TWIN FALLS • School was cancelled in Wendell Thursday, as students and teachers were encouraged to support their team in the 3A boys soccer tournament quarterfinal at Sunway Soccer Complex.
It paid off in the stands, with a large contingent of supporters. On the field, the Trojans put on a show for their fans.
Wendell dominated throughout, beating Bonners Ferry 5-0 with crisp passing, fluid attacking movement and a smothering defense.
Jose Alfredo Barajas spearheaded the attack, scoring two game-changing goals. The first came when he broke Bonners Ferry’s offside trap, the second on a swiveled volley. Both were followed by his “dead fish” celebration.
“We’re just having fun,” said Barajas, who pushed his season goal tally to 31. “We’ve played together for a long time, and we want to win a state championship.”
So deep was Bonners Ferry’s defense that defensive midfielder Diego Coronado felt liberty to burst forward whenever he wanted. It resulted in him nearly doubling his season goal total — he scored four prior to state and had a hat trick Thursday.
Coronado opened the scoring six minutes in and added two second-half goals.
“Jorge (Valera) saw me in the middle and got me the ball, and I just got past my man and shot,” Coronado said of the opening goal. “We worked hard on movement and playing together, and it worked today.”
The Badgers scarcely threatened the Wendell goal. Their best chance came when Elijah Price fired a shot off the post from a tight angle. Otherwise, whenever they went forward, Wendell’s defense tightened and choked the life out of their attack.
Wendell advances to a Friday semifinal game against Weiser, which won its head-to-head matchup against Wendell in last year’s quarterfinals 8-3.
That score wasn’t lost on the Trojans, who needed no more motivation than remembering how that felt.
“We’re going to play hard and win the game,” Coronado said.
Teton 2, Community School 1
TWIN FALLS •
Rey Velazquez and the Redskins continued the Cutthroats’ quarterfinal hoodoo.
Velazquez capitalized on a defensive miscommunication early in the second half to go through on goal alone and open the scoring. Then he wowed the crowd with a blistering left-footed strike from 30 yards that rocketed just inside the far post.
The Community School got one back late through Alex Schwartz, but time ran out and they fell to defeat in the first round at state for the sixth straight time. The Cutthroats haven’t advanced to the state quarterfinals since 2003.
“We picked a bad time to have a bad first half. It’s hard to win a state championship; you have to have a lot of things go your way,” said Community School coach Richard Whitelaw. “We had a lot of chances at the end, but we had a bad first half.”
The Community School plays Fruitland at 11 a.m. Friday for a spot in the consolation final.