Friday, October 9, 2009

Hailey girls hold off Twin Falls 3-2

Run the Great Basin table

Express Staff Writer

They hadn't run much in three days because of snow on their field. Sickness and flu had hit them hard. Their "Senior Night" home finale, postponed twice, had been finally relocated 60 miles south to warmer climes and a drier soccer pitch.

Nevertheless the Wood River High School girls' varsity soccer team managed to pick up the pieces and capture their biggest win of the season so far, on Wednesday in Twin Falls. The Wolverines beat the Bruins 3-2 in a battle for first place in the Great Basin Conference.

Sophomore Kaitana Martinez (12 goals season), junior Tanner Dredge (28 goals, 81 career) and sophomore Teagen Palmer (12 goals) scored for coach Jenni Conrad's Wolverines. Wood River built a 2-0 halftime lead and made it 3-0 at 72 minutes, before Twin Falls collected a pair of late goals.

Conrad said, "We were flat against Twin Falls. Not being out and running around put a halt to our momentum." Still, her girls put the ball in the net and improved their goals-against for the season to 75-14.

Martinez made it 1-0 in the seventh minute on a pass from Ali Appleton. Dredge tied Margii Driscoll for second place on the all-time scoring list with a blast at 28 minutes, from Martinez. Palmer uncorked her left foot after a pass from Ashley Hesteness at 72 minutes.

The game's green jersey went to sophomore Megan Morrell, who dropped back from midfield to left back and shored up a sickness-plagued defense. Shots were relatively even for the game, and junior goalkeeper Madison Gove (9 saves) was busier than usual.

Conrad said, "Madison had a fantastic game and made some really critical saves. Megan was unbelievable on defense."

Twin Falls erased the shutout on a set-play header off a corner kick, then the Bruins added a penalty kick three minutes into stoppage time.

Wood River (12-2-1, 10-0-0 league) stayed unbeaten in its last 13 games and earned the top seed in the six-team GBC tournament that begins Saturday, Oct. 10. The Wolverines will be shooting for their sixth consecutive GBC title and 15th straight state tournament trip.

"Senior Night" festivities will begin before Saturday's 12 noon Wood River game against the winner of Thursday's first-round contest between #4-seeded Minico (6-8-2, 4-5-1) and #5-seeded Burley (1-13-1, 1-8-1).

Thursday's other game matched #3-seeded Jerome (5-9-2, 5-5-0) against #6 Canyon Ridge of Twin Falls (1-15-3, 1-9-0). That winner plays at Twin Falls (12-3-2, 8-2-0) on Saturday.

If Wood River and Twin Falls win their Saturday games as expected, they will meet again Monday, Oct. 12 at 4:30 p.m. on the Hailey pitch. The championship game of the double elimination tournament is Thursday, Oct. 15 at 4:30 p.m.

The top two GBC teams qualify for the State 4A tournament Oct. 22-24 in Caldwell.

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