"It was our last game of the season so we came out and attacked," said Community School girls' soccer team co-captain Hailey Rheinschild about Saturday's 8-3 romp over the Teton Redskins in Caldwell.
Coach Kelly Feldman's Cutthroats (15-5-1) built a 6-1 halftime lead over Teton and earned the green-colored third-place trophy at the conclusion of the eight-team State 3A girls' soccer tournament on the Vallivue High School fields.
It was the Community School's third straight state trophy, after consolation trophy titles in 2009-10. Only once before in school annals, back in 2003, have the Cutthroats taken third place at the state tourney.
The McCall-Donnelly Vandals (17-4-1) catapulted from their thrilling 1-0 semi-final victory over the Community School on Friday to their fifth state championship with a 2-1 triumph over Weiser Saturday.
Although disappointed at that loss to McCall in a game that could have gone either way, the Community School regrouped Saturday and put together the program's best-ever offensive effort in 35 games played at state soccer.
Sophomore leading scorer Hannah Dies (27 goals season) was on fire with six goals along with two assists in the win over a good Teton squad (14-3-2). Having one of her best games was Sun Valley junior striker Ellie Swanson (19 goals), with two goals and two assists.
Certainly the game's prettiest goal gave the Cutthroats a 2-0 lead at 19 minutes. Dies took the ball away from the Teton defense on the wing and crossed into the box, where Swanson one-timed her first goal with her left foot. The floodgates opened with five goals in the next 20 minutes.
Gabi Perenchio and Erin Hennessy added assists as the Cutthroats out-shot Teton 11-4 in the decisive first half. Senior goalkeeper Josie Bunce (5 saves) was rock solid in the net.
And the Cutthroat defense of Rheinschild, Hennessy, Jordan Fitzgerald and Sara Runkel was very tough against the Teton attack led by skilled senior Amanda Otto. "It was one of our best games," said coach Feldman. "Amanda Otto is a ridiculously good player. Hayley Murach and the rest of our defense shut her down."
The 10th-year coach (120-51-10) added, "The best part is we put it all together when we got here to state this week." Rheinschild said, "This team is special—we're all friends, we play well and work well together, and we support each other."
Friday's semi-final against McCall-Donnelly matched two teams that, in coach Feldman's view, are "mirror images of each other." She added, "We didn't spend as much time on the ball against McCall as we did against Teton. But I'd say if we played McCall again tomorrow, we'd win. It's that close."
The Cutthroats out-shot McCall 7-1 in the scoreless first half, but Vandals sophomore keeper Kathryn Egnew (9 saves) was impenetrable. The Vandals counter-attacked in the second half and slipped the winning goal home at 53 minutes when freshman Kylie Hoogendyk chipped a cross pass that floated over Bunce's head into the Cutthroat net.
Bunce (6 saves, 5 after half) made some fine saves on a young McCall squad with 14 sophs and freshmen that won its state games 2-0, 1-0 and 2-1.
The third-place finish for the Cutthroats equaled the best-ever state soccer placing for the Community School girls in 13 visits to state since 1996.
Thursday, Perenchio scored twice and Dies added a single as the Cutthroats stretched their unbeaten streak to 14 games with a 3-0 win over Kellogg. Taylor Figge had an assist and Bunce made three saves.
Meanwhile, the amazing six-goal effort of Dies Saturday was one shy of the school single-game record of seven goals set by Swanson in an 8-3 home win over Bliss Sept. 3, 2010.
Final team statistics: Community School 15-5-1 (6-2-1 home, 9-3-0 away, 9-2-1 league for #2 seed, 1st place High Desert Soccer Conference tournament for 3rd straight year) with 10 shutouts in 21 games; State 3A 3rd place champion, 11th straight trip to state. Goals scored: 107 (5.1 per game). Goals against: 22 (1.1). Individual scoring: Hannah Dies 27 (46 career), Ellie Swanson 19 (school-record 59 career), Gabi Perenchio 13 (24 career), Hayley Murach 9, Whitney Engelmann 8, Katie Feldman 8, Josie Allison 5, Hailey Rheinschild 4 (22 career), Taylor Figge 3, Noe Garing 3, Chloe Francois 3, Maggie Caraluzzi 3, Ella Marks 1, Katie Dumke 1.
The Community School girls celebrate their State 3A soccer third-place finish after Saturday’s 8-3 romp over Teton on the Vallivue field in Caldwell. Kneeling in the front row, from left, goalkeeper Josie Bunce, co-captain Gabi Perenchio with the trophy, co-captain Hailey Rheinschild, Ellie Swanson, Maddie Caraluzzi and coach Erika Connelly. Back row, standing, from left, head coach Kelly Feldman, Allison Fluetsch, Whitney Engelmann, Jordan Fitzgerald, Noe Garing, Hayley Murach, Hannah Dies, Chloe Francois, Taylor Figge, Katie Feldman, Ella Marks, Erin Hennessy, Sara Runkel and Josie Allison. Express photos by Jeff Cordes