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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2001 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of  October 24 - 30, 2001


Early test looms for Cutthroat boys at state

Showdown with Payette, 
WRHS back at big dance

Newly-crowned champion of the Fourth District 3A boys’ soccer tournament, The Community School of Sun Valley is the favorite heading into the State 3A tournament Thursday, Oct. 25 at Buhl.

Sean Higgins, Community School junior, led his team with 7 goals at last week’s district tournament. Higgins has 27 goals for the season. Express photo by David N. Seelig

But coach Richard Whitelaw’s high-scoring Cutthroats (19-2) will face a stern test to their 19-game winning streak when they open the three-day state tournament against Third District champion Payette (14-1-1) Thursday at 12:30 p.m.

Payette is unbeaten in its last 15 games and has outscored opponents 69-10 in that stretch, including wins over McCall 7-1 and last year’s state champion Weiser 4-1 in last week’s Third District tournament.

But the Cutthroats with their 145-31 scoring advantage over foes are formidable on offense and defense, and they beat Payette 4-1 for third place in last year’s state tournament at the same Buhl fields.

"I’m always apprehensive before our games, and the first game of a state tournament is always tough," said Whitelaw. "But Payette should be worried, too. Perhaps whoever wins our game will go on to win the state tournament."

Known for its offense, The Community School earned its 18th trip to the state tournament with great defense Thursday at Buhl in a 5-0 district championship game victory over arch-rival Wood River. On offense, the Cutthroats out-shot Hailey 28-5.

"We defended well," said Whitelaw, whose team was 3-0 with a 20-2 scoring edge at district. "We wanted the ball and we wanted to control mid-field, since Wood River had controlled the mid-field in its last game against us."

After Sean Higgins (27 goals season, 7 district) capitalized on a Wolverine clearing mistake to put the Cutthroats ahead 1-0 at nine minutes, Ethan Weston carried a Nic Hanscom lead pass up the right wing and launched a long cross that floated into the net for a 2-0 cushion at 24 minutes.

Right back Weston, aggressive from the outset, was judged "Man of the Match," by Whitelaw.

Josh Sonneland (18 goals) then put Sun Valley ahead 3-0 at 32 minutes.

That was the half-time score and it could have been more, if not for several solid saves by Wood River goalkeeper Honza Walter and a couple of shots off the Hailey crossbar and goalpost. The Cutthroats took advantage of the wind to outshoot the Wolverines 18-3.

Josh Stanek (49 goals in 21 games) and Hanscom (15 goals) added second-half goals to complete the 5-0 triumph.

Wood River coach Brian Daluiso said afterwards, "The Community School is really a disciplined team."

Daluiso’s Wolverines showed the kind of resourcefulness they’ve shown all year, rebounding from Thursday’s tough loss for a dominating 4-0 win over host Buhl Friday in a playoff to determine a state berth.

So, Wood River (14-6-1) will be making the school’s 17th trip to the state soccer tournament by virtue of its 3-1 record at last week’s eight-team Fourth District tourney in Buhl.

"I still think this team has some good games in them," said Daluiso. "We’re definitely on an upward climb. I’m sure we’ll see Weiser at state, and the best of all scenarios is if we play the Cutthroats Saturday for the state championship."

Wood River meets Fifth District champ Shelley in its first game Thursday at 3 p.m., the winner going against the winner of Weiser-Snake River in Friday’s semi-final. Weiser (8-4-2) hasn’t scored a lot of goals this season but has played a tough schedule, tying Payette once 1-1.

Of course, last year’s state championship game matched Wood River and Weiser, with Weiser winning 5-2.

The other teams in the eight-team state tournament are Bonners Ferry and American Falls. They’ll face off Thursday, the winner going against the winner of Payette-Community School in Friday’s semi-final.

Bonners Ferry won the consolation final at last year’s state tournament 4-3 over Snake River. In all, six teams return from the 2001 meet—Shelley replacing South Fremont and American Falls going instead of Teton.


Other district games

Wood River’s dramatic 4-3 overtime victory over Declo last Tuesday gave the Wolverines a berth in the district title game.

Senior Daniel Bolognesi tallied four goals including the game winner nine minutes into OT as Wood River rallied from a 3-1 halftime deficit with a relentless pressing offense.

With goalkeeper Walter nursing an injury suffered against The Community School, Bolognesi played between the pipes in Friday’s playoff game against Buhl. But the Tribe didn’t mount much of an offense against Hailey.

Still, Buhl’s defense plugged up the box and limited Wood River to a 1-0 half-time lead—the first goal scored by freshman Shane Cordeau midway through the first half.

Then, Tate Mills made a penalty kick shortly after the half and Marcus Acker’s goal provided insurance at 3-0. Cordeau, recently called up from the junior varsity, tallied his second goal to finish the Wolverine scoring.

Daluiso said, "Shane had been playing defense on JV, but he came up and scored within two minutes after I put him into the game."

Meanwhile, The Community School downed Magic Valley Christian 4-1 Tuesday. Higgins scored two goals to go with singles by Sonneland and Stanek, who has now scored in 19 straight games. "Man of the Match" was Blake Schnebly.

SOCCER NOTES—While The Community School has set most of the records this fall, Wood River has done well itself. The 14-6-1 Wolverine record equals that of the 1987 Hailey team. That 1987 squad scored 93 goals, a school best, and this year’s Wolverine team has scored 81. The school record for wins is 16, set by last year’s 16-2 team.

The two Blaine County teams boast six state titles between them.

Wood River, seeking its fourth straight state championship game berth, won state soccer in 1998 (a 4-1 shootout over Weiser at Nampa) and 1999 (2-1 in double OT over Twin Falls, in Twin).

The Community School won the State A-3 title in 1999 (3-1 over Middleton in Idaho Falls) and 1992 (3-0 over Kuna in Twin Falls), and the A-2 crown in 1986 (5-1 over Caldwell in Idah9o Falls). The Cutthroats also beat Boise 2-1 for the state title in 1976, when soccer was in its infancy in the Gem State.

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.