It was a clean sweep and first-place finish for the Saw-tooth United F.C. U-14 girls' youth soccer team last weekend during the Canyon Rim Classic tournament in Twin Falls.
Coached by Lynn Chaldu and Greg Gvozdas, the SUFC U-14 girls won four games by a combined 17-1 score and beat the favored Boise Nationals S.C. Valencia squad 1-0 in Sun-day's championship game.
Midfielder Maddy Watts drilled a 15-yard left-footed shot into the net early in the second half giving SUFC its winning margin. Goalie Haley Cutler made outstanding saves down the stretch enabling SUFC U-14 to avenge its 3-1 league loss to Boise Nationals during April.
In Saturday's pool play, SUFC U-14 defeated High Des-ert F.C. Pena 5-1 and the Utah Firebirds 4-0. On Sunday, the Wood River Valley squad blanked XTreme White 7-0 to set up its final match against one of Boise's best girls' teams.
The SUFC defense yielded just one goal in four games and played with heart, determina-tion and focus. Anchoring the defense were Samantha Sutton in the center with Timber Kelly, Kenya Schott and Claire Sauerbrey in the back line.
Rory Cole was a major factor in the defensive effort as a holding center midfielder. She also had one of the most im-pressive goals of the tourna-ment as she leapt high to head home a corner kick.
The attacking midfield crew of Bridgett Thomas, Tayte Kelly, Payton McCune and Maddy Watts combined for some beautiful passing and gave the opposition fits. For-wards Olivia Thornton, Megan Murphy, Cheyanne Stopol and Lucy Brannon (shared GK) all contributed to the scoring.
The Canyon Rim Classic with its 114 teams and close to 2,000 players over two days was one of Idaho's biggest spring soccer tournaments. There were nine boys' and nine girls' age divisions. The SUFC sent 11 teams for the big weekend:
- SUFC U-10 girls coached by Kelly Feldman played in its first major tourney and went 1-2, with marked improvement for their Sunday win.
- SUFC U-11 girls went 6-0-2 in league play, finishing second out of 12 teams in the Boise League C bracket. The team, coached by Jody Zarkos and Jennifer Milgard, scored a league-high 38 goals—the most out of all 28 U-11 teams, while conceding only five goals.
- U-16 girls coached by Jack Dies and Jessica Gouley had a great effort in their four games, winning once and losing three close contests.
- U-12 boys' Navy captured second place in National Divi-sion. They won their opener 3-1 over Rush Grey, with goals by Dehner Figge (2) and Nathan Lambert. They lost 2-0 to even-tual champion Portneuf Valley from Pocatello, then tied AYSO Elko (Nev.) 0-0 Sunday. Later Sunday, SUFC U-12 "Navy" beat Magic United Gooding 3-0 on goals by Nathan Lambert, Ziggy Slanetz, and Michael Madsen.
- U-12 boys' White went 1-2 in the American Division in-cluding a first-game 1-0 win over Green River Spurs on a goal by Kevin Montes. In the second game they fell 3-1 to to BYSC Bonecrushers, a penalty kick goal by Brandon Garcia. On Sunday, SUFC White played a very good FC Boise team and lost 3-1, goal by Sean Davitt. The coaches were Eric Ander-son and Luis Monjaras.
- U-15 boys coached by Tim Graves played in the U-16 bracket and relied on a strong defense anchored by Chandler Gifford, Eron Bates, Chase Hutchinson and Kyle Weller in goal. SUFC lost 2-1 to eventual runner-up Twin Falls Rapids in semi-finals. Goal scorers were Zach Miczulski and Desmond Porth. The local lads defeated Gate City PVSC 1-0 Saturday.
- SUFC fielded boys' and girls' teams in the U-13 division (0-2-1 with a 0-0 tie in the conso-lation final), plus a U-11 boys' group that posted a 6-2 win over FC Boise Saturday. There were two boys' U-10 teams, Sawtooth Navy and White.
Next up for SUFC: Four teams headed to the Idaho Falls Shootout May 13-15 and more teams to the Idaho State Cup tournament May 27-30 in Boise.