Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Sweet seasons for Cutthroat soccer reach a crossroads

Hennessy breaks scoring record for girls

Express Staff Writer

Community School senior Hannah Hennessy set a new single-season goal scoring record for the Sun Valley independent school Monday with four goals in her team's 5-0 High Desert Soccer Conference home victory over Filer on the Sagewillow Farms field.

Hennessy (25 goals in 14 games) carried the Cutthroats offensively with her seventh multi-goal performance of the season, helped by three assists by Erica Eshman. Hennessy broke Cassidy Doucette's single-season record of 24 goals set in 2004 and improved her career scoring mark to 37.

Adding her three goals Saturday against Declo, Hennessy has picked up the scoring pace since senior sniper Cody Curran went down with a knee injury in the 4-0 loss to Wood River Sept. 22 in Hailey. Curran (15 goals, 39 career) remains sidelined for the Fish.

Coach Kelly Feldman's top-ranked Cutthroats (13-1-0, 11-0-0 league) stayed unbeaten on their home pitch with Monday's win and Saturday's 5-0 success over Declo. In the process they posted their 10th and 11th shutouts in 14 games and set two more school soccer records—most single-season wins (13) and most goals scored (81).

In Monday's game the Cutthroats out-shot Filer (7-4-0) by a 27-6 count. Senior goalkeeper Kathryn Farmer (9 saves, 6 after half) continued her strong play supporting her defenders Marin Shepardson, Emily Eshman and Mattie Griswold.

Sophomore midfielder Erica Eshman passed to Hennessy for the first two goals against Filer in the 8th minute and 16th minute. Eshman pressured the Wildcat defense and Hennessy converted a loose ball for a 3-0 Cutthroat lead at 25 minutes.

Filer goalkeeper Meghan Egbert (16 saves) had some good stops, but she couldn't prevent Hennessy from scoring her fourth goal at 49 minutes on a build-up from Emily Eshman to Maddie-Kate Currie. Currie made a very nice cross to Hennessy for the goal that set a new school scoring mark.

The Cutthroats finished the scoring on a Jean Montgomery goal at 78 minutes after a Jessie Curran free kick.

Feldman said, "Our touch is still a little off, but on the whole we're playing well. I hope we learn the lessons from the Wood River game, and if we did we should be in great shape (for post-season tournaments)."

On Saturday against Declo (3-12-1), Erica Eshman scored for a 1-0 Cutthroat lead at the half over a team the Fish had beaten 9-0 Aug. 31. But Hennessy restored order with three second-half goals including a penalty. Madison Murach also scored for the winning team.

Basically it's now a six-game season in ideal circumstances for the Cutthroat girls and boys—today's regular-season wrap-up games at Bliss plus the prospect of two games in next week's High Desert Soccer Conference tournaments and three more at the State 3A meet.

The Cutthroat girls are the top seed in the seven-team tournament and have earned a first-round bye. So they'll play their first tournament game Monday, Oct. 8 at 4:30 p.m. against the winner of Saturday's first-round game between the fourth-place and fifth-place teams. Championship game is Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 4:30 p.m.

Boys nip improved Filer 2-1

Coach Richard Whitelaw's top-ranked Cutthroat boys (13-0-0 overall, 11-0-0 league) stayed unbeaten with 3-0 and 2-1 victories over Declo (6-9-1, 4-6-1) and Filer (5-7-1) this week.

But the closeness of the scores compared to Sun Valley's 6-0 road wins over the same teams in August indicated how far some of the High Desert opponents have come.

"Filer hustled and has come a long way," said Whitelaw. "We did hit the crossbar three times and had a lot of chances."

Sophomore Tanner Flanigan (18 goals) broke open a scoreless game at 47 minutes and senior co-captain Max Harris tallied his first goal of the season at 54 minutes for a 2-0 Cutthroat lead. Javier Licea put Filer on the board at 75 minutes. Goalkeeper Justin Borges was superb for the Wildcats.

"Man of the Match" was sophomore defender Jackson Bates for the Cutthroats.

Saturday the Cutthroats took care of Declo 3-0 at Browning Field with Travis Stone scoring twice and Flanigan once. Stone now has 24 goals, 83 for his four-year career, and is 11 shy of tying Josh Stanek for the all-time school record.

Whitelaw said his team is hoping to regain some of its confidence and intends to finish the regular season unbeaten with a match against defending High Desert champion Bliss today at 5:30 p.m. Bliss (7-4-0) is on the upswing, having beaten Gooding (10-4, 7-4) by a 6-1 score Monday.

Having earned the top seed in the seven-team tournament, The Community School will wait until Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 4:30 p.m. to host the winner of Saturday's first-round tournament game between the fourth-place and fifth-place teams. Championship game is Thursday, Oct. 11 at 4:30 p.m.

The top two teams in the single elimination consolation bracket tournaments for both the High Desert boys and girls earn berths in the State 3A tournament Oct. 18 at Buhl.

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