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5A, 4A, 3A State Soccer Championship Recaps
From every classification, read up on how the state's best soccer teams ended the season as champions
Published: 10/26/2020 12:14:32 PM

Boys — Boise 2, Thunder Ridge 1 (5-4 penalty kicks)

It was a game of redemption for Boise senior defender Nick Liebich in the 5A boys state championship game. With Boise up 1-0 in the second half and the Brave controlling time of possession, Liebich knocked an errant Thunder Ridge shot into his team’s goal to even things up.

When neither team scored in the remainder of regulation nor either overtime period, it was looking like Liebich’s mistake could prove fatal as the two teams geared up for penalty kicks.

But with the penalty kick tally knotted at 4-4 after a Thunder Ridge miss, Liebich stepped up to the mark with a chance to redeem himself by winning his team the state championship — and he did just that, ripping a shot into the upper left corner of the goal and delivering the Brave its first boys soccer state championship since 2016.

Girls — Rocky Mountain 2, Boise 1

It didn’t take long for the scoring to start in the back-and-forth 5A girls state championship game, with Rocky Mountain junior forward Nadia Kincaid putting the Grizzlies on the board less than two minutes in. 

Boise answered right back nearly 10 minutes later when junior midfielder Madeline Colborn netted the equalizer on a penalty kick, but senior forward Larissa Wegner scored in the 33rd minute and Rocky Mountain regained the lead, 2-1, a few minutes before halftime. The Grizzlies hung on in a scoreless second half to complete their 5A girls threepeat.


Boys — Vallivue 4, Blackfoot 1

In the 4A boys state championship game, Blackfoot drew first blood, scoring less than two minutes into the game. But it was all Vallivue from there, as the Falcons scored four unanswered goals, two in each half.

Senior striker Juan Osuna netted the equalizer nearly 10 minutes later, scoring off a corner from sophomore midfielder Alex Barragan. Barragan then put the Falcons up for good in the 29th minute, bending in a left-footer to give Vallivue a 2-1 lead it would take into halftime.

The elder Barragan, senior midfielder Raoul, got onto the statsheet himself in the second half, scoring his first goal in the 15th minute and a second in the 35th as the Falcons ran away with the state championship.

Girls — Preston 1, Twin Falls 0

There were fewer fireworks in the 4A girls state championship game, with Preston scoring roughly 13 minutes into the game and never looking back.

Senior forward Quincy Hyde received a high-arcing pass from junior defender Andie Ball and took a brief touch before ripping a line-drive shot on goal, finding the back of the net and giving Preston a 1-0 lead it never relinquished.

It was yet another close game for the Indians, as all three of their state championship games were decided by penalty kicks or a single goal.


Boys — Sun Valley Community 2, Weiser 0

The old adage that a two-goal lead is the most dangerous lead in soccer isn’t one Sun Valley Community School wanted to see play out firsthand in the 3A boys soccer state championship game Saturday night.

When senior forward Willie DeWolfe scored an easy tap-in after Weiser goalkeeper Gabe Rasmussen fumbled a cross in the 10th minute to put the Cutthroats up 1-0, there was a little sigh of relief as Sun Valley Community had struck blood first.

Then, DeWolfe scored again 20 minutes later, sending a lightning-quick header past Rasmussen and into the back of the net. Now the nerves were back on for the Cutthroats, who knew they couldn’t afford to get complacent.

“The old saying is two-nil is the most dangerous score,” said Sun Valley Community coach Richard Whitelaw. “Because if the opposition gets one goal, they’re right back in it and seize the momentum.”

There was no way Whitelaw and his squad was going to try and just squat on its lead and squander a chance at a three-peat. The Cutthroats kept applying pressure all game, and their midfielders and defenders kept Weiser from ever being able to make a comeback attempt.

“Up two-nil we just had to play smart and not do anything stupid,” Whitelaw said. “We locked it down and Weiser didn’t create a lot that troubled us. It was just a matter of us maintaining composure, keeping possession and continuing to play the way we were.”

The win came just hours after Sun Valley Community narrowly escaped in the semifinals earlier in the day. Willie DeWolfe played the hero in that one as well, scoring the golden goal in the first minute of overtime to beat CDA Charter 1-0 and ensure a shot at the Cutthroats’ third championship in a row.

“Willie was ‘Johnny-on-the-spot’ today,” Whitelaw said. “He scored this morning, he scored two tonight. Willie DeWolfe just scores in state tournaments.”
Girls — Coeur d’Alene Charter 1, Sugar-Salem 0 (2OT)

All it takes is one.

While Coeur d’Alene Charter was ripping shot after shot and controlling possession for nearly every second of last night’s 3A girls soccer state championship game but had nothing to show for it on the scoreboard, that’s what the CDA Charter team was preaching.

All it takes is one to get past the stout Sugar-Salem defense and win your fifth state championship in a row.

The Panthers finally broke through the “Great Wall of Sugar” in the last minutes of double overtime, with senior forward Sarah Hines playing state championship hero for the second time in her four-year career.

When an errant cross bounced off forward Kylie Cutler and a Sugar-Salem defender, Hines took advantage of the frenzy in front of the goal, quickly controlling the ball and tapping it past Digger goalkeeper Sydney Jensen, who had turned away shot after shot from the tenacious CDA forwards all night.

All it took was one.

“I thought the keeper was gonna get it but it bounced off Kylie and the defender,” Hines said. “I was like ‘Oh gosh, I’ve got to get this in!’ I kind of just stuck my leg out and hit it in.”

From the opening kick of the game through the fatal 99th minute, Sugar-Salem made the conscious decision to sell out on defense, keeping eight players back with just a midfielder and lone attacker at the top. The Diggers’ strategy nearly paid off, as they put their bodies on the line to deflect shots in the sub-freezing weather.

“That was so frustrating because we had got opportunity after opportunity,” Hines said. “They had every player in the box, so it was just frustrating to keep getting so close. Finally getting it in felt so good.”

If Sugar-Salem could have held out for 75 seconds longer, the 3A girls state championship would have been decided by penalty kicks — and that would have been an issue for a CDA team whose goaltender hadn’t faced a single shot the entire game.

“I have a lot of faith in our keeper, but our poor keeper had hardly touched the ball,” said CDA head coach Stacy Smith. “She was not warmed up, so that would have been unfair to ask her to try to dive and save shots in a PK shootout.”

It was a full circle moment for Hines, who started her high school career by scoring the winning goal in a 1-0 state championship game her freshman year and closed it out by doing the same under the bright lights in her final game.

“It’s kind of a full-circle thing,” Hines said. “I scored the winning goal my freshman year in the championship game and then everyone came crashing down on me and hugging me again. It was a cool way to end it.”


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