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  Lake City Duo College-Bound

All-State Lake City senior duo Bridget Rieken and Chloe Teets have their sights set on bringing another state title home this fall.

By: Lucas Gebhart
Published: 9/18/2018 11:10:29 AM
 

Chloe Teets (Left) and Bridget Rieken (Right). Photos By: Steve Conner (Teets) & Jason Duchow (Rieken).


It didn't take long in the fall of 2015 for the Lake City soccer program to find out just how special the then-freshmen duo of Bridget Rieken and Chloe Teets was.

With the Timberwolves playing in the 2015 state title game, penalty kicks were needed to decide a winner. Without hesitation, head coach Matt Ruchti sent his freshmen duo into the most pressure-packed location a shooter can go on the pitch, a place simply known as the spot. 

After watching Centennial’s Brenna Davidson bury a perfect strike into the top-right corner, Rieken, whose nerves had dissipated after tying the game earlier by scoring her first career high school goal, stepped up and delivered an identical strike with her right foot into the upper-left corner to even things at one. 

Then, with Centennial keeping the pressure on, Teets chipped one into the bottom-right corner to keep Lake City even. The freshmen were going toe-to-toe with the Centennial Patriots, a perennial power in the 5A classification that was seeking its second consecutive state title. 

“I knew them. I knew what type of players they were deep down,” Ruchti said nearly three years later. “I knew that that’s what they were built for.”

But Lake City would have to wait another year to have its picture taken with the blue trophy as Centennial’s Asha Tullock stopped Lake City’s final attempt to keep the shootout from going further into sudden death. But for Lake City, it was only the beginning of the Rieken and Teets era. 

“You couldn’t ask for a better two players to build a season or a program around. They have done that since they have stepped foot into this program,” Ruchti said.

The following season, the Timberwolves won their second state title in school history, going through Centennial in the semifinals and Rocky Mountain in the championship. The state title game once again went to penalty kicks, only this time, nobody on Lake City missed and Teets put away the game’s final blow in front of the home Coeur d’Alene crowd. 

“In those crucial moments, she has been ice cold,” Ruchti said of Teets. “She comes through in the clutch. That’s what she does.”

The two originally met at the age of eight through club soccer and Ruchti entered the picture around the same time. Through his coaching and mentorship of life, he quickly became a close family-friend and role model of Teets. 

“He has shaped me to be kind of like him,” Teets said. “His demeanor and the way he leads our group. He’s a bit out there and sarcastic, but he wants us to get the job done.”

The pair also play on Lake City’s basketball team and both used to run for the track team, but due to an Iliotibial Band issue and a pesky knee, Teets switched to tennis after her sophomore season. 

In the end soccer was the sport that stole the hearts of both girls and it wasn’t long before Division I schools came calling. 

“I hate being inside for basketball,” Rieken said. “Soccer comes more natural to me and track, you just run in a circle. It gets boring pretty fast.” 

Rieken committed after her freshman season to Washington State, who’s currently ranked 16th in the nation, while Teets verbally committed to the University of Idaho in February of her junior year. 

But Teets soon decommitted in the spring once news arose that Idaho may have to drop its women’s soccer program because of finance issues. The school she chose instead was the College of Idaho, a school that’s known for being a powerhouse in the classroom. 

“It felt like home to me,” Teets said. “It’s small, probably the same size as Lake City, which is nice. I like the smaller schools. I’ll probably see a lot of familiar faces.” 

This is a stark contrast from what Teets would have experienced at Idaho. The Big Sky school has an enrollment 11-times larger than the College of Idaho. 

On her unofficial visit to the University of Idaho, Teets said she was taken to a basketball game and sat in the student section where she was quickly impressed by the big-school atmosphere. 

“I loved the big college experience where everyone is at the basketball games and it’s crazy loud and a crazy fun environment,” she said. “But I also loved the campus. It reminded me a lot of home.”

Instead, she chose a school with an enrollment of less than 1,000 where she will be a big fish in a small pond athletically, but will be challenged academically as she plans to major in kinesiology while minoring in coaching. 

“I want to be more involved with my teachers,” Teets said. “I want to get that personal connection, learn more and learn in different ways.” 

Rieken, on the other hand, is slated to start for the Cougars next season, according to Ruchti, and Washington State, Bridget says, plans to move her up a line from center-back to holding midfielder. But despite committing to a top-20 school, she says she still has a lot to learn.

“Once I realized I could play in the Pac-12, I felt like I reached a point in my life where I was proud of myself for reaching my goals,” Rieken said. “But I’m not there yet. I have so much left to learn.”

Rieken will be playing in a conference that has proven to be one of the best in college soccer. Stanford and UCLA played for last year’s national championship and USC, another Pac-12 school, won the 2016 national championship, meaning that three out of the last four teams who have played for a national championship in women’s soccer have come from the Pac-12. 

“She’s the best player on the field regardless of whoever we play,” Ruchti said, who added that Rieken is one of the best players the Lake City soccer program has ever seen, which is a major statement considering Rieken is not the first Power Five player Lake City has produced. 

Baylor’s Camryn Wendlandt is also a Lake City alum who has three goals, one assist and seven points midway through her junior campaign for the Big 12 Conference school. 

“[Bridget] is a special player and she gets that,” Ruchti said. “But she also recognizes that there have been special players that have come through the program.” 

With Rieken and Teets now halfway through their senior seasons, the duo looks to bring home some more hardware back to Lake City next month during the 5A state soccer tournament in Idaho Falls. The tournament will run October 18-20 at Idaho Falls Soccer Complex.  

 


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