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For the week of August 18th, 1999 through August 24th, 1999

Lefty’s F.C. stings Boise, captures the Classic

Ketchum soccer team wins title 5-4 in overtime


By JEFF CORDES
Express Staff Writer

They had amazing depth. They had awesome passing and ball skills. Midfielders were sturdy, willing to deliver the ball on the wing. And the homegrown defense had a stubborn Idaho quality that served it well.

But what separated this year’s Lefty’s F.C. men’s soccer team from its predecessors was its ability to finish and score the goal. You’re always looking for a finisher on a soccer team. And Lefty’s had two.

Lefty’s finished 16 times last weekend during the annual Ketchum Classic Tournament and became only the second local squad to win the annual late-summer tournament attracting teams from the Northwest.

Former Oregon State University wing Dominick Conti of Lefty’s F.C. took a pass from 1986 All-Ivy League stopper Jack Dies and scored the game-winning goal one minute into the first 10-minute sudden death overtime Sunday.

It was Conti’s third goal of the tense 91-minute contest witnessed by hundreds of fans at Atkinson Park.

Lefty’s F.C., which had squandered a 3-0 halftime lead in the championship game of the 12-team tournament, thus nailed down a 5-4 overtime victory over Boise Sting and completed an unbeaten 4-0 run to the title of the two-day tourney.

It was Ketchum’s first win in its own tournament since Dies’ Ketchum Swinelagers won in 1992.

Tournament organizer Ed Hurtubis of Lefty’s F.C. said with relief, "I guess we like to keep the fans interested. The first half, we were all over them. Then we got cocky and came out flat in the second half and they ran right through us. But we showed good composure to come back and win—and Jack Dies had a great ball to set up the winner."

Undisputed Most Valuable Player of the tournament was Lefty’s striker Joe Chiodo, who scored seven goals and, along with Conti’s four goals, gave Lefty’s its winning 1-2 punch.

Like many Lefty’s players, Chiodo had college soccer experience. He showed it all weekend, scoring at opportune times. Eight minutes into the finale, after a series of saves by Lefty’s goalkeeper Olin Glenne of Oregon State, Chiodo made it 1-0 from close range.

Mike Prendergrast’s cross ended up with a Conti header goal at 27 minutes. Then Glenne and Conti played their kick-and-run game on the short field, finely tuned from four seasons playing together on Oregon State’s team from 1993-96.

Glenne made a save and quickly drop-kicked a line drive downfield to Conti flying down the right wing. Conti corraled the ball in the corner, by the flag, and deftly nutmegged the ball between the Sting defender’s legs. Conti then put it in the net for a 3-0 Lefty’s lead at 37 minutes.

It was similar to the Glenne-Conti connection that gave Lefty’s a 1-0 victory over tough Portola Valley in the opening game Saturday morning.

"We read each other," said Glenne. "He knew I’d be running on it," said Conti.

The lead was shortlived. Soccer players like to say that 2-0 is not the most dangerous lead, it’s 3-0. If you’re leading 2-0, the score is still close and you will continue pressing. At 3-0, you’re almost relaxing.

Indeed, the college players from Lefty’s got showed up by two high school seniors from Meridian, Idaho—and Boise Sting scored a startling three goals in the first six minutes of the second half for a tie.

Boise Sting back Ben Lugar collected the remnants of a corner kick and made it 3-1 one minute into the second half. Talented Sting striker Luke Christian, like Lugar a Meridian High senior, walked through the Lefty’s defense and scored twice in two minutes for a 3-3 deadlock.

Fortunately for the home team, Chiodo was opportunistic and took advantage of a Sting defensive misplay to score in the box at 65 minutes. But prosperity wasn’t working well for Lefty’s in the second half. Sure-handed Glenne juggled a ball, and Boise’s Mike Hermes put it in.

Sting keeper Kent Jones preserved the 4-4 tie late in the second half—making two saves against onrushing Chiodo at the corner of the net, and tipping a blast by Conti over the net at 81 minutes, after a nice set-up by Kurt Funkhouser.

With 90 minutes done, it went to overtime and didn’t last long at all.

Glenne fisted away a tough-angled Sting direct kick just 30 seconds into the fray and the ball popped out to Dies on the right side. Conti said, "Jack saw me trying to make a run and he put the veteran touch on his pass." Conti beat the last defender and put the ball away.

Dies, 34, a former University of Pennsylvania soccer player who spends most of his time these days being a father and a golfer, was happy to bring home another title.

He said, "The difference between this team and the one that won in 1992 is depth. We’ve got a good rotation and can send in fleets of players to get the job done."

In its other games, Lefty’s F.C. blanked Portola Valley (Ca.) 1-0, rallied past Missoula (Mt.) 3-2 and whipped Pocatello 7-1.

Against Portola Valley, "we had a full team effort for the shutout," keeper Glenne said. Glenne made a number of fine saves, and the Lefty’s defense came up with some great blocks including an excellent sliding stop by Hurtubis on a cross in the box at the 60-minute mark.

Conti’s game-winning goal after Glenne’s accurate goal kick wasn’t his best effort but it worked. Conti said, "I got past the defender and it was one-on-one. I mishit it but it went in. We had a lot of opportunities, but one goal wins it."

Trailing 2-1 to Missoula Saturday evening, Lefty’s stormed back on three goals by Chiodo—the winner coming on a nice ball from ex-Duke University player Sam Smith with 10 minutes to play.

Sunday morning, Lefty’s spotted Pocatello an early 1-0 lead and reeled off seven unanswered goals.

Chiodo banged bodies with the Pocatello keeper and tucked the ball home at 37 minutes, finishing a bout of trash-talking between the two.

The eventual game-winning goal came off the foot of Hurtubis. He left-footed a 33-yard liner high into the net after Michael Reed’s direct kick was batted around in the box and bounced back out past the 18.

At 55 minutes, Craig Maxwell banged home a left-footer from 17 yards after passes from Matt Brinker and Conti. Chiodo scored again, from Funkhouser and Conti, then Dates Fryberger made it 5-1. Two goals by Robin Sarchett, the second on a pass from Steve Fostvedt at 78 minutes, finished the rout.

Doing a solid job all weekend was the Lefty’s F.C. defense including Matt Redman, Ryan Bahoshy, Maxwell and Fryberger.

LEFTY’S NOTES—Striker Joe Chiodo from Sacramento and Christian Heritage College was the second-leading scorer for the Sonoma State University Cossacks last fall. The 5-8 senior had 6 goals and 4 assists in 18 games for 8-9-2 Sonoma State.

Other college players for Lefty’s included the 1-2 punch of goalkeeper Olin Glenne and wing Dominick Conti. They started for the Oregon State Beavers from 1993-96. Glenne is still first on the all-time career saves list at Oregon State with 120 and nine shutouts. Conti is fifth on the career scoring list with 16 goals.

Sturdy midfielder Kurt Funkhouser logged professional time in Holland and Brazil. And Jack Dies was a three-year captain and All-American for the University of Pennsylvania from 1983-87. Dies was a member of the U.S. development squad and played professionally for two years. He came to Idaho in June 1990 after being cut from the national team that was headed to Italy. He said, "I didn’t expect to come here and find the kind of program that Richard Whitelaw had set up. I’ve had a great second career and lots of good memories."

Dies, Craig Maxwell and Steve Fostvedt were the only players remaining from the 1992 Ketchum squad that captured the Ketchum Classic soccer championship with four wins. Dies scored 4 goals and Fostvedt 3 goals that year, as the Ketchum Swinelagers brushed aside the memory of three runner-up finishes in five years and outscored their opponents 15-2.

Ketchum won the final 5-1 over Berlin of Utah, but it was Richard Whitelaw’s game-winning goal in a 2-1 victory over Park City that put the Swinelagers in the final. They also blanked Jackson Hole 3-0 and Old Peculiar from Seattle 5-0. MVP was Ketchum midfielder Eric Slotten. Other players were keeper Matt Patterson, Benji Hill, Rob King, Roger Breeze, Johnny McDonald, Philip Majure, John Whisler, Rob Freeman, Steve Chenery and John Droege.

Boise Blast and Weber State have dominated the Ketchum Classic for a decade—the Blast winning in 1991, 1993, 1996 and 1997, and Weber State prevailing for four times in 1989-90 and 1994-95. Last August, Fast Eddy of Ogden slipped past Lefty’s F.C. 5-0 in the title game.

 

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Copyright 1999 Express Publishing Inc. All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited.