Eighty minutes of soccer.
That, and a tough Buhl Tribe squad, stand between The Community School girls' varsity soccer team and the Sun Valley independent school's sixth consecutive trip to the State 3A soccer tournament.
Second-seeded Buhl (8-5-2, 6-2 league) and the top-seeded Community School (8-2-2, 7-0 league) will square off for the Fourth District 3A tournament championship today, Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. on the Sagewillow Farms pitch, Elkhorn.
The winner goes to the State 3A tournament Oct. 19 in Meridian. The loser must win twice for a state trip—on Thursday against the survivor of Tuesday's Declo-Gooding loser-out game, and Saturday at 2 p.m. in a play-in game at Burley against the Fifth District.
A lot is at stake. And the Cutthroats seem to be ready.
"We haven't played our best game against Buhl," said fifth-year Cutthroat head coach Kelly Feldman, talking about tight 4-2 and 3-2 league victories over Buhl this season. "Buhl could surprise us. We'll have to play a full 80 minutes."
They'll have to contain Buhl's high-scoring sophomore Autumn Yturbe to keep their unbeaten league streak alive. Since 2003, the dominant Cutthroat girls have won 26 straight league games by a margin of 145-13. This season they are outscoring opponents 66-16 and have four shutouts.
Feldman's Sun Valley teams have run the table in the Fourth District three straight years and are looking for one more victory to stay supreme.
Monday, the Cutthroats started the five-team tournament with an overwhelming 11-0 home win over #4-seeded Gooding. Scoring two goals apiece were Jessie Curran, Hannah Hennessy and Grayson Palmer. Singles came from Mandy Alexander, Lexie duPont, Cody Curran, Sara Berman and Erica Eshman.
Buhl advanced to today's title clash 7-1 over #5 Wendell.
Meanwhile, in the Idahosports.com girls' soccer poll, Teton of Driggs (14-0-5) is currently ranked #1 ahead of #2-ranked Community School. Cutthroat fans remember Teton as the team that beat their girls 2-0 in the third-place game of last year's State 3A tourney.
Although Teton has outscored opponents 58-10 and on Monday out-shot North Fremont 42-0 in a 4-0 district tournament win, the Driggs girls played to 0-0 and 2-2 ties with Marsh Valley this season.
If the Cutthroats win today, Marsh Valley could be The Community School's first-round opponent at the State 3A tournament. And the first time the 'Throats would see Teton would be in the championship.
However, if the Cutthroats lose today and have to play to state through the back door, they would be on the same side of the bracket as Teton setting up a semi-final confrontation.