Wednesday, October 15, 2014

WRHS girls make state 3-0 over Canyon Ridge

Wolverines meet Twin Falls Thursday for title

Wood River senior Olivia Thornton (left) watches the corner kick of Samantha Sutton sail over the head of Jerome goal-keeper Emanuela Re Cecconi from Italy during Thursday’s 5-0 Wolverine tournament victory in Hailey. Photo by Roland Lane

     Coach Doug Stouffer’s Wood River High School girls were the first local soccer team to break through and book their tickets for a trip to the Idaho High School Activities Association’s state soccer tournament this past weekend.

     They earned the school’s 20th straight state tournament trip with an upset 3-0 win over Canyon Ridge’s Riverhawks Saturday at SunWay Soccer Complex in Twin Falls.

     No. 3-seeded Wood River (12-4-0), which lost a pair of heartbreaking shootouts to No. 2 Canyon Ridge (10-7-1) during the season and never led in those games, got on the board in the 12th minute when senior Lucy Brannon scored her 10th goal of the season on a pass from Emerson McCune.

     Senior Brigette Thomas made it 2-0 in the 29th minute with an “Olimpico goal,” basically a corner kick that crosses the line without contact by another player.

     After half, sophomore Jesse Cole received a long free kick from senior Samantha Sutton and scored her 22nd goal of the season in the 50th minute to account for the 3-0 final score.

     Stouffer said, “I felt Wood River was in control from the first whistle. The girls really did everything in their power to not allow Canyon Ridge any kind of a comeback. Canyon Ridge never had to try to come from behind in our other games with them, and it may have played a part mentally.

     “The girls, particularly our seniors, really responded in a positive way towards a game that had a lot of meaning.

     “Olivia Thornton switched to defense after playing forward all season long to fill the shoes of senior Kenya Schott (knee injury). She did a superb job. Rory Cole and Samantha Sutton covered a lot of ground in the midfield. Lucy scored the first goal. Timber Kelly was solid on defense. Brigette and Tatum Morell worked like war horses on the flanks.”

     It was Wood River’s third straight shutout and eighth of the season. On Thursday in Hailey, the Wolverines defeated No. 6-seeded Jerome 5-0 on goals by Thornton (2), Brannon, Sutton and freshman Emily Thayer.

     Brannon scored the first goal 19 seconds into the game, and Thornton made it 2-0 on a Thomas assist in the 16th minute. Sutton curled in an “Olimpico goal” from the corner at 18 minutes, and Thornton rebounded home a Rory Cole shot for a 4-0 lead in the 27th minute.

     Thayer closed the scoring in the 32nd minute. The 5-0 halftime score held up after intermission.

     By beating Canyon Ridge, Wood River earned a berth in the GBC tournament title game against No. 1 Twin Falls (14-3-0) on Thursday, Oct. 16 at 4:30 p.m. at SunWay Soccer Complex. The teams have split, Wood River winning 3-2 in Hailey Sept. 9, and the Bruins prevailing 3-1 Sept. 25.

     Twin Falls is the three-time defending champ, but the two rivals haven’t met in the tournament since the Bruins won the final 2-0 two years ago. Both teams have qualified for the State 4A tournament Oct. 23-25 in Coeur d’Alene.



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