You don't lose soccer games when you don't allow any goals. And, after three games, the Wood River High School girls' soccer team (3-0-0, 1-0-0) has yet to allow a goal.
Wood River opened its Great Basin Conference league schedule Wednesday afternoon in steamy, 96-degree Rupert with a 9-0 victory over the Minico Spartans (0-2-0). The Wolverines led 4-0 at halftime.
Making her first varsity start, freshman Olivia Thornton buzzed the Spartan defense for four goals while senior Sloan Storey and sophomore Haley Montgomery added two goals apiece. Freshman Samantha Sutton added a single goal.
Lucy Brannon and Timber Kelly, two more talented Wood River ninth-graders, contributed assists. So did senior Lucy Paisley and Montgomery (3). Senior goalkeeper Cheyenne Swanson earned her third shutout of the young season.
Coach Jenni Conrad said, "We've been concentrating on keeping the ball forward and not even letting it go to our backs. We had a good game against Minico—spent a lot of time with the ball and working it around. And, with Tanner (Dredge) gone, we've been looking for someone who can finish, and Olivia did that for us."
The Wolverines have outscored their three opponents, the Community School, Bonneville and Minico, by 17-0. They host Jerome Monday, Aug. 29 and go to Canyon Ridge next Wednesday for two more games before school starts.
Meanwhile, the Wood River boys' soccer team (0-2-0, 0-1-0 league) had a good match with Minico on Wednesday in Hailey but dropped a 2-1 decision. The Wolverines out-shot Minico 5-1 during the scoreless second half but couldn't find the net in their home opener.
Wolverine coach Luis Monjaras said, "Minico wanted it more. They were on the ball most of the time. We had a better second half, but we did too much walking and didn't have the hunger for the ball and the motivation to push it forward."
< Junior forward Alex Lopez sprinted past a fallen Minico defender and scored into the top of the Spartan net at 10 minutes. But Minico equalized at 19 minutes after a Wolverine defender whiffed on a ball in the box. Sophomore midfielder Enochk Coats of Minico left-footed the ball into the net.
The eventual game winner came at 34 minutes on a cross from senior co-captain Eduardo Lopez that senior forward Alberto Ramirez headed into the Wood River net. Although the Wolverines outshot their opponents 9-6, Minico (2-1-0, 1-0-0) bounced back from its 2-0 loss to Century this past Monday.
Wood River came close to tying the game when Liam Jablonski hit the side post with a shot at 61 minutes, after a buildup from Jon Scott and Rex Kelly. Sophomore midfielders Stephen Pfeiffer and Miguel Velasco did a good job of advancing the ball after half.
Cutthroats draw, drop one at Buhl
Community School soccer teams went on the road for the first time Tuesday, Aug. 23 and played High Desert Soccer Conference openers at Buhl. The Cutthroats boys tied 1-1 and the girls lost 4-3 to their rivals.
Junior Cameron Jenner tallied his first varsity goal in the 1-1 tie. Coach Richard Whitelaw's "Man of the Match" was senior Will Brokaw, and senior goalkeeper Tom Crosby (6 saves) helped out at the back. Making their first varsity appearances were Jack Swanson, Roger Figge, Willis Sanchez-duPont and George Everitt.
Heat was a big issue for the Cutthroat girls in Tuesday's one-goal setback at Buhl. Katie Feldman scored two of the three goals, from 10 feet and 53 feet. It was the sophomore's first multi-goal game for the Cutthroats. Senior co-captain Hailey Rheinschild tallied the other goal from 15 feet.
Cutthroat coach Kelly Feldman said, "We went up 2-0, they evened by half. We went up 3-2, they came right back to 3-3 and then went ahead. They had a lot of pace on the front line, playing 4-3-3. We struggled to contain them and we struggled to finish up front.
"We're just looking to learn from every game and improve!"
Next up: The Cutthroat girls host the Twin Falls Bruins (0-1-0) and their junior striker Claire Goss on Saturday, Aug. 27 at 11 a.m. in the Sagewillow Farms home opener. Highland defeated Twin Falls 6-3 Wednesday in Pocatello.
The Cutthroat boys travel to Twin Falls (0-1-0) Saturday for an 11 a.m. nonleague contest. Highland blanked the Twin Falls boys 4-0 Wednesday.
Both Sun Valley teams host the Bliss Bears Tuesday, Aug. 30 at 4:30 p.m. girls and 6:15 p.m. boys. The Bliss girls beat Declo 6-1 Tuesday in a High Desert affair, and the Cutthroat teams played at Declo Thursday afternoon.