Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cutthroat boys nip Fruitland 1-0 in overtime

Consolation winners again at state soccer

Express Staff Writer

Community School junior Ben Kanellitsas (right) contends with Buhl sophomore Andres Maya during the 2-0 Cutthroat victory over the Tribe Oct. 12 at Elkhorn’s Browning Field. The High Desert Soccer Conference tourney win gave the Cutthroats their first state boys’ tournament ticket since 2007. Photo by David N. Seelig

Senior goalkeeper Tom Crosby spoke loudly for the Community School Cutthroats on Saturday in the first golden-goal overtime of the State 3A soccer consolation final at Vallivue High School, Caldwell.

First, he spoke loudly with his 127th and final save of a superb senior season. With the Fruitland Grizzlies threatening to end the game on a David Moncada corner kick, Crosby miraculously tipped Joal Herrera's header over the net.

The ball quickly went down to the other end of the field where Cutthroat senior striker Cassidy Carson was tripped and lined up a direct kick from just outside the box. Crosby yelled from the other end of the field, "Cassidy, think about it!"

"I wanted to help Cassidy calm down, not be too hasty and think about what he was going to do with the kick," said Crosby after the game. "We didn't want to waste a scoring opportunity like that."

They didn't. Carson whistled a shot that bounced off the wall and rattled around in the box and avoided the Fruitland keeper's initial save. It rolled loose, and Cutthroat freshman Will Harder toe-poked it home.

The Cutthroats won 2-1 on "Man of the Match" Harder's shot and claimed the independent school's third State 3A consolation trophy in six years.

"We have a wardrobe full of these black consolation trophies at the school. The seniors will always remember they won their last game," said 20th-year coach Richard Whitelaw (220-102-32, 23-14 at state).

Junior Cameron Jenner provided the first Community School goal for a 1-0 halftime lead. Fruitland equalized on a Sidronio Rangel penalty kick at 50 minutes, and Harder had a couple of solid scoring chances as the second half wound down.

But the Cutthroat defense that allowed only 19 goals in 19 games was supreme. Crosby said, "Our defense has really been outstanding my entire high school career. Playing three games in three days is always challenging, but our effort speaks to the drive and conviction of this team. I couldn't ask for a better group of guys to play soccer with."

In Friday's loser-out game, the Cutthroats won their third game in four tries this season against 2009 state champion Gooding by a 3-0 score. Carson scored the first goal. His corner kick was headed home by "Man of the Match" Will Brokaw (a team-high 12 goals) for the second goal at 55 minutes.

And defender Colin Waycott took charge of a loose ball and buried a blistering 28-yard shot for the 3-0 final. "A superb goal," said Whitelaw. "Our seven goals at state were scored by seven different players."

In Thursday's state opener, Payette senior Joseph Bolin scored four goals as the Pirates cracked open a 1-1 halftime tie and relegated the Cutthroats to the consolation bracket by a 5-2 score. The reigning State 3A track 110-meter and 300m intermediate hurdles king, Bolin out-matched the Cutthroats.

"We closed the door on Payette in the first half, but a penalty kick changed the game and they caught us on the counterattacks. Payette was physical, and not particularly sporting," said Whitelaw.

Snake River (16 goals in 3 games) won its first state title 5-0 over Teton. Filer captured third place 3-1 over Payette.

NOTES—Tom Crosby, Cassidy Carson, Colin Waycott and Zach Lindahl each started their 50th varsity matches.....Crosby started 62 varsity games in his four-year career, the most of any keeper during Whitelaw's 20-year coaching stint.....The Cutthroats have won the state consolation trophy on their last three visits to the state meet.

Final team statistics: Community School 12-5-2 (6-4-0 home, 6-1-2 away, 9-1-1 league for #1 seed, regular-season league champion, 3rd place in High Desert Soccer Conference tournament), with 6 shutouts in 19 games; State 3A consolation champion to go with consolation titles in 2007 and 2006. Goals scored: 42 (2.2 per game). Goals against: 19 (1.0). Individual scoring: Will Brokaw 12, Cassidy Carson 6, Hunter Weaver 5, Cameron Jenner 5, Ben Kanellitsas 3, Zach Lindahl 2, Eric Runkel 2, Will Harder 2, Colin Waycott 2, Bobby Corker 1, Mason Noyes 1, Tim Kanellitsas 1. Saves: Tom Crosby 127.

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