This year’s High Desert Soccer Conference champions, and State 3A consolation winners, from the Community School. Kneeling, from left, Lucy More, Ellie Polk, Josie Allison, Kyla Miller, Sara Runkel, Sydney Hagenbuch, Anik Zarkos and Kate Rathfon. Standing, from left, coach Kelly Feldman, Ella Pepin, Grace Cherp, Grace Pep-in, Emily Siegel, goalkeeper Olivia Ott, Autumn Fluetsch, Molly Milgard, Hannah Conn, Skylar Cooley, Ella Viesturs and coach Erika Connelly. Not pictured are Tayte Kelly, Ruby Marden and Pilar Penell.
Express photo by Willy Cook
The Community School girls’ soccer team came away from last weekend’s State 3A tournament in Twin Falls with two trophies—the consolation championship as well as a coveted academic honor.
Coach Kelly Feldman’s Cutthroats wrapped up another successful season by winning the State 3A consolation championship with a 3-0 win over High Desert Soccer Conference rival Bliss (13-4-2) on Saturday at SunWay Soccer Complex.
Juniors Ella Pepin, Autumn Fluetsch and goalkeeper Olivia Ott scored for the Cutthroats in the win. “Player of the Game” Ott tallied her first-ever goal on a long goal kick that took two fortunate bounces before going into the Bears net.
Paving the way for the school’s sixth straight state soccer trophy was a dramatic 1-1 (3-2 kicks) overtime shootout triumph over the Sugar-Salem Diggers (15-3-2) on Friday. Sophomore Kate Rathfon scored the decisive Cutthroat kick.
The Cutthroats (14-3-2) also won the Idaho High School Activities Association’s Girls’ 3A State Academic Championship with a 3.860 grade point average—the best GPA of all six schools winning the academic titles. The award is presented by the IHSAA and United Dairymen of Idaho to one team in each classification with the highest cumulative GPA.
Capturing their first-ever state championship were the Coeur d’Alene Charter Panthers (17-2-1) by a 1-0 score over Timberlake of Spirit Lake (12-5-1). That result reversed the outcome of the northern Idaho district championship game won by Timberlake 1-0 over Coeur d’Alene Charter.
Timberlake had beaten three-time defending state champion McCall-Donnelly 1-1 (5-4 kicks) in Friday’s semi-final. Shelley ended McCall’s season 2-1 on Saturday in the third-place contest. McCall finished 12-7-1 after being nearly unbeaten the last two seasons with a 36-2-1 record.
Making their 16th visit to the state tournament since 1996, and 14th straight state trip, the Cutthroats (12-6 in their last 6 state trips) saw their 11-game unbeaten streak ended by the Shelley Russets on Thursday by a 2-1 score.
Ella Pepin scored the only goal. “Players of the Match” were senior Sydney Hagenbuch and freshman Skyler Cooley.
The Cutthroats tried to play into the final day at state for a sixth straight year when they clashed with eastern Idaho champion Sugar-Salem. And they had to do it without their leading scorer, freshman Ella Viesturs (back injury).
Still, the Cutthroats took a 1-0 lead at 32 minutes on a 40-yard kick by Ella Pepin. Sugar-Salem (15-3-2) stormed right back a minute later with senior Alexis Parker sticking a long free kick into the Cutthroat net for a 1-1 tie.
With junior defender Emily Siegel (knee) sidelined from a Thursday injury, Hagenbuch anchored the Cutthroat defense with speed and hustle. Sugar-Salem had the best chances in the two 10-minute overtime periods, but senior defender Sara Runkel and freshman Anik Zarkos also showed great hustle.
Hagenbuch won the coin toss in the penalty kick shootout and gave the Cutthroats the opportunity to shoot last rather than first. It was a decision that ultimately paid off.
Goalkeeper Ott made the save on Sugar-Salem’s first shooter, the regulation goal scorer Alexis Parker. Runkel put her try over the net, and the Diggers took the early lead 1-0 when senior captain Hannah Crane buried her shot into the right corner. Ella Pepin also put her shot over the net.
On the third Digger try, senior Lindsey Hancock shot wide.
Viesturs had not played in regulation time or overtime, but she stepped up to the spot and calmly put her shot into the net for her 31st goal and a 1-1 tie.
Sugar-Salem junior Rachel Barney also shot wide. The fourth Cutthroat shooter, senior Kyla Miller, had volunteered for the assignment at the end of the overtime periods and had practiced a little on the sideline.
The birthday girl, Miller, 18, blasted her shot high into the net and the Cutthroats suddenly led 2-1.
The fifth Digger shooter, sophomore Ashlyn Puzey, drilled her shot into the corner for a 2-2 tie. That set the stage for “Player of the Game” Rathfon, who wasted no time placing her shot into the corner for the 3-2 Cutthroat victory.
Hagenbuch, Miller, Josie Allison and Runkel were the Cutthroat representatives to the All-Star Senior Soccer game Tuesday, Oct. 28 in Wendell. The Cutthroat soccer banquet is Sunday, Nov. 9 at Elkhorn Restaurant.
· Final team statistics: Community School 14-3-2 (7-2-1 home, 6-1-1 away, 8-0-2 league for #1 seed, 1st place in HDSC tournament, consolation champion in State 3A tournament) with 8 shutouts in 19 games. Goals scored: 75 (4.0 per game). Goals against: 21 (1.1). Individual scoring: Ella Viesturs 31, Josie Allison 9, Molly Milgard 6, Kate Rathfon 5, Hannah Conn 4, Ella Pepin 4, Grace Pepin 4, Autumn Fluetsch 3, Grace Cherp 2, Ellie Polk 2, Kyla Miller 2, Emily Siegel 1, Olivia Ott 1, own goal.