TWIN FALLS • Time ran out Thursday on District IV’s hopes for a girl’s soccer state title.
Both Bliss and the Community School found themselves facing early deficits in opening round state tournament games at Sunway Soccer Complex, and while each chipped away with late goals, neither managed enough scoring to stay alive in the championship bracket.
The Cutthroats, district champions, fell 2-1 to Shelley in the afternoon game. The Russets scored in the 15th and 18th minutes, then held on the rest of the way.
“We made two mistakes, and they capitalized on them,” Community School coach Kelly Feldman said. “We didn’t get enough pressure on them offensively to make a difference.”
Shelley drew first blood on a breakaway by Kira Marlow. Community School fans clamored for an offside call on the pass that set her up, but the officials did not oblige.
“She was onsides and we didn’t play it well,” Feldman said. “Our mistake.”
Within minutes another defensive breakdown by the Cutthroats let Tymber Tenerowicz through for another score.
Meanwhile, the Cutthroats go-to offensive threat, freshman Ella Viesturs, was largely blanketed all game and neutralized, even when Community School played much more aggressively in the second half.
Ella Pepin scored on a free kick in the 73rd minute to cut the Shelley lead to one.
“We had spent a lot time on free kicks and corners,” Feldman said. “I was hopeful we could get some more opportunities off corners and it just didn’t work out that way.”
Pepin’s goal put the game’s momentum squarely on her team’s side. Time, however, was not. Despite several more shots on goal in the second half, several spectacular saves by Shelley goalkeeper Meg Gold prevented a tie in the waning minutes.
“I don’t know if we could have climbed back in, but we were definitely pressing,” Feldman said. “I do think we dominated the second half.”
Still alive in the consolation bracket, Community School will face Sugar-Salem at 11 a.m. Friday. However, they will be without junior Emily Siegel, who exited Thursday’s game in the first half with a knee injury and did not return. Feldman does not anticipate Siegel playing again this weekend.
Timberlake 4, Bliss 2
TWIN FALLS • Earlier in the day on the same field, Bliss found itself in an even bigger hole against Timberlake. Despite notching the game’s final two goals, the Bears lost to the favored Tigers.
“They are just really athletic,” Bliss coach Brenna Fisher said. “Number 20 (Allison Kirby) went to every ball. We just kind of let her.”
More aggressive and controlling the game from the start, Carleen Simpson scored in the 26th minute, moments after Bliss almost scored itself.
Just as with the later game, the one goal lead quickly grew to two, this time on a closely contested shot at point blank range.
Fischer attempted to implement some scheme changes at the half, but said it took more than half of the second period for those changes to truly take effect.
“We talked about some things at half that we needed to do, but then we didn’t actually do them until later in the second half,” Fisher said. “It needed to be done earlier.”
By then, Timberlake’s lead had grown to four on a pair of goals by Shelby Starr.
Two goals in a six-minute span, by Anna Orr and Cassi Villavicencio, respectively, were not enough to close the gap, but at least gave the Bears some momentum heading into Friday’s meeting with Marsh Valley at 11 a.m.
“I’m hoping tomorrow we come out and we score right away and we do some of the things we didn’t do today,” Fisher said. “We need to be more aggressive. We need to do the through ball. We need to go 100 percent to the ball, the things we didn’t do today.”