Idaho’s best 3A girls’ soccer programs over the past few years will meet again this weekend in Sun Valley when the McCall-Donnelly Vandals visit the Community School Cutthroats for two early-season meetings at Sagewillow Farms.
The three-time defending state champion Vandals (19-1-0 last year, 15-0 goals-against at state) and the Cutthroats have clashed in the last two State 3A tournament championship games. Both teams are rebuilding this fall, but their soccer traditions are long and strong.
Game times are Friday, Aug. 22 at 4 p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 23 at 9 a.m. The Sun Valley girls will also host longtime rival Wood River on Saturday, Sept. 6 at 11 a.m.
The Cutthroats (17-1-0 last fall) have nine returning players, but they’ve lost plenty of offense—90 of their 105 goals last season—in graduated and departed players.
“Our main focus in these first few weeks has been getting to know each other and connecting as a team,” said 13th-year coach Kelly Feldman. “We have had only 14 at pre-season so far because many are still at ski camp.
“We have a strong core of returners and a lot of fresh talent. I have high expectations for what they can accomplish.”
Over the last five seasons the Cutthroats have outscored foes 500-106 and boast 55 shutouts in 101 games—good reasons they’ve taken home five state trophies in their last five trips to the season-ending meet.
Feldman’s teams have won five straight High Desert Soccer Conference tournament titles. Over six seasons, the Cutthroats boast a 109-28-5, translating into a very respectable .768 winning percentage.
They’ve lost two-time All-State forward and career scoring leader Hannah Dies (105 goals, 34 last season). They lost key players like Jordan Fitzgerald, Erin Hennessy and Katie Feldman. Yet coach Feldman feels the Cutthroat defense will pick up the slack.
Among her returning players is junior goalkeeper Olivia Ott. She recorded 12 shutouts last season and allowed only 11 goals in 18 games. Seniors Sara Runkel and Sydney Hagenbuch were strong defenders in 2013.
She said about three newcomers, “Tayte Kelly, Pilar Pennell and Ruby Marden are new to us and ineligible to play this season.” Kelly scored seven goals and was the fourth-leading scorer for the Wood River Wolverines last fall.
Last year’s season-opening home games between the Community School and McCall-Donnelly at Sagewillow were canceled by Beaver Creek Fire impacts, so both teams are looking forward to this year’s early-season clashes.
Head coach—Kelly Feldman (13th year, 153-55-11 record).
Assistant coach—Erika Connelly.
Seniors (4)—Josie Allison, Sydney Hagenbuch, Kyla Miller and Sara Runkel.
Juniors (7)—Hannah Conn, Autumn Fluetsch, Tayte Kelly, Ruby Marden, Olivia Ott, Ella Pepin and Emily Siegel.
Sophomores (4)—Grace Cherp, Pilar Pennell, Ellie Polk and Kaitlyn Rathfon.
Freshmen (6)—Skylar Cooley, Molly Milgard, Lucy More, Grace Pepin, Ella Viesturs and Anik Zarkos.