at state soccer
‘Throats take consolation
Express Sports Editor
know in sports.
They can be
totally infuriating, or totally fulfilling. They bring out the best in you
and your teammates. They also challenge you to accept unwelcome swings in
why they play the games.
State 3A boys’ soccer tournament in Buhl was a challenging, thrilling
and often perplexing time for the Wood River High School and Community
record-setting Community School boys’ soccer team (21-3) poses on
its home Browning Field just prior to last week’s state tournament.
Front, from left, Taylor Rothgeb, co-captain Quinn Orb, Josh Kantor,
goalkeeper Drew Detwiler, John Hayes, Luc McCann and Bobby Flanigan. Back,
from left, coach Bob Brock, head coach Richard Whitelaw, Zac Brown, Ethan
Weston, Hannes Thum, Chris Cook, Josh Sonneland, Blake Schnebly,
co-captain Josh Stanek, Sean Higgins, Chadd Montgomery, Nic Hanscom and
coach Phil Huss. Not shown is Ash Higgins. Express photo by Willy Cook
forced by circumstances to rely on young players, was glad to be at state
after a hard-fought district tournament and a turbulent season. No one
really expected Wood River to do anything.
Helped by a
favorable draw, Wood River stunned most observers by making it all the way
to Saturday’s championship game before running out of steam against the
onslaught of a very swift band of Payette Pirates.
It was the
fourth straight state championship game appearance for the Wolverines of
coach Brian Daluiso (16-7-1), a remarkable achievement.
called Friday’s 2-1 overtime semi-final triumph over Snake River
"the high point of our season."
River was probably the third-strongest team in the tournament," said
Daluiso. "The Community School and Payette were clearly the strongest
two. It was definitely an upset for us to win."
River was fulfilled, The Community School swallowed a bitter pill.
highly-regarded Cutthroats had mixed feelings about seeing their
colleagues and friends from Wood River playing in Saturday’s
Richard Whitelaw expected his Cutthroats (21-3) to be in the final game,
striving hard to cap a superlative, record-setting season.
Cutthroats, handed an unfavorable first-round draw against Payette, couldn’t
preserve a 2-0 half-time lead and fell 3-2 to the Third District champion
Valley, its 19-game winning streak snapped at a bad time, gritted its
teeth and settled for the fourth-place consolation trophy with 4-1 and 4-2
wins Friday and Saturday.
the most successful fourth-place team in the state," said Whitelaw,
whose team played a great game in beating last year’s state champion
Weiser 4-2 in Saturday’s consolation final. "It was just a
tremendous season for us."
(17-1-1) finished with 18 consecutive wins, outscoring opponents 80-13 in
won their first legitimate championship at this level, having been handed
the 1996 title when winner-on-the-field Twin Falls was disqualified for
using ineligible players. Payette also won the State A-3 title from
defense provided Wood River with its state championships in 1998 and 1999.
And the defense led by junior sweeper Kyle Risner was excellent at state
wasn’t tested in Thursday’s 4-0 win over a weak Shelley team, but Wood
River’s attack outshot the Russets 10-1 in the first half and went ahead
1-0 on a penalty kick by Tate Mills at 33 minutes.
second half, Ted Dankanyin’s corner kick was headed home by Brazilian
foreign exchange student Daniel Bolognesi for a 2-0 lead at 60 minutes.
Bolognesi (11 goals in the last seven games) made it 3-0 at 70 minutes.
River High’s boys’ varsity soccer team completed a rebuilding
season with a state championship game appearance Saturday in Buhl. Just
before the title game, they posed near the goal. Front, from left, Brandon
Epp, K.C. Rivera, Slater Storey, Willie Meyers, goalkeeper Honza Walter,
Steve Durkin, Sagen Howard and Ted Dankanyin. Back, from left, Eros Cugusi,
Marcus Acker, Mike Sinnott, James Cimino, Chase Cleveland, Kyle Risner,
Tate Mills, Shane Cordeau, Matt Hansen, Daniel Bolognesi and coach Brian
Daluiso. Express photo by Jeff Cordes
aggressive run by K.C. Rivera supplied senior stopper Eros Cugusi with a
shot for the fourth and final Hailey goal.
Wood River’s game against Snake River was a microcosm of the entire
season—the Wolverines battling back from adversity.
for offsides after offsides and hit with three yellow cards and a red,
Wood River constantly pressed the action and played like a team with
absolutely nothing to lose.
with the wind at its back in the first half, Wood River outshot the
Panthers 11-6. Bolognesi got Hailey on the board in the 19th minute when
he stepped in, stole a pass and stuck the ball in the corner.
Brandon Epp just missed several great scoring chances in the second half,
including a shot seemingly headed for the corner with just four minutes
left in a 1-1 tie.
ticked down, Wood River was forced to play a man down. Rivera, who had
been winning a lot of balls in the midfield, was given a red card on a
questionable call at 69 minutes.
kept making great play after great play on defense, helped by fellow
defenders Matt Hansen, stopper Cugusi and Mike Sinnott. And senior keeper
Honza Walter from the Czech Republic made several outstanding saves.
minutes into the first 10-minute overtime, Mills sent a pass ahead to Epp,
who collected the ball and slammed it off the Panther keeper’s hands
through the short side and into the side of the net.
teammates piled on him.
just never let down," said Daluiso. "We were up against it—a
man down with the wind against us in OT. And Brandon had been close all
game." He told his team, "You guys were awesome. Just a bunch of
little scrappy guys."
had chugged hard to catch up with Mills’ pass, said, "At first I
didn’t think I could get to it. But I did, then I aimed for the lower
right corner and kicked it as hard as I could."
said, "Our defense has learned. Early in the season they were
inexperienced and undisciplined. But they came out and did it and became
the fourth Wood River team in a row to make the championship.
really pleased. What more can a coach ask for but having his team playing
its best at the end of the season?"
championship game against Payette was a 6-1 mismatch, Bolognesi scoring in
the second half on a perfect lead pass by Marcus Acker.
was impressive," said Daluiso, who didn’t dwell on the outcome but
focused on the entire season. "At some points, this season could have
ended disastrously. So it was great they turned it around."
Payette, first-half goals by leading scorer Josh Stanek and Nic Hanscom (a
header off a corner kick by Josh Sonneland) put the Cutthroats ahead 2-0
at the half.
suffered an ankle injury early in the game, however, which penetrated the
Cutthroat armor although the senior continued to play. But Payette owned
the second half.
the defensive for the first time, the Cutthroats scrambled against the
relentless Pirate pressure and surrendered the tying goal on a penalty
kick and the eventual winner on a header off one of many Payette corner
hit the crossbar with time running out and Payette held on to win 3-2.
"Man of the Match" was defender Taylor Rothgeb.
Cutthroats played with the wind at their backs and outshot American Falls
19-2 in the first half for a 2-0 lead on goals by Stanek (from 27 yards)
and stopper Quinn Orb (from midfield).
outstanding individual play by Sean Higgins made it 3-1 at 60 minutes. A
build-up from Rothgeb to Stanek to "Man of the Match" Sonneland
ended up with Higgins’ second goal and the 4-1 final score.
consolation championship turned into a well-played contest between the
Cutthroats and last year’s state champion Weiser Wolverines.
Schnebly’s strong defensive play in the midfield set up Sonneland for a
floating 25-yarder and a 1-0 Cutthroat lead at 17 minutes. Chris Cook
found the corner with a left-footed shot at 20 minutes.
up Sean Higgins for a 3-1 Ketchum lead at 28 minutes. In the second half,
its lead 3-2, the Cutthroats scored their final goal of the season when
Stanek stuffed the ball home after the Weiser keeper stopped a testing
of the Match" were co-captains Orb and Stanek. Stanek scored at least
one goal in the last 22 Cutthroat games.
was a great game," said Whitelaw. "We could have easily packed
it in after the first day."
River final stats: Overall record 16-7-1, equaling the school mark for
wins. Second place in district, second place at state. Fourth straight
appearance in state title game.
88 goals (3.7). Defense: 57 goals (2.4).
scorers: Chase Cleveland 21 goals, Daniel Bolognesi 14, Vince
Nagashima 12, K.C. Rivera 9, Tate Mills 9, Ryan Skahill 5, Brandon Epp 5,
Mike Sinnott 4, Marcus Acker 4, Eros Cugusi 3, Shane Cordeau 2.
Fifth-year coach Brian Daluiso (64-17-7) has a 12-4-2 record in five state
tournaments including two first places, two second places and one fourth
School final stats: Overall record 21-3 (14-0 league), setting a
school mark for wins. Put together a 19-game winning streak and outscored
league opponents this fall 130-18. First place in district, fourth place
155 goals (6.5). Defense: 37 goals (1.5).
scorers: Josh Stanek 53 goals (94 career), scoring at least one goal
in the last 22 games of the season.
Higgins 29 goals (43 career), Josh Sonneland 19 (28 career), Nic Hanscom
16 (27 career), John Hayes 7, Josh Kantor 7, Chris Cook 5, Chadd
Montgomery 3, Hannes Thum 2, Blake Schnebly 2, Bobby Flanigan 2, Quinn Orb
2, Taylor Rothgeb 2, Ethan Weston 2, Drew Stoecklein 1, Finn Brown 1.
Tenth-year coach Richard Whitelaw (110-49-12) has a 13-7 record in seven
state tournaments including two first places, two third places and one