The Community School boys’ and girls’ soccer teams have both earned their High Desert Soccer Conference regular-season titles and will each host second-round tournament games Monday, Oct. 13 at Sagewillow Farms.
Coach Richard Whitelaw’s Cutthroats needed a win or tie in their regular-season finale Wednesday against their chief rival, Wendell. And they got it when Jay Fitzgerald scored the equalizer in stoppage time for a 1-1 draw at Wendell.
The result gave the Cutthroats their first regular-season HDSC title in seven years. Now they’ll try to achieve the school’s first HDSC tourney championship since 2007 by taking the top seed into the seven-team meet.
Whitelaw said about Wednesday’s clash of HDSC leaders, “Definitely an instant classic. Wendell scored in the 40th minute on a penalty kick. We dominated the second half completely, hit the crossbar and had a goal disallowed.
“Well into stoppage time, a long ball out of the back from Jack Swanson was flicked on by Johnny Blackburn. It went to Jay Fitzgerald who ran in behind the defenders, one-on-one with the goalkeeper, and slotted the ball in off the right hand post.
“Brilliant, jubiliant scenes ensued.”
The Cutthroats (12-3-1, 10-1-1 league, 31 points) earned home field advantage throughout the tournament with Wendell (9-0-3, 28 points) settling for second place.
Wendell and the Community School could meet again Wednesday, Oct. 15 at 4:30 p.m. for the tournament championship at Browning Field at Sagewillow Farms.
That scenario would be created if the Cutthroats advance Monday past the winner of Saturday’s first-round game between No. 4 Filer (7-8-1, 5-6-1) and No. 5 Buhl (5-8-2, 4-7-1).
Last year’s HDSC runner-up Wendell to reach the final needs to beat No. 7 Declo (0-12-0) Saturday and then get past the winner of No. 3 Gooding (7-5-2, 7-4-1) and No. 6 Bliss (3-8-1) on Monday. Gooding lost at home to Filer 2-1 Wednesday but is the two-time defending State 3A tourney champion.
At stake are two automatic berths for the first- and second-place teams to the State 3A tournament Oct. 23-25 at SunWay, Twin Falls. Wendell beat the Cutthroats 6-1 for last year’s State 3A consolation title in Caldwell.
CS girls beat Wendell 5-1
Ella Viesturs (3 goals), Hannah Conn and Autumn Fluetsch scored for the Cutthroat girls in their 5-1 HDSC win at Wendell that ended the girls’ regular season Wednesday.
Credited with assists were Sara Runkel, Viesturs and Sydney Hagenbuch. “Player of the Game” was Ellie Polk.
The top-seeded Cutthroats (10-2-2, 10-0-2 league, 32 points) finished unbeaten in their last nine games and will host a second-round tourney game Monday at 4:30 p.m. against the winner of Saturday’s game between No. 4 Filer (8-7-0, 6-6-0) and No. 5 Buhl (6-8-1, 5-6-1).
Second-seeded Bliss (9-1-2), a 5-0 home winner over Buhl Wednesday, will likely host No. 3 Gooding (6-3-3) on Monday—that winner advancing to meet the Community School vs. Filer/Buhl winner Wednesday for league championship.
The Community School girls are seeking their sixth straight HDSC tournament title but should be challenged by Bliss. The Cutthroats won the first meeting 2-1 in Sun Valley, and tied 1-1 at Bliss. Both contenders are aiming for berths in the State 3A tourney Oct. 23 in Twin Falls.
Cutthroat coach Kelly Feldman corrected her team’s scoring from its 6-0 win at Filer Monday to give two goals apiece to Viesturs, Kate Rathfon and Molly Milgard.