Junior midfielders Sloan Storey and Kaitana Martinez set the tone for a poised and confident team effort Tuesday leading the Wood River High School girls' varsity team to a 3-1 home win over Twin Falls.
Slorey scored the first two goals on long free kicks and Martinez earned the game "Most Valuable Player" jersey for her steady work setting the Wolverine offense in motion at South Valley Sports Complex.
Just three minutes after Twin Falls cut its deficit to 2-1, talented Wolverine freshman Haley Montgomery provided insurance with a beautiful header at 58 minutes after a corner kick by Tanner Dredge. Montgomery chased the ball relentlessly all game for Hailey.
Still unbeaten in six games at home, Wood River (10-2-1, 9-1-0 league, 78-8 goals-against) sent a clear message to Twin Falls (11-2-0, 7-1-0, 70-11 goals-against) that the Wolverines won't easily relinquish their hold on the league soccer title.
"We dug deep and kept our composure and focus from the beginning to the end," said Wood River High School girls' soccer coach Jenni Conrad.
She added, "Our defense stayed compact, and our offense moved the ball very well and very quickly through the midfield. Sloan and K.T. did a great job of distributing the ball to our players, and Haley (Montgomery) had an amazing goal. She is so tenacious. I call her my energizer bunny."
The second meeting of the season between the Great Basin Conference leaders reversed the outcome of the first game, which Twin Falls won 3-1 Sept. 9. The two teams seem headed for one more confrontation in the GBC tournament championship game Thursday, Oct. 14.
Wood River has won six straight GBC tournament titles.
The home "Senior Day" game with Century of Pocatello (8-1-1) Saturday, Oct. 2 at noon on the Hailey pitch could determine the top seedings for the Oct. 7-16 league tournament, although Twin Falls still has to play at resurgent Canyon Ridge (5-8-0, 4-4-0) next Tuesday.
Century, showing a 1-1 tie with Wood River and 1-0 loss to Twin Falls, carried a nine-game unbeaten streak into its Thursday visit to 5A second-ranked Highland of Pocatello (9-2-1).
Wood River needs a win over Century on Saturday to make its case for the top tournament seed, although a coin flip could determine the seeding, athletic director John Rade said. If Wood River ties Century or loses, all Twin Falls needs is a win over Canyon Ridge Tuesday for the top seed.
Wednesday, Wolverine senior Tanner Dredge (108 career goals, team-high 22 season) scored four goals as visiting Wood River blanked Minico 8-0 for its ninth shutout in 13 games. It was Dredge's 20th hat trick and the 10th time she has scored four goals or more.
Martinez (10 goals season) added two goals and has moved into ninth place on the all-time scoring list with 34. She had two assists as well. Nicole Roos (1 assist) tallied her fourth goal and senior Ellen Davis had her first of the season. Other assists went to Storey (2), Halsey Pierce and Madison Gove.
Jerome (1-12-1, 1-7-1) and Minico (1-13-1, 0-8-1) are headed for the fifth and sixth seeds. Burley (4-9-0, 4-4-0) and Canyon Ridge are lodged in the middle.