Wednesday, September 1, 2004

3-3 tie in Wood River soccer debut

Home deadlock with Bruins

The play was a little ragged?or, ?frantic,? in the words of first-year Wood River High School boys? varsity coach Farrell Swain. That?s pretty typical of the season?s first game.

The 3-3 tie between 4A Wood River and 5A rival Twin Falls was probably the most fitting outcome for Saturday?s non-league opener at Hailey?s South Valley Sports Complex. The teams were evenly matched.

Both teams showed promise and enthusiasm for the task at hand. Wood River even had a 3-1 lead in the second half before the Bruins scored twice through defensive breakdowns.

In vain, Wood River was knocking at the door for the winner at the end.

Swain said, ?We were frantic in the first 15 minutes of the first half. Once we gained our composure we played much better and our confidence rose. Then we had a couple of good scoring plays and more opportunities in the last two minutes of the game in the Twin Falls end of the field.?

Outstanding players were sweeper Sagen Howard and defender Reno Christino. Their coach Swain said, ?Reno and Sagen were so solid.?

After warding off an early Twin Falls offensive blitz (three headers over the Wolverine net in the first 20 minutes), the Wolverines drew first blood with an own goal at 22 minutes?after a well-placed throw-in by Christino.

Two important players had to leave the field for good at the 25-minute mark when Wood River junior striker Audie McCann and Twin Falls goalkeeper Drew Davis knocked heads and drew blood near the goal line. McCann needed eight stitches to close the wound in the back of his head, and Davis bled from a cut near his eye.

In the game?s prettiest play, Byron Epp?s cross from the left wing and Michael Connor?s header produced the second Wolverine goal six minutes after the half. Four minutes later Denis Pavlovic broke in alone and stuck a Bruins? goal into the corner.

Spencer Cordovano completed the run of three goals in six minutes when he tapped home a Bryce Newcomb cross at 52 minutes for a 3-1 lead.

No two-goal lead is ever comfortable in soccer. Juan Santos of Twin Falls got behind the defense and made it 3-2 at 62 minutes, then Rene Garcia headed home a corner kick from Pavlovic for the equalizer at 69 minutes.

Among the close calls for Wood River (0-0-1) in the closing minutes were Carl Jablonski?s header that sailed over the net and Garrett Leo?s blast that just went wide with two minutes left.

Cutthroat boys 1-0 winner over Buhl

Community School striker Bobby Flanigan danced through three defenders and scored what proved to be the game-winning goal in the first half of the 1-0 Cutthroat league win at Buhl Friday.

?Man of the Match? was sweeper Reed Boeger in the successful season-opening boys? varsity soccer outcome for coach Richard Whitelaw?s Cutthroats.

Whitelaw said, ?We could have easily lost to Buhl. They had four or five good chances and hit the crossbar. Buhl will beat a lot of teams this year.?

The coach added, ?(Goalkeeper) Regan O?Reilly did well for his first varsity game. Connor Wade, Ross Campbell and Ben Roth all defended well.?

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