It ended up as a loss, but Sunday's championship game felt like a victory for the San Lorenzo team in the final game of the 35th annual Ketchum Classic men's soccer tournament at Atkinson Park.
San Lorenzo, playing in the mid-summer tournament for the 10th consecutive year, dominated the second half in the championship game but fell short 3-2 in the final score to Boise's Bad Irish, last year's Ketchum runner-up team.
It was San Lorenzo's second championship game appearance in five years, both resulting in second-place finishes. Boise Blast nipped the Latino-dominated San Lorenzo team 1-0 in the 2006 Ketchum final.
"We controlled the ball, the game and the passing—and we were a little sad to come up short, but that's soccer," said San Lorenzo right back and player-coach Marco Hidalgo after the final game of the six-team weekend tournament.
Bad Irish, a 3-3 (4-3 penalty kicks) loser to Utah's Weber State in last year's Ketchum championship game, took the first-half initiative at 1-0 and 2-1 and added a Luke Christian insurance goal four minutes into the second half. It was Christian's second goal, both on passes from Tyson Crim.
Relying on its speed, quickness and ball-control attack as well as the aggressive goalkeeping of Rego Tellez, San Lorenzo manufactured the best two goals of the championship game and kept the game close.
The first came late in the first half, when top scorer Andres "Cowboy" Navarrete made a beautiful cross from the left wing that Ciro Lima headed home from the far post.
After Christian's second goal put Bad Irish ahead 3-1, San Lorenzo threw a series of effective attacks at the Bad Irish defense. One resulted in San Lorenzo's second and final goal as Anibal Hidalgo passed to Roberto Gaona, who touched it over to Navarrete for a pretty teamwork goal and a 3-2 game.
Navarrete had two excellent attempts for the equalizer, but Bad Irish keeper Zander Engeman came up big on both occasions. The keeper stuffed a Navarrete break-in and then tipped away a quick Navarrete left-footer headed for the top corner of the Boise net.
Sparking the defenses of each team were sweepers Jeff Bendewald of Bad Irish and Gerardo Tellez of San Lorenzo. Scoring the first goal for Bad Irish in the early going was Jose Oregon on a pass from corner kicker Van Basquill.
With its championship game win, Bad Irish avenged a first-round 1-1 (5-3 penalty kicks) loss to San Lorenzo on Saturday. Making the San Lorenzo kicks in that one were Ronald Aquino, Lima, Anibal Hidalgo, Navarrete and Victor, with Romanian goalkeeper Daniel delivering the decisive save.
Earlier Sunday, San Lorenzo (2-2-0 tourney) qualified for the championship with a 3-1 success over previously undefeated Boise United—Navarrete scoring all three goals. Bad Irish (3-1-0) made it to the title contest for a second straight year 7-2 over Pocatello.
Lefty's nips San Lorenzo in kicks
Winning twice during the two-day, 10-game tournament was the host Lefty's Bar & Grill men's team (2-1-0).
Matt Hulen scored the only goal giving Lefty's a 1-0 victory over Boise State University in Sunday's consolation game between the third-place teams in each three-team pool.
Lefty's dropped its first game Saturday 4-0 to Bad Irish, but the local lads salvaged their weekend with a very exciting 2-2 (10-9 penalty kicks) triumph over eventual runner-up San Lorenzo. Biche Rudigoz and Chatham Baker scored for Lefty's in regulation time setting up the penalty kicks.
Making the kicks for Lefty's in the triumph were Andrew Hulen, John Campbell, Josh Stanek, Baker, Tyler Chandler, Shaun Kelly, Jeb Thomas, Taylor Rothgeb, John Gerdis and Jason Southward.
Laurent Perrier women
Continuing a long summer tradition at Atkinson Park, three Gem State women's soccer teams competed in round-robin friendly matches last weekend that constituted the 30th annual Laurent Perrier tournament sponsored by Ketchum's Jim Cimino.
Visiting Pocatello went undefeated in four games for the title—beating Sun Valley 4-0 and 2-0, and taking 3-1 and 3-0 victories over the Snake River Hooligans from Boise.
The Sun Valley Laurent Perrier squad coached by Anthony Fioretti salvaged the weekend playing to a 3-3 tie with Snake River in Sunday's finale of the six-game tourney. Scoring for Sun Valley were Susan Butler, Beth Tatlock and Angela Wahl.
In Saturday's 3-2 loss to the Hooligans, Naomi Goldberg and Lisa Grau scored for the home team.
Rounding out the Sun Valley roster were Erika Connelly, Kipp Mills, Casey Kelly, Siobhan Sutton, Casey Hanrahan, Kelly Winnovich, Victoria Trotta, Ashley Howe, Nicole Campbell, Laura Crist, Kristen Mitchell, Lynn Chaldu, Rian Lindsay, Margii Driscoll, Isa Floden, Lilly Davies,