Today, Wednesday is an exciting day for Community School boys' and girls' soccer teams. Both will be playing in the High Desert Soccer Conference tournament for the right to advance to the State 3A tournament Oct. 20 in Caldwell.
All they have to do is win.
Coach Kelly Feldman's No. 2-seeded Cutthroat girls (12-4-1) will try to extend their season unbeaten streak to 13 games when they travel to top-seeded Buhl (12-1-3) today, Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. for all the High Desert Conference marbles.
The Cutthroat girls defeated No. 3 Bliss (9-5-1) by a 4-1 score Monday at Sagewillow Farms in Elkhorn while Buhl took care of No. 4 Filer (7-10-0) by a 3-2 score to also reach the final.
Winner of two straight HDSC tournament titles, the Cutthroats defeated Buhl 7-0 in last year's championship game but haven't beaten the pesky Tribe this season, losing 4-3 at Buhl and tying 1-1 at Browning Field back on Sept. 15.
The two league rivals were in a similar situation back in 2008, when striker Autumn Yturbe led the Tribe to the top tournament seed with a 12-1-1 regular-season record and Buhl knocked off the No. 2-seeded Community School 4-3 in the championship game at Buhl.
Loser of today's Buhl-Community School game will host an elimination game Thursday, Oct. 13 at 4:30 p.m. against the Filer-Bliss survivor—with that winner making state and Thursday's loser needing to win a Saturday state play-in game at Twin Falls.
In Monday's game played in pouring rain against Bliss, the Cutthroats out-shot the Bears 11-2 in the first half and built a 2-0 lead on a pair of goals by senior left wing Gabi Perenchio (11 goals). Perenchio's first goal came on a beautiful cross pass by Taylor Figge and the second was a one-timer in the box from a Katie Feldman corner kick.
Sophomore Hannah Dies (17 goals season, 36 career) and Figge scored after half with Feldman adding another assist. Demsie Butler tallied for Bliss.
Last Saturday, the Cutthroat girls opened their quest for a third straight HDSC championship and 11th consecutive trip to state soccer with a 12-0 first-round victory over No. 7 Gooding (0-13-0) at Sunway Soccer Complex in Twin Falls.
Dies pumped home five goals against Gooding, four in the first 11 minutes. Adding two goals was soph Hayley Murach (8 goals season).
Single goals came from Ellie Swanson (16 goals, 56 career), Katie Feldman, Hailey Rheinschild, Chloe Francois and Josie Allison. Garnering assists were Jordan Fitzgerald (2), Feldman and Rheinschild.
Filer shocks Cutthroat boys
Coach Richard Whitelaw's top-seeded Cutthroat boys (9-3-2) hit a bump in the road Monday when No. 4-seeded Filer (8-6-3) came up to rainy Browning Field and escaped with a 2-1 victory in double overtime.
Senior Cassidy Carson scored in the first half as the Cutthroats kept the pressure on Wildcats goalkeeper Ceaton Hammond (10 saves) and emerged with a 1-1 tie at half. Santiago Alvarado netted Filer's goal, from Zach Clark.
Community School senior keeper Tom Crosby (8 saves) denied Filer's 1-2 scoring punch of Alvarado and Clark several times in the second half. But, four minutes into the first 10-minute overtime period, Clark rifled a blistering 30-yard shot past Crosby's dive and that proved the winning margin.
It wasn't the result Whitelaw wanted, particularly since it was his 100th coaching loss in a superlative 20-year career on the Cutthroat bench. He acknowledged his upstart team needs to win just one more game to earn the school's first state boys' berth since 2007.
And it won't be easy. While Filer goes for its first-ever HDSC title at No. 2-seeded Gooding (7-2-3) today, Wednesday, the Cutthroats will entertain No. 3 Buhl (8-4-4) today at 4:30 p.m. at Browning Field.
The loser of Community School-Buhl goes home, while the winner makes state and advances to Friday's second-place game to determine state tourney seeding. "We are still in this thing," said Whitelaw.
Monday's loss to Filer—a team the Cutthroats had beaten 2-0 and 1-0 during the season—snapped a five-game winning streak dating back to the 1-0 Cutthroat home loss to Buhl Sept. 15. In fact, the Cutthroats haven't beaten Buhl this year, tying 1-1 at Buhl on Aug. 23.
But there will be a new HDSC champion. Gooding has also never won the league title, despite winning the State 3A meet in 2009 as the second seed out of HDSC. Wendell won in 2010 and 2008, Bliss in 2009 and 2006, the Community School in 2005 and 2007, and Buhl in 2004.