Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cutthroat boys close in on league title

A week off for soccer at Sun Valley

It's a week off for school trips at the Community School, where the boys' varsity soccer team is closing in on the High Desert Soccer Conference regular-season championship.

Winners of three straight games and unbeaten in five road contests, the Cutthroats (7-2-2, 7-1-1 league) knocked off the defending State 3A champion Wendell Trojans by a 3-1 score Thursday and added a 4-1 road victory at Bliss Friday.

One victory in the two remaining regular season games for coach Richard Whitelaw's Cutthroats will assure the Sun Valley boys of the school's first regular-season boys' soccer league title since 2007.

The Cutthroats host 2009 state champion Gooding (2-2-3, 2-2-3) on Monday, Oct. 3 and travel to Filer (4-4-3, 2-2-3) Tuesday, Oct. 4. The seven-team HDSC tournament opens Saturday, Oct. 8 at Sunway Sports Complex in Twin Falls and the top seed receives a bye for that knock-out first round matching No. 2 vs. No. 7, No. 3 vs. No. 6 and No. 4 vs. No. 5.

Main contender Buhl (5-2-4, 4-1-3 league) stalled out Thursday playing to a 1-1 tie with Filer (4-4-3, 2-2-3), meaning the Tribe by winning out in its remaining games with Wendell, Declo and Bliss would finish with 24 points. The Cutthroats, now with 22, would need just a three-point win against either Gooding or Filer to clinch the top tournament seed.

Thursday's thrilling 3-1 home triumph against Wendell was a pivotal point in the Cutthroat resurgence.

Whitelaw's squad led 1-0 at half on a goal by senior Will Brokaw (a team-high 6 goals season). Wendell's slippery and skilled sophomore forward Eder Macias did not play in the first half, but his entry into the game after half picked up Wendell's attack.

"In the first half we controlled possession. But Wendell came at us in the second half. We were hanging on," said Whitelaw.

Macias equalized four minutes after intermission on a rebound after a Jorge Valera blast. Eight minutes later, the Cutthroats got the go-ahead goal that started on a chip ahead from senior Tim Kanellitsas that Brokaw chased down to the left of Wendell senior goalkeeper Alexis Camargo.

Brokaw made a quick centering pass that junior Cameron Jenner punched home into a wide open net. With the lead, the Cutthroat defense stiffened led by "Man of the Match" Zach Lindahl, the center back. Rangy senior goalkeeper Tom Crosby (4 saves) easily caught Wendell's cross passes in the box and twice stymied Trojan odd-man attacks.

"Defensively we were sound," said Whitelaw.

With five minutes left the Cutthroats obtained an insurance tally when Hunter Weaver's long throw-in went all the way to Brokaw, who buried his shot for the 3-1 final and a two-game sweep of Wendell (1-6-2, 1-5-2).

Friday at Bliss (1-7-0, 1-6-0), the Cutthroats got two goals from Brokaw along with singles by "Man of the Match" Lindahl and Cassidy Carson (penalty kick) to beat the Bears 4-1. Crosby made seven saves.

Cutthroat girls stay hot

The Community School girls' soccer team (10-2-1, 8-1-1 league) put two more HDSC wins in their pockets before the 10-day break for school trips. Coach Kelly Feldman's girls remained unbeaten in their last 11 games with 6-0 and 2-0 wins over Wendell and Bliss, making it eight shutouts.

Hannah Dies (13 goals season) and Katie Feldman each scored twice to go with singles by Whitney Engelmann (1 assist) and Ellie Swanson in the Wendell triumph. Jordan Fitzgerald and Ella Marks earned assists, too.

Friday's 2-0 win at Bliss was low scoring for a Cutthroat squad averaging nearly six goals a game. Hayley Murach tallied the first goal off a Fitzgerald corner kick. Josie Allison netted her third varsity goal after a goal mouth scramble. The shutout went to keeper Josie Bunce (6 saves).

League-leading Buhl (9-0-2, 8-0-1) kept pace with a 3-0 victory at Filer (4-8-0, 4-5-0) last Thursday. The Cutthroats wind up their regular season at home with Gooding next Monday and at Filer Tuesday.

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