TWIN FALLS — Canyon Ridge and Twin Falls are always anxious to play each other. A 15-day delay only increases the tension.
The Riverhawks and Bruins girls soccer teams were scheduled to play on September 6, but forest fires made the air quality too unhealthy to play in, so the game was postponed.
The rivals finally met on Thursday at Canyon Ridge High School. On a brisk, overcast day, the Bruins came out on top 3-0 to remain undefeated in Great Basin Conference play.
“We were relieved to get this game over with because we were really looking forward to it,” Twin Falls senior forward Madison Glascock said. “It’s always a great competition.”
The usual blue and red that paints a Canyon Ridge-Twin Falls game was replaced by orange on Thursday. The special color scheme had a special purpose: to honor Kristy Pickett.
Pickett is involved with the Twin Falls Rapids and used to be on the soccer organization’s board of directors. She knows many of the players and coaches who were on the field Thursday.
Right now, Pickett is battling leukemia.
“This one was definitely more special,” Canyon Ridge coach Christa Tackett said.
All proceeds (gate money and orange t-shirt/hat sales) from the Bruins and Riverhawks girls and boys games on Thursday will be donated to the Pickett family, Tackett said.
“She’s a real special lady who would never ask for any of this,” Twin Falls coach Katie Kauffman said.
The extra meaningful game began in anticlimax. In the sixth minute, Twin Falls went on top 1-0 thanks to an own goal. Tackett smiled and, in a glass-half-full tone, said to her bench, “they didn’t actually score.”
The Bruins weren’t exactly thrilled to score in that fashion, but they weren’t complaining.
“It takes that weight off your shoulders,” Kauffman said. “I think it kinda helped the girls to relax a bit.”
Twin Falls looked in control the rest of the way. The ball mainly resided on the Canyon Ridge side of the field, and the Bruins had more good looks at goals than the Riverhawks did.
In the 27th minute, sophomore Madison Bailey fired a shot from the left side of the goal box. It sailed over the head of keeper Gissele Garibay and found the back of the net.
Glascock capped the scoring in the 67th minute on a point-blank shot from the left side.
Less than a year ago, Canyon Ridge won a 6-5 thriller over Twin Falls. It was the Riverhawks’ second win over their rivals in as many games.
The sting of those losses quickly went away. The Bruins beat the Riverhawks 3-2 in the district title game to advance to the 4A state tournament.
So Thursday’s game was hardly an act of revenge for Twin Falls. But it was a win over Canyon Ridge. That’s the only context necessary.
“It’s a new season,” Glascock said. “We’re ready.”
The Bruins (10-2, 8-0) host the Riverhawks (6-5-1, 5-3) on Monday with a chance to clinch the top seed in the Great Basin Conference.
Canyon Ridge hosts Preston on Saturday.