TWIN FALLS — Round 1 goes to the champs.
Behind a dominating offensive performance and a bend-but-don’t-break defense, the Twin Falls girls soccer team asserted itself as the top team in the Great Basin Conference with a 3-0 win over Wood River on Tuesday.
A tight, nervous game broke open in the 30th minute, when from four yards away Becca Behrens nudged in a cross from Ryleigh Glascock to put the Bruins ahead in a game where they were on the front foot almost from the opening whistle.
“I just drove to the net and got a foot on it,” Behrens said.
While Wood River struggled to force the issue, Twin Falls put the match to rest in the 52nd minute when Ellen Bartlett, with her back to the goal, controlled a high cross into the box, swiveled and slammed it into the net.
Mehli Marcellus scored on a free kick 11 minutes later to round out the scoring.
Twin Falls (7-1-0, 5-0-0 Great Basin, 15 pts.) won its seventh straight game, six of them by shutout. The Bruins have given up three goals, two in the season-opening loss to Highland.
Wood River (5-2-0, 4-1-0, 12 pts.) didn’t do much to threaten that mark, managing just one shot on target, a looping free kick that was easily saved. The Wolverines had five shots off target, while the Bruins had 13 total shots, six on goal.
One of the reasons they didn’t get more attempts off was the Bruins’ back five — defense and goalkeeper Allison Simmons — were quick to react and nip opportunities in the bud.
Another was being passengers in a game Twin Falls had under control from the moment Behrens bundled her goal home.
“We were just ball-watching a lot,” said Wood River coach Jenni Conrad. “We had maybe 10 great minutes in the second half. But it’s early in the season and even this is really like practice for districts. We’ll work to get better from this.”
The Bruins enter the second half of the Great Basin schedule knowing that if they win their next four games as they expect to, they’ll go to Wood River only needing a draw to secure the outright regular season title.
“There are still some things we can work on to get better,” Marcellus said. “We know they’re going to try to take it to us at their place.”