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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


In a shootout, Cutthroats overcome Wood River

Community School wins district title

Express Staff Writer

When opportunity knocked, the Community School girls’ soccer team answered Monday afternoon and won the biggest game in team history.

Community School girls celebrate a goal during last week’s 3-1 home loss to Wood River on the Sagewillow field in Elkhorn. They were even happier Monday when they beat top-seeded Wood River on penalty kicks in Hailey. From left, Pauli Ochi, who scored Monday’s game-winning goal; Cassidy Doucette, who scored the first Cutthroat goal in regulation; Erika Connelly, also successful in the shootout; and Morgan Arritola. Express photo by David N. Seelig

The Cutthroats (6-4-2) upset favored Wood River 2-1 on penalty kicks in Hailey to win the 3A Fourth District championship and secure a berth in the 3A State Tournament in Pocatello, Oct. 31-Nov. 2.

Sophomore Cassidy Doucette scored the only Cutthroat goal in the first half and senior Robin Kearns equalized for regular-season champion Wood River in the second half. Nobody scored in the two overtimes.

Then, in the shootout, Erika Connelly and Lexie Praggastis made their kicks for the Cutthroats, and Krista Burns and Kate Elgee succeeded for Wood River. The decisive kick was made by Pauli Ochi of the Cutthroats.

Alissa Praggastis of The Community School chases down a ball, pursued by Erin Northrop (left) and Sage Pressman (right) of Wood River, during last Wednesday’s Cutthroat-Wolverine clash at Sagewillow. Express photo by David N. Seelig


Wood River (7-6-1) will host Buhl (7-6-2) today, Wednesday, Oct. 23 at South Valley Sports Complex in Hailey for second place in the district and the remaining state berth. Buhl stayed alive Monday 1-0 over Declo.

In first-round games Saturday, the Wolverines beat Declo 8-0. Kearns scored three goals. Erin Northrop chipped in two. Single goals were tallied by Charlotte Gourlay, Ireland King and Rebecca Schwartzenberger.

Meanwhile, The Community School bested Buhl 6-0. Goal scorers were Morgan Arritola (2), Erika Connelly, Amy Alexander, Jenny Rutherford and Alissa Praggastis.


Exciting title game

After The Community School lost to Wood River 3-1 last week and surrendered the homefield advantage for Monday’s title game, Cutthroat coach Kelly Feldman switched her lineup to generate more offense.

Feldman bumped senior Erika Connelly from sweeper to offensive midfield. With her speed and scoring ability from the outside, Connelly was able to keep the pressure on Wood River’s defense Monday.

"We felt we had nothing to lose, so why not go for it?" Feldman said.

The strategy paid off.

Ketchum had nine corner kicks in the first half, and converted on the third consecutive try.

Connelly swiped the ball to Cassidy Doucette who converted for a 1-0 lead which held up until halftime.

During the break, Hailey coach Doug Stouffer told his team to turn it up a notch and the players responded, especially forward Kearns.

Tami Harrison lines up a kick for Wood River. Express photo by David N. Seelig


Kearns, dangerous in the open field and near the net, slipped the defenders several times and finally sliced through and delivered for a tie score.

It was 1-1 at the end of regulation and still tied after two 10-minute overtime periods.

With one minute remaining in overtime, Feldman made a substitution which will be seen as brilliant—because it worked.

Feldman subbed in Erin Magee for goalie Tracy Chubb.

Both coaches chose five players for the first round of penalty kicks and both picked wisely.

Connelly and Lexie Pragasstis converted for Sun Valley and Krista Burns and Kate Elgee for Hailey for a 2-2 tie. The goalkeepers, Magee and Kelly Haisley of Wood River, each made a pair of gut-check saves.

With the score still tied, penalty kicks went to sudden-death.

Calm, cool and collected—at least on the outside—Pauli Ochi walked up to the ball and rolled it right side for a 3-2 advantage.

Hailey’s next shot hit the post and it was cheers on one side and tears on the other.

"It was a tough, gritty, suck it up and deal game," Feldman said. "We came up big."

Wood River coach Doug Stouffer put a positive spin on the loss, which dethroned his team as district champs.

He said, "There is a lot of pain when you lose, but we can turn it around and try and make something positive about it. We can learn from this. And better to learn it now, than at state."



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