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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

For the week of October 23 - 29, 2002


Defense lifts Cutthroats (16-0) to district championship

11th shutout as Wood River falls 4-0

Unyielding on defense, The Community School boys’ soccer team rolled to its second consecutive Fourth District 3A tournament championship with a convincing 4-0 victory over arch-rival Wood River Tuesday in wet playing conditions at Browning Field in Elkhorn.

Josh Sonneland’s soaring direct kick late in the first half proved the winning margin as coach Richard Whitelaw’s highly-regarded Cutthroats (16-0) posted their 11th shutout win of the 2002 campaign. Ethan Weston, Austin McCann and Sean Higgins added second-half goals.

Whitelaw accorded his "Man of the Match" recognition to the entire Cutthroat back five—starting with his exemplary goalkeeper Drew Detwiler, and including defenders Zac Brown, Taylor Rothgeb, Ash Higgins and Bret Watson. "It’s Drew and the back four," Whitelaw said, tipping his hat.

With the win, the Cutthroats finished the eight-school tournament with a 3-0 record, outscoring its league foes 20-0 in the big meet, and qualified for the State 3A tournament Oct. 31-Nov. 2 in Pocatello. Last year Whitelaw’s squad beat Wood River 5-0 for the district championship.

It has been total domination.

The Cutthroats are now 27-0 in 3A league play including tournaments over two years with a 199-21 scoring edge. They are unbeaten in 18 games on Browning Field. And they have extended their recent mastery over the Wolverines to six wins in a row with 2-1, 6-2 and 4-0 wins this year.

Meanwhile, Wood River (11-3-3, all its losses to The Community School) has to win a playoff game against the winner of yesterday’s elimination contest between Magic Valley Christian and Wendell in order to return to the state tournament.

That state play-in game is scheduled for today, Wednesday at 4 p.m. at South Valley Sports Complex soccer field in Hailey. But Wood River coach Brian Daluiso said the game time could change because the Wood River girls’ team is slated to play its state play-in game against Buhl at the same time on the same field today.


Great first half at Browning Field

Wood River needed to score the first goal Tuesday in order to crack the impenetrable mystique of the Cutthroat defense.

Fired up, the Wolverines gave it everything they had in the scoreless opening 20 minutes—outshooting the Cutthroats 5-2 and putting on a passing clinic. The Hailey defense contained leading Cutthroat scorer Sean Higgins and kept the ball away from ace midfielder Sonneland.

Whitelaw said, "Wood River really stepped it up. We didn’t have any shots to start with. Wood River knocked the ball around and hustled, but they didn’t create a lot. But really, that’s how the game of soccer should be played—the way the players on both teams played in the first half."

Scoring the first goal was "everything," Daluiso said. A seemingly inconsequential pass by Austin McCann from the midfield down the right wing to Ethan Weston ended up in a direct kick when Tate Mills of Wood River pulled Weston down.

Taking the direct kick at 32 minutes was Sonneland, who tallied his 23rd goal of the season and 51st of his Cutthroat career on a direct kick that soared over the head of Wood River goalkeeper Luke Speer.

The Cutthroats weren’t satisfied with their 1-0 halftime lead. Spurred on by Whitelaw, who demanded three touches from every possession, the champions emerged with greater intensity in the second half. They had the edge in corner kicks all game, 7-2, and it paid off in the early moments.

After Speer made an outstanding save on Higgins, the Cutthroats kept pressing their case and earned a corner kick at 52 minutes. Midfielder Chris Cook sent a well-aimed ball into the goal area, and Weston headed it home for a 2-0 lead.

"I thought we were in the game until that second goal," said Daluiso. "Then we got down and frustrated and started falling into old habits. Really, though, when they score their first two goals off a direct kick and corner kick, you don’t have too much of a chance."

A Cutthroat centering pass took a bad hop over the reliable foot of Wood River defender Kyle Risner and Austin McCann picked it up, hammering home the third goal at 57 minutes. Then Sean Higgins (30 goals for the season, 73 career) collected a through ball and punched home the fourth and final goal at 64 minutes.

It was all Cutthroat defense in the final 15 minutes. Left back Taylor Rothgeb came up huge on several occasions—and Detwiler showed his mettle by stopping legitimate chances by top Wood River scorer Maicol Corrales (17 goals) and Brandon Epp in the final four minutes.

Daluiso praised the play of defender Mike Sinnott, the king of headers who hustled from wire to wire and never let down his guard. Wood River played without its second-leading scorer, Jorge Giribet-Canto (16 goals), who sat out his second straight game with a leg injury.

TOURNAMENT NOTES—If the Cutthroats run the table and win the state tournament championship they’ll finish 19-0, equalling the 19-game winning streak of last year’s team….This is the 20th season of the Cutthroat-Wolverine rivalry, with Wood River still leading 26-18-3. But the Cutthroats have outscored the Wolverines 29-6 in the current six-game winning streak and have narrowed the gap in the goals-against. In the 47 games, Wood River has now scored 101 goals and The Community School 100….Sixth-year Wood River coach Daluiso has a 75-20-10 record. Eleventh-year Cutthroat coach Whitelaw has a 126-49-12 record…..Sean Higgins needs three goals to surpass Benji Hill and move into second place on the all-time Cutthroat career scoring list. Hill attended Tuesday’s game and rooted for his old team.



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