Talk about a halftime talk!
Community School girls’ soccer coach Kelly Feldman made some pointed remarks to her team during halftime of Monday’s High Desert Soccer Conference tournament semi-final game against Filer.
No. 4-seeded Filer had maximized its scoring opportunities and seized 1-0 and 2-1 leads over the No. 1-seeded Cutthroats—despite the fact that Feldman’s team had outshot Filer 14-4 in the first half.
Feldman suggested in so many words that her players should think about shooting the balls into the net instead of kicking the ball directly into the hands of Wildcat junior goalkeeper Kelsie Jarolimek.
“It’s not rocket science,” said Feldman.
The Sun Valley girls listened, and freshman Ella Viesturs capitalized big time with scientific shooting precision on the home Sagewillow field.
Viesturs, probably the quickest and fastest player in the conference, sprinted down the right flank twice in the first two minutes of the second half and scored two goals with blistering shots over the head of keeper Jarolimek (13 saves).
Giving the Cutthroats the 3-2 lead they never surrendered, Viesturs then unleashed another rope off the crossbar, no good, in the 45th minute.
After Filer’s hard-shooting junior Victoria Deetz pounded a penalty kick attempt over the Cutthroat net in the 52nd minute, Viesturs finished her four-goal game with a shot from the top of the box on an Emily Siegel feed in the 57th.
The Cutthroats ended up out-shooting Filer 28-9. But Sun Valley junior goalkeeper Olivia Ott (7 saves) had to be alert for the entire game.
Now unbeaten in 10 straight games, the Cutthroats (11-2-2) prevailed 4-2 over Filer (9-8-0) and advanced into the Wednesday’s 4:30 p.m. championship game of the seven-team HDSC tournament, to be played on the Sagewillow Farms pitch.
The Cutthroats will host No. 3-seeded Gooding (8-3-3), an upset 3-2 (2 OT) winner over No. 2 Bliss (10-2-2) on Monday, at Bliss. The last meeting of the Community School and Gooding ended in a 1-1 tie Oct. 1 on the Browning Field pitch in Elkhorn.
If the Cutthroats beat Gooding Wednesday, Feldman’s squad will advance as the No. 1 seed out of the 4th District into the State 3A tournament Oct. 23-25 at SunWay Soccer Complex in Twin Falls.
The loser of Wednesday’s Community School-Gooding game will play Friday, Oct. 17 at 4:30 p.m. against the winner of Wednesday’s loser-out clash between Filer and Bliss to determine the second state entry from the 4th District.
Filer, with speed up front, could give Bliss a run for its money judging by the Wildcat effort at Sagewillow Monday.
“It was a nailbiter,” said Feldman about Monday’s close game, coming on the heels of 3-0 and 6-0 Cutthroat victories over coach Shane Hild’s Wildcats during the season. The teams played in last year’s HDSC title game, with the Cutthroats prevailing 6-1.
“Player of the Game” was Viesturs, who scored her first goal in the 20th minute for a 1-1 tie on an “Olimpico goal,” a corner kick that rattled in off the far post without touching another player.
Viesturs (27 goals) now has five hat tricks for the season, all coming in the last eight games, and has scored goals in 12 of the 15 Cutthroat games.
But Filer scored first on its first shot of the game, coming from freshman Colbie Kliegl on a pass from speedy sophomore Ruby Gomez in the 10th minute of the game.
Down 1-0, the Cutthroat defense that has allowed 15 goals in 15 games with seven shutouts still played well. It was led by junior Siegel along with seniors Sara Runkel and Sydney Hagenbuch.
Filer’s go-ahead goal in the 34th came on a bang-bang play started on a cross from Deetz that senior Makayle Tyree one-timed into the net.
The Wildcats took a 2-1 lead into halftime, spurring coach Feldman on her spirited talk to the troops about the importance of converting their many offensive chances.