the visiting Minico Spartans on Monday at Phil Homer Field.

Senior forward Isaac Esparza put on a show in the first half, and led the way with a hat trick as the Wolverines beat the Spartans, 4-2.

All three Esparza goals came within the first 23 minutes of play for Wood River (3-3-1, 1-3-1 4A District IV).

His first goal came in the first minute and his second coming in at the 10th minute.

But Minico (3-4-1, 2-4-1 conference) answered as Joey Hernandez and Milton Hernandez scored goals back-to-back to tie the game at 2-2.

However, then Esparza added his third at the 23rd minute to break the tie.

Senior Bryan Ramirez added another goal at the 37th minute.

“This wasn’t the typical Minico,” Wood River head coach Luis Monjaras said. “They have improved quite a bit more.”

Wood River also had a 6-1 advantage on corner kicks as well.

Even though Wood River outshot Minico 21-3, Monjaras said he didn’t think his team could capitalize on one-on-one with the goalkeeper.

“We need to work on that,” he said.

And so practice makes perfect—when there is practice, that is.

“Not having a normal schedule does have an impact on how to adjust and prepare for the next game,” Monjaras added. “Having a couple days or weeks without a game can be complicated. The boys have managed to hold strong throughout this COVID season.”

WOLVERINES, CUTTHROATS FACE OFF ONCE AGAIN

Wood River will turn its attention to Community School once again and give soccer fans another treat with another marquee match.

For the third time this season, the Cutthroats will travel to Hailey and try to avenge the two losses they previously suffered to Wood River.

In their first meeting on Aug. 29, the Wolverines outshot the Cutthroats by 19-6 as Wood River would go onto win, 4-1.

Wood River thrived behind goals from Heron Barriga (2), Bryan Ramirez (1) and Isaac Esparza (1).

For Community School, Kai Nelson had the Cutthroats’ lone goal.

In the second game, on Sept. 8, Wood River once again won 4-1.

Esparza, Barriga, Juan Ortiz and Bryan Flores each had solo goals.

Wood River accidentally scored on themselves for Community School’s only goal.

With two wins notched already for Wood River against Community School, Monjaras believes his Wood River team can progress even more.

“We will have to stick to our game plan and improve on our mistakes,” said Monjaras when asked about what it will take for his team to beat Community School again.

The third match out of the 4-game series will square off on Saturday, Sept.18 at 5 p.m.

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