Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Soccer season picks up steam after Labor Day

Key boys? game today on the Hailey pitch

Express Staff Writer

Wood River co-captain Aimee Evans (left), trying to scoot past a Skyview defender earlier this season, will be looking for more running and passing room when the Wolverines continue their Great Basin Conference West schedule today at Jerome. Photo by David N. Seelig

Important soccer games in non-conference and Great Basin Conference West action resume today, Wednesday for the Wood River High School girls' and boys' squads.

Coach Greg Gvozdas' Wood River girls travel to Jerome today, Wednesday for a Great Basin West league game against the Tigers.

And coach Matt Phillips' Hailey boys host a tough Jerome team today, Sept. 5 at 4:30 p.m. during Homecoming Week at South Valley Sports Complex soccer field, Hailey.

The Wood River-Jerome boys' game could be a thriller.

Jerome's boys beat Wood River three straight times to end the 2006 season and ousted the Wolverines from state tournament contention. And Jerome is even better this fall.

The four-time defending Great Basin Conference champion Burley Bobcat boys (6-0-0, 2-0-0 league) built an early 3-0 league and barely hung on to edge the improving Jerome boys (5-3-0, 1-2-0) last Wednesday on the Burley pitch.

Jerome also boasts 6-1 and 4-2 wins over the Minico and Twin Falls boys this fall. But Minico (4-1-2, 1-1-0 league) stunned Jerome 2-0 Saturday in Rupert to even up the series.

The Wood River boys (2-2-1, 0-1-1 league) have been idle since tying Highland 1-1 in Pocatello Aug. 27. Their home game against the Century Diamondbacks was canceled last Wednesday. Led by senior Carlos Gil (11 goals), Burley blanked Century 3-0 in Pocatello to stay unbeaten.

Meanwhile the Hailey girls have a chance to stay unbeaten in Great Basin West action at Jerome today.

Wood River (1-3-1, 1-0-0 league) hasn't played since a 0-0 home tie with Highland Aug. 27. The only Wolverine girls' victory to date came over Burley, 6-1 Aug. 20 in Hailey.

And, if you're comparing scores, always problematic in soccer, the Burley girls (1-4-1, 1-1-0 league) defeated Jerome by a 4-1 final count last Wednesday in Burley.

Jerome's girls (3-3-1, 2-1-0 league) defeated Minico (0-5-1, 0-2-0 league) for the second time this season by a 7-6 score Saturday. Jerome has a prolific goal scorer in Aubree Callen (6 goals against Minico Saturday). Last fall Wood River defeated Jerome by 4-0 and 5-0 scores.

Tough games coming up

Jerome isn't the only challenge.

The Wood River varsity teams reach the toughest part of their schedule during the next seven days.

Moscow, McCall-Donnelly, Pocatello and Burley are the match-ups.

On Saturday, Wood River's boys and girls travel to McCall's Sabala Field for a doubleheader against 4A Moscow and 3A McCall-Donnelly at Payette Lakes Middle School.

The Wood River girls' varsity plays Moscow at 3 p.m. and McCall at 7 p.m. The Wolverine boys' varsity goes against Moscow at 1 p.m. and McCall 5 p.m.

Also set are junior varsity boys' and girls' games matching Wood River and McCall at 1 p.m. (girls) and 3 p.m. (boys) at the high school field. Moscow and McCall meet up to start the day at 9 a.m. (boys) and 11 a.m. (girls) at Sabala Field.

McCall's girls (2-1) are the defending State 3A champions and return eight seniors.

The junior-dominated Vandal boys (2-2), winners of three straight 3A District Three titles, earned third place at state in 2006 and return four starters. McCall's boys have already beaten 5A Lewiston and have fallen 4-3 to 5A Meridian.

Wood River players will have to make the long trip home from McCall late Saturday evening and get themselves ready for two more challenges Monday, Sept. 10.

The Hailey girls entertain Pocatello Monday at 4:30 p.m. and the Wolverine boys go to Pocatello.

Pocatello's girls, normally a strong team at the State 4A tournament, went 13-8-1 last fall but fell to Lakeland of Rathdrum 5-0 and Skyview of Nampa 3-0 at the state meet. Wood River beat Pocatello 7-0 last fall, but the Indians had just one senior and eight juniors in 2006.

The Pocatello boys had six seniors last fall when they went 11-7-3 and captured the State 4A consolation title with 1-0 victories over Nampa and Middleton after a tournament-opening 4-1 setback to eventual state winner Sandpoint. Pocatello has tied Minico 2-2 in Rupert and has lost 6-2 at Burley this fall.

Wood River's boys, 1-0 losers at Pocatello in 2006, will entertain unbeaten Burley Wednesday, Sept. 12.

In other news: Wood River's boys' junior varsity enjoyed its most productive game with an 8-0 win over Highland Aug. 27 in Pocatello. Wood River led 6-0 at half.

Alejandro Garcia, Brayan Donoso and Crockett Stearns each scored twice. Jake Freeman and Chance McCroskey added singles. Assists went to Garcia (2), Freeman, Felipe Raygoza, Stearns and Charlie Evans.

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