Friday, May 25, 2012

Soccer teams haul hardware home from Boise

Director’s Cup champions

Pictured here are members of the Sawtooth United U-12 boys’ team. Standing, from left, are Briggs Whorton, Sean Davitt, coach Hunter Storey, Brandon Scott and Cooper Dart. Kneeling, from left, are Dane Thompson, Charlie Stumph, Hayden Baker, James Everitt, Cooper Roquet, Henry Raff. In front is goalkeeper Flynn Stewart. Not shown are team members Raul Castro and Trail Gralenski.

Two Sawtooth United F.C. youth soccer teams brought first-place hardware home from the Idaho Youth Soccer Association's Director's Cup May 18-20 in Boise.

The U-16 boys (3-0-0) scored 13 goals in three games led by Jose Ortiz (4 goals) and Andrew Graves (5 goals). The U-12 boys (2-0-1) won preliminary games 2-0 and 3-1, then battled Twin Falls to a 0-0 tie in the game that gave SUFC the first-place nod in the round-robin format.

Nine SUFC teams competed last weekend. Reports from coaches will be passed along when they become available. Next: The IYSA Idaho State Cup over Memorial Day, at Simplot Sports Complex.

( U-16 boys: Riding a hat trick by Andrew Graves, and goals by Sage Kelly, Eron Bates, Zach Mizculski, and Jose Ortiz, the U-16s kicked off the Director's Cup Saturday with an impressive 7-2 win over Mountain Home. The victory featured crisp passing, unselfish play and dominant defense.

Later Saturday, the U-16s faced a scrappy Sounders team that held the game scoreless until late in the first half. Alberto Salinas darted into the offensive zone to receive a throw-in and sent a low shot towards goal. The Sounders keeper parried the shot over to the onrushing right foot of Drew Morse. He buried his opportunity for a 1-0 SUFC lead.

Andrew Graves added two clinical finishes. The SUFC defense of Jack Swanson, Alberto Salinas, Eron Bates, Chandler Gifford and Miguel Velasco, along with keeper Kyle Weller, created an impenetrable wall for the 3-0 win.

Sunday morning, Sawtooth United encountered an Idaho Rush team that focused on packing its players into the defensive zone. Yet tireless work from John Scott in central midfield and constant pressure applied by Bobby Corker and Roger Figge on the wings created many early chances, but the goalposts and luck conspired against Sawtooth for much of the first half.

Just before the half, Ortiz fired a right-footed rocket from 22 yards that found the back of the net, giving the SUFC boys a 1-0 halftime lead.

After the break, the U-16s maintained their composure and continued to dominate possession, creating far more chances than their opponents. Ortiz scored two late goals to finish off his hat trick, put the result beyond doubt and secure the tournament victory.

( U-12 boys: Goalkeeper Stewart Flynn and a solid defense took the game to a new level by allowing only one goal in three games.

The SUFC boys came out firing against Boise FC and walked away with a 2-0 victory. Later that day Charlie Stumph, fighting through injury, scored an outstanding goal against a relentless Moscow United side. It led to a 3-1 win that put SUFC in good shape before its finale.

Sunday's match against Twin Falls proved to be the U-12s biggest challenge. When the smoke finally cleared neither team was able to put the ball in the back of the net. But the tie gave SUFC enough points to win the round-robin tourney.

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