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Statewide Midseason Girls Soccer Report

These girls soccer teams are poised to finish strong on their way to the postseason

By: Clay Hatfield
Published: 9/30/2019 12:10:36 PM

Check our girls soccer photo galleries from across the state here.

5A Classification

The girls’ soccer 5A mid-season story centers around some of the state's largest schools in the Southern Idaho Conference.  Defending State Champion Rocky Mountain has emerged as a likely candidate to repeat their State Finals appearance, but Timberline, Mountain View, Boise and Eagle have all graced the coaches poll top five.

The only non-SIC team to break into the top five this season has been Inland Empire powerhouse Lake City. Madison quietly put together a solid first half and could crash the SIC party before season’s end.

The Bobcats have only dropped two matches so far, both against Treasure Valley opponents in Mountain View and Boise. The Madison defense has proven itself all season, averaging just 0.9 goals allowed per game and posting shutouts in seven of their first 10 matches. Still within striking distance, the Highland Rams can close the gap with a victory against the leaders in late September in what could be a preview of the conference title game.  But to pick up that important win, the Rams will have to score against a stout Bobcat backline.

The story in the Inland Empire Conference is all about the Lake City Timberwolves. Under the guidance of Head Coach Matt Ruchti, the Timberwolves have been regulars in the 5A rankings and are poised to make a run at state glory in the second half.

The fifth place Eagle Mustangs only trail the conference-leading Timberline Wolves by two games with Boise, Rocky Mountain and Mountain View all hot on the heels of the Wolves. For any team to challenge the Wolves, however, they are going to have to do something no team has done through the first 10 games of the season: score against the Wolves' fearsome backline.

According to Head Coach Ross Schultz, his team possesses “a very strong defense that fights to keep anybody from getting into the box and limit shots on goal.”

4A Classification

In the 4A ranks, all roads lead through Bishop Kelly. The three-time defending state champions are poised to for a fourth, but the Kuna Kavemen and the Twin Falls Bruins hope to derail the Knights' quest for glory.

The SIC turned into a two-horse race with Bishop Kelly and Kuna both undefeated heading into the second half of the season. The Knights only allowed one goal all season, and Kuna is averaging nearly five goals per match on offense. The two played to a 0-0 tie in their first meeting, and the second meeting in late September will likely decide the No. 1 seed heading into the district tournament.

Southeast of the Treasure Valley, Twin Falls has been a dominant force in the Great Basin Conference. After opening the season with a tie to 5A Highland, the Bruins have ripped off 12 wins in a row. During that streak, Twin Falls has outscored its opponents 91-10, highlighted by a 13-goal effort against Burley and a 16-goal onslaught versus Minico
Pocatello, Preston, Jerome, Century and Wood River will all spend the second half of the season jockeying for position heading into the district tournament.

The High Country Conference could be decided by a September match-up between the Bonneville Bees and Skyline Grizzlies. Both teams have unblemished conference records going into their only face-to-face meeting of the regular season at the end of September.

Up north, it has been Sandpoint’s year in the Inland Empire Conference. The Bulldogs sit atop the standings with their only three losses of the season coming at the hands of schools from larger classifications. Head Coach Conor Baranski credited his group of seniors who have provided necessary leadership and set the examples for the younger players to follow. Baranski said he was pleased with the Bulldogs’ determination to “hold each other accountable and to a high standard every single day” which he hopes will lead to a district title and a spot in the state tournament.

3A Classification

If all roads in 4A go through Bishop Kelly, the 3A roads all pass through the heart of Coeur d’Alene where, like the Knights, the Coeur d’Alene Charter Panthers are looking for a four-peat. 

The Panthers begin the second half of the season with a perfect record. They have posted shutouts in five of their first six matches, outscoring their opponents 58-2. Their offense has only conceded goals to Timberlake, while their potent offense averages nearly 10 goals per match to lead CDA Charter atop the Intermountain League standings.

The High Desert Conference, meanwhile, is shaping up to be a two team race for No. 1 between the Sun Valley Community School Cutthroats and the Kimberly Bulldogs.  While the Cutthroats hold the edge at the halfway point, the Bulldogs can help their own cause if they can pull out a “W” against SVCS in early October, a tussle that will take place on the Cutthroats’ Senior Night.  SVCS Head Coach Kelly Feldman said she's happy with what she saw from her team in the first-half, but for the Cutthroats to claim the district crown and make some noise at state, the team will have to “stay healthy and injury free, as well as improve our set-piece finishing and our fitness.”

In the Mountain Rivers Conference, the Sugar-Salem Diggers finished the first half of the season ranked No. 1 in the coaches’ poll and look to finish the regular season in that same position.  Sugar-Salem has yet to drop a match all year, a feat they share with Coeur d’Alene Charter. The Diggers are led by a stifling defense that has only conceded two goals all season and a juggernaut offense that has scored 100 goals in 10 games, reaching double digits in six of those contests.

The McCall-Donnelly Vandals are the top dogs in a crowded Snake River Valley Conference.  The Vandals only have a 1.5 game lead over the third-place Weiser Wolverines with the Fruitland Grizzlies sandwiched in between. In the second half of the season, McCall-Donnelly will face both Fruitland and Weiser two more times.

The regular season title chase in the South East Idaho Conference appears to be coming down to two teams — the Marsh Valley Eagles and the American Falls Beavers.  Both teams feature stingy defenses and potent offenses.  The Marsh Valley defense has conceded an average of less than one goal per game while putting in an average of 6.5 goals per match, scoring double digits in five of 10 contests.  American Falls is averaging just shy of four goals per game while giving up 2.2 goals per game on the defensive end. The two teams face off in late September in a match that could ultimately decide the regular season title.


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