Friday, May 29, 2009

State Cup soccer a test for WRSC squads

Teams compete over Memorial Day in Pocatello

The Wood River Soccer Club sent boys' and girls' teams to the Idaho Youth Soccer Association's high-level State Cup tournament on Memorial Day weekend in Pocatello.

For the past several years, the Wood River Valley has had no representation at the prestigious holiday tournament. But this year coaches Cameron Lawler and Ken Morrell scheduled the tournament as the ultimate goal for a competitive season. Both teams responded in great fashion and showed they belonged.

The girls opened with a 2-2 tie against the Sandpoint Strikers from northern Idaho.

Wood River had many opportunities to win but settled for the tie. Darby Robertson hit the upper right corner just before halftime and Haley Montgomery sent a dangerous ball across the goal box late in the second half that found the back of the net for the 2-2 final.

WRSC battled well in its next two games and many opportunities barely missed, leaving the Hailey girls with 1-0 losses to the Coeur d'Alene Sting and Les Bois United of Boise. Cheyenne Swanson did amazing work between the pipes, allowing only four goals for the tournament.

Morrell said, "The entire team gave everything they had each time they stepped on the pitch, I'm so proud of all of them. They have taken their soccer to a whole other level."

The WRSC U-17 boys faced some of Idaho's best teams. On Friday, the boys faced the State Cup championship runner-up Boise Nationals. Unfortunately, WRSC was outmatched against a bigger, faster team. On Saturday, WRSC couldn't find the net against rival FC Athletico from Idaho Falls.

It was a different story Sunday. WRSC brought its "A" game against Ballistic SC, also from Idaho Falls.

WRSC went ahead early in the game with a shot from 40 yards out by Harlan Collins, followed very quickly by another goal from Felipe Raygoyza. Ballistic converted on a penalty kick making it close at 2-1, whereupon Raygoyza converted again to expand the lead by two.

The final was 3-2 favoring WRSC and ending the weekend on a positive note.

Playing outstanding defense throughout the weekend were Ben Stout, Nathan Moses, Zach Freeman, Harlan Collins, Spyder Turco and Davis Matthews. Holding down the midfield were Alexander MacMillan, Cassidy Carson, Chris De La Cruz, Jeffery Espejo, Felipe Raygoza, Jordan Levin and Freddy Tamayo.

Strong efforts by forwards Bryan Donoso, Hector Lopez and Aly Pedres rounded out a great run.

Boys' coach Cameron Lawler was impressed with the way the boys ended the weekend, playing tough for the win and suffering two tough losses. He said, "They have improved tremendously over the course of the season and their strong effort both on and off the field came through on Sunday."

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