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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 November 6 - 12, 2002


Pirates put big chill on Cutthroats

Sun Valley settles for third

Express Staff Writer

Ouch, again.

In coach Richard Whitelaw’s words, "devastating" wasn’t sufficient enough a word to describe The Community School’s feeling after its 3-2 double overtime loss to Payette in Friday’s State 3A boys’ soccer tournament semi-final at chilly Pocatello.

Taylor Rothgeb, heading the ball in Thursday’s 3-1 Cutthroat victory over Bonners Ferry, was the best player on the field in his team’s last two games of the season. He’s been named next year’s captain. Express photo by David N. Seelig

"Nightmarish," might have been better, since Payette inflicted a similar 3-2 hurt on the favored Cutthroats in last year’s state tournament at Buhl. In both cases, Payette went on to win the state championship, this year by a 2-1 score over Wood River.

"I didn’t sleep at all after the Payette game," said Whitelaw.

Few Cutthroats slept easily, which accounted for the players and fans sleepwalking through Saturday’s 2-1 Community School victory over the Snake River Panthers. It gave Whitelaw’s powerhouse squad third place, for a second straight year.

"We were going through the motions against Snake River," said Whitelaw, whose senior-laden team finished 18-1, outscoring foes 112-15.

For the record, The Community School also beat Bonners Ferry 3-1 in Thursday’s opener played in two-to-three inches of virtually unplowed snow at Bannock Soccer complex.

But the nightmare was Payette.

Not only did Payette (18-3, 35-4-1 two years) put a sudden end to The Community School’s 17-game unbeaten streak and hopes for a state championship, the Pirates did it by rallying from a 2-0 deficit, just like last year’s come-from-behind victory.

It was scoreless at halftime. Goals by Sean Higgins and Ethan Weston put the Cutthroats ahead 2-0. Then, Cutthroat defender Zac Brown took a Pirate down in the box and senior Victor Cisneros drilled a penalty kick.

Time ticked away ominously as the Cutthroats worked to preserve their 2-1 lead. "We dominated the second half. (Keeper) Drew Detwiler didn’t have a lot to do. He had one save against Payette," said Whitelaw.

It was five minutes into injury time at the end of regulation when Brown drew his second yellow card and Payette was awarded a free kick. Luke Hooker made it for a 2-2 tie, five seconds before the final whistle.

"They had that one final chance and then they had the momentum in overtime," Whitelaw said.

In the second 10-minute overtime, Hooker took a Brad Moon pass and punched home the game winner as the ball rattled around in front of the net.

Whitelaw said, "You have to give Payette credit for coming back. I don’t want to come across as sour grapes, but the five minutes of extra time obviously didn’t help us.

"Still, you have to play until the final whistle."

Having come so close to long-sought revenge over Payette—an Idaho soccer powerhouse with six state titles to its credit—the Cutthroats tried to muster the energy for their third-place game against Snake River (15-2-3) Saturday morning.

This past summer, Snake River’s soccer program was eliminated due to budget concerns. It was resurrected by parents and community members who raised money to give Panther senior Trevor Peterson and his teammates one last shot at a state title.

Peterson was clearly the best player on the field, and his teammate Chris Turpin gave Snake River an early 1-0 lead. Drew Stoecklein answered for the Cutthroats and the score became 1-1 at intermission.

The eventual winning goal came four minutes into the second half on a build-up from midfield that went from Ash Higgins to Yancy Caldwell to Austin McCann, who buried a shot into the corner of the Panther net.

Snake River out-hustled the Cutthroats in the second half and created several scoring chances, including a short-side tester by Peterson at 75 minutes. But keeper Detwiler was a tower of strength down the stretch.

In Thursday’s 3-1 win over Bonners Ferry, the Cutthroats scored twice in the first 11 minutes.

Chris Cook’s midfield pass to John Hayes resulted in an excellent Hayes centering pass to Sean Higgins, who slipped and fell in the snow but regained his footing and scored. Ethan Weston headed home a Austin McCann cross for the 2-0 cushion.

Sean Higgins tallied his second goal on a Weston cross at 36 minutes and the Cutthroats, up 3-0 at the half, coasted to their 3-1 victory in the 23-degree Gate City chill. Zac Brown played a fine game on defense and Cook was a force in the midfield.

It was the coldest Halloween in Pocatello in 100 years, but the big chill didn’t kick in for the Cutthroats until Friday’s clash against Payette.

·  Community School (112 goals for/15 against)—Sean Higgins 33 (76 career), Josh Sonneland 23 (51 career), Austin McCann 12, John Hayes 11, Juan Munoz 8, Ethan Weston 7, Bobby Flanigan 5, Yancy Caldwell 5, Drew Stoecklein 4, Chris Cook 1, Taylor Rothgeb 1, Reed Boeger 1, Luc McCann 1.

CUTTHROAT NOTES—Scoring in 16 of 19 games, Sean Higgins (76 goals) pulled one goal ahead of Benji Hill for second place on the all-time Cutthroat scoring list behind 2002 grad Josh Stanek (93)….Last year’s third-place Cutthroats were 155-37 in goals-against….Whitelaw’s 11-year coaching record is 128-50-12 including 15-8 at state tourneys.

"Man of the Match" was Zac Brown against Bonners Ferry, and Taylor Rothgeb in both the Payette and Snake River games….Junior back Rothgeb, already voted next year’s captain, made his 50th varsity start against Bonners Ferry.

Brown couldn’t play against Snake River because of two yellow cards in the Payette game, and John Hayes was sick. Luc McCann came in and did a good job….Whitelaw said Sean Higgins, Chris Cook and Bret Watson had good tournaments….With 10 seniors graduating, Whitelaw said the Cutthroats are likely to be the underdog in their quest for state next fall.



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