Friday, September 5, 2014

Unbeaten Cutthroat boys invade Wood River

Saturday soccer clash between rivals

Express Staff Writer

Community School senior Tanner Josey scored his first-ever three-goal hat trick in Tuesday’s 11-1 home win over Bliss at Browning Field. Photo by Willy Cook

     One of the better Community School boys’ soccer teams in recent years is coming to Hailey on Saturday, Sept. 6 for a non-conference clash against the Wood River Wolverines, last year’s State 4A runner-up.

     Game time is 1 p.m. at South Valley Sports Complex soccer field, after a preliminary junior varsity tilt between the schools. It is the only meeting of the season between 3A Community School and 4A Wood River.

     And the contrasts in style couldn’t be more striking in the early stages of the campaign.

     Coach Richard Whitelaw’s unbeaten Cutthroats are hitting on all offensive cylinders.

     They’ve scored 45 goals in just five games and have yielded just two. They’ve scored more goals already than Whitelaw’s State 3A consolation championship team did in 19 games of its entire 2011 season.

     And it’s the best Cutthroat start since Whitelaw’s 17-1-1 state consolation championship team of 2007 went 13-0-0. Even that outstanding squad led by Travis Stone needed eight games to reach 45 goals.

     Coach Luis Monjaras’ Wolverines (1-2-0 prior to Thursday’s home game with Minico) had scored five goals in three games and had struggled on offense. Yet Wolverine teams have won seven of the last nine meetings with the Cutthroats since 2003 including last year’s 2-0 shutout at Elkhorn.

     The 56-game, 26-season soccer series stands in Wood River’s favor 33-20-3 and, remarkably, is dead even in goals scored by each school at 113. The Wolverines have enjoyed more success on their home field at 18-5-2. But the last time they played in Hailey, in 2007, the Cutthroats won 3-1.

     “A tasty affair looming,” was how Whitelaw described the upcoming game. “Our first real challenge of the season.”


Cutthroats blast Bliss, Declo

     Community School junior Jay Fitzgerald may or may not join the elite ranks of Cutthroat goal scorers—but he’s got a decent start on it, just as he enjoyed a decent start in Tuesday’s home game with Bliss.

     In the 11-1 Cutthroat romp, Fitzgerald (12 goals season, 42 career) tallied three goals in the first 14 minutes on nice feeds by Roger Figge (twice) and Johnny Blackburn.

     Fitzgerald assisted on Blackburn’s goal at 18 minutes, and tallied his fourth and final goal on a header off Roger Figge’s corner at 23 minutes.

     “Man of the Match” Tanner Josey tucked home a short-side shot after a Trenor Gould throw-in for a 6-0 lead at 28 minutes. It was the first of three Josey goals coming all within nine minutes. Other goal scorers were Alex Schwartz (2) and Blackburn.

     Schwartz had the three-goal hat trick and Fitzgerald added two more in Wednesday’s 10-0 shutout at Declo. Alex Feldman scored his first-ever varsity goal. Other scorers were Keegan Whitelaw, Blackburn, Josey and Jack Swanson (penalty). “Man of the Match” was midfielder Tom Gillespie.

     For the record, top all-time leading Cutthroat goal scorers are Josh Stanek 94, Travis Stone 93, Sean Higgins 76 and Benji Hill 75. Stanek holds the single-season best of 53, in 2001.

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