It was a win, but it was a little more interesting than first-year Wood River High School girls' soccer coach Jenni Conrad would have preferred Wednesday at Jerome.
Her Wolverines (1-2-0, 1-0-0 league) dominated the game and out-shot the overmatched Jerome Tigers 37-5 over 80 minutes. But Wood River settled for a narrow 3-2 victory in the closest game ever played between the two schools.
Wood River, seeking its first victory after hard-fought 2-0 and 2-1 losses to Skyview of Nampa and Century of Pocatello, led 3-0 at halftime.
Last year's leading scorer Tanner Dredge, now a junior, tallied her 55th career goal on an assist from Teagen Palmer in the 18th minute.
Wolverine junior Shaylee Foley made it 2-0 at 33 minutes and sophomore Nicole Roos stretched the lead to 3-0 at 37 minutes. Hailey out-shot Jerome 17-0 in the first half.
Jerome (0-4-0, 0-1-0 league) had opened its season with losses to Century 7-0, at Hillcrest 9-4 and at Mountain Home 7-3. But the Tigers have a talented goal scorer in the speedy Aubree Callen—and Callen scored one minute into the second half on Jerome's first legitimate shot.
The Tigers added another Callen goal five minutes later for a 3-2 game. Meanwhile, Wood River peppered Jerome with 20 shots in the second half but none went in, most prominently hitting the crossbar twice and the uprights on two other occasions.
Fortunately, Wood River's defense of junior stopper Taylor Hayes, sophomore sweeper Maddie Bates, sophomore back Sloan Storey and freshman back Maggie Williams held the Tigers off in front of junior goalkeeper Madison Gove.
Wood River, five-time defending Great Basin Conference West champ, had only allowed five goals to Jerome in compiling a 13-0 record against their conference foes before Wednesday's victory. The closest previous winning margin for Wood River was 3-0 in 2005.
Next, Wood River debuts at home Saturday, Sept. 5 at 11 a.m. against Highland of Pocatello at South Valley Sports Complex soccer field. The Wolverines split with Highland last season, winning 4-0 at home and losing 1-0 in Pocatello.