Friday, October 22, 2004

Cutthroats sting Hornets, claim district title

Express Staff Writer

The 3A Fourth District champion Community School with (back row) assistant coach Carolina Stevens (and son, Jack), Corinna Pidgeon, Gabby Sisson, Krista Detwiler, Chloe Lynn, Jessie Curran, Katie Rothgeb, Hannah Hennessy, Emily Eshman, Jean Montgomery, Rian Ervin, Devon Parnes, and coach Kelly Feldman. Middle row -- Christina Walsworth, Mandy Alexander, Sara Berman, Cody Curran, Sarah Adicoff, Lexie duPont, Ross Mills, Oey Parker, McKenna Peterson, Caitlin Enright. Front row ? Cassidy Doucette, Gussi Ochi and Lexie Pragasstis. Photo by Chris Pilaro

All season long Community School coaches Kelly Feldman and Carolina Stevens have been preaching possession, possession, possession.

They can stop now.

In a flashy display of dribbling, passing and power, the Cutthroats dispatched Declo 4-0 at Sagewillow Farm Tuesday to win the 3A Fourth District title.

?I am so proud,? Feldman said. ?We played smart and we played the way we needed to to win that game.?

The district title is the Cutthroats second in two years. Sun Valley defeated Wood River in a shootout to claim the banner in 2002.

The Community School (8-3) will open the 2004 State tournament with an 11 a.m. game on Thursday, Oct. 28. The eight-team tilt will be played at the Capital Soccer Complex in Eagle.

?Our goal at state is to improve on last year?s performance,? Feldman said. ?We want to make the finals.

?I don?t think there is anyone out there we can?t handle. Our team has a lot of depth and we have had a great season.?

District game versus Declo

Besides winning the district title and earning the right to play at state, the Cutthroats can take pride in the fact they were undefeated at Sagewillow Farm this season. In five home matches, Sun Valley was nearly perfect, winning four of the contests by shutout and allowing just one goal in a 5-1 victory over Buhl.

In the Fourth District championship Tuesday, the ?Throats served up more of the same in a 4-0 victory over the Declo Hornets.

The Community School outshot the Hornets 33-3 and took eight corner kicks, while Declo did not force a single one. The score might have been a lot more lopsided if not for the performance of Declo?s goalie Allison Ramsey, who came up with 17 saves. The crossbar got the rest. (Which is only a partial stretch as the Cutthroats hit the post a minimum of five times.

With the majority of play taking place in Declo?s defensive half, Sun Valley?s starting strikers Cassidy Doucette and Sara Berman saw plenty of action and were ably supported and fed by halfbacks Gussi Ochi, Ross Mills, and Mandy Alexander, and defensemen Lexie Pragasstis and Caitlin Enright.

?Gussi had some great shots and did a super job distributing. Mandy has been on fire. She has been unstoppable at practice,? Feldman remarked. ?I am so impressed with how Lexie and Caitlin played.?

27 minutes into the first half, Alexander broke down the right wing, and looked to pass. Finding herself all alone at the 20-yard line, Alexander opted to shoot and launched a dead ringer over Ramsey?s head for a 1-0 lead.

Mills beat Ramsey low left on a tip by Doucette for a 2-0 advantage at the 33-minute mark.

The ensuing possession by Mills left fans gasping in disbelief and the Hornet defenders gasping for air.

Alexander lofted a cross to Mills, who banged a shot off the crossbar; the rebound went wide and was chased down by Doucette and served back in the box. Mills hit the bar yet again and then headed the rebound up and over the goal.

Five seconds before the first half was over, Lexie Pragasstis passed to Ochi who dished to Doucette. In a single stride, Doucette collected the ball and launched a left-footed laser far corner for a 3-0 advantage.

Doucette scored again five minutes into the second stanza to make it 4-0 and the Cutthroats cruised to an easy and well-deserved victory.

?Obviously, I would like to finish better,? Feldman said of the team?s four goals on 33 shots, ?but that is fixable. Overall, I am really pleased.?

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