Just as any coach, parent or fan would hope, Wood River High School’s girls’ soccer team ended up playing its best soccer at the end of the season last weekend in Idaho Falls.
Wood River (12-9-0) shrugged off a 6-0 first-round loss to eventual champion Bishop Kelly of Boise, won a close knockout game Friday and pushed Skyview of Nampa to the limit in Saturday’s State 4A consolation game.
After 100 minutes of scoreless soccer including two 10-minute golden-goal overtimes, Skyview (14-6-2) with its 11 seniors managed to prevail 0-0 (4-2 penalty kicks) over Wood River in a shootout for the State 4A consolation trophy.
Leading Wood River was its defense of Leah Thayer, Lupita Patlan, Megan Johnston and Evi Johnson in front of junior goalkeeper Scout Hutchinson.
Hailey’s all-time leading scorer Jesse Cole and senior co-captain Megan Johnston scored Wood River’s shootout goals. Cole (38 goals) ended her four-year Wolverine career with 119 goals including 17 career three-goal hat tricks.
On Friday, Wood River stayed alive with a 2-1 victory over the Middleton Vikings (9-11-2) on goals by Cole and junior Emily Thayer (15 goals season, 28 career) at the Idaho Falls Soccer Complex.
Cole scored in the 12th minute, from Emily Thayer. After half in the 43rd minute, Thayer was in position to stuff home the second and eventual game-winning goal after Cole’s 20-yard shot was stopped by the Vikings keeper.
Hutchinson made nine saves. Coach Doug Stouffer said, “The girls really bounced back. They played with a lot of heart, enthusiasm and grit—and displayed a never-give-up attitude against Middleton.”
The Wolverines opened the school’s 22nd state tournament visit in the program’s 24 seasons Thursday with a tough draw in Bishop Kelly. Leading the Knights was Division 1 college prospect Aubree Chatterton.
Bishop Kelly (20-2-0) closed out its state championship season with 20 consecutive wins and a 112-8 scoring advantage (13 shutouts) in that streak. The Knights out-shot Wood River 14-5 and scored three goals in each half.
Senior Cam Coyle scored the first goal at 10 minutes after an Evelyn Elwer corner kick that Erin McGrath kept alive with a header in the box. Sophomore Lauren Elwer outran the Hailey defense for the next two goals, 3-0 at half.
Coyle’s second goal came off another set play, from an Evelyn Elmer corner. Chatterton, a senior, ran away for the final two goals on passes by Lauren Elwer and Ronnie Piechowski.
Hutchinson made nine saves for Wood River.
Bishop Kelly outscored Sandpoint (8-6-5) by a 3-1 score for its sixth state title since 2007. Great Basin Conference champ Twin Falls (15-5-1), last year’s state runner-up, settled for third place 2-0 over Century of Pocatello (15-5-2).
· Final girls’ team statistics: Wood River 12-9-0 (7-2-0 home, 5-7-0 away, 7-3 league for #3 league seed, 2nd place in Great Basin Conference 4A tournament with 11 shutouts in 21 games. Goals scored: 69 (3.3 per game). Goals conceded: 33 (1.6 per game). Individual scoring: Jesse Cole 38 (119 career), Emily Thayer 15, Payton Bacca 6, Audra Mary 5, Lily Brunelle 2, Karen Krigsvold 1, Kate Stone 1, Megan Johnston 1.