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2022 Statewide Girls Soccer Preview
All three championship winners from 2021 return strong squads. Which teams can unseat them?
Published: 8/15/2022 12:12:40 PM
 

With the opening weekend of statewide competition fast approaching, here's a look at the teams and players that could contend for postseason honors in 2022.

CLASS 5A


The 5A classification should be deep yet again as good teams hail from all different parts of the state. The SIC always has a handful of legitimate contenders while two teams outside the Treasure Valley will look to continue their dominance over their respective leagues. 

Rocky Mountain returns second team all-state selection Kaitlyn Slocum. Her skills were a vital part in the Grizzlies sweeping the regular season and district tournament SIC titles in 2021 that included an impressive 11-0 record in league play and 20-2 overall.


After dropping the opener to Lone Peak, Utah, they reeled off 19 straight wins, but met their match against Boise in the state tournament. The Brave avenged a 2-0 regular season loss with a 5-3 win to advance to the state championship game where they fell to Lake City 1-0. Rocky Mountain atoned for the loss by beating top seeded Highland 3-1 in the 3rd place game.

The Grizzlies did lose some key players however. 5A player of the year Violet Rademacher is gone as well as four additional all-state players in Boise State commit Nadia Kincaid, Ellie Stoll, Ashley Wind, and Sierra Blaine. 

 
Boise may be Rocky Mountain’s biggest threat in the league yet again. An impressive four all-state players return for the Brave, including one who has committed to play college at the Division 1 level. Sophia Hills will play college soccer at Portland. Other 2021 all-state honorees for Boise include Evie Bretz, Sammy Smith, and Avery Howell.


Timberline should also be right there in the top tier of the conference despite the loss of some all-state talent as the Wolves have shown they are capable of reloading. The next teams up are likely Mountain View and Eagle, but perhaps someone else can surprise as well.

In Eastern Idaho, it looks to be Highland, then everyone else. The Rams ran roughshod through the High Country Conference with no game closer than a 2-0 decision against Rigby.  They only allowed one goal in all of conference play, and even that was in a 9-1 win over Idaho Falls.


They would not allow more than one goal in any of their games overall up until the state tournament where they finished in 4th place after losing back-to-back games to eventual state champion Lake City in the semifinals and Rocky Mountain in the 3rd place game.

Highland enters the 2022 season still seeking its first state title and they will have to do it without star players Kayzee Vaughan, Sandree Bell, and Morgan Christensen.

Up north, Lake City looks to be at the top of the Inland Empire League yet again. The Timberwolves may have dropped a 1-0 decision to Sandpoint in their 2021 opener, but they would not be beaten the rest of the way outside of a tie to Gonzaga Prep, Washington.


They survived an upset bid by rival
Coeur d’Alene in the district tournament to take the four seed into the state tournament. There, they went on to play their best soccer of the season, showing grit through one-goal wins against Timberline, Highland, and Boise on their way to their second state title and first since 2012. Georgia Whitehead will play a key part in the Timberwolves’ quest for a repeat as Lucy Evens and Elliotte Kortus are gone.


CLASS 4A


Most of the talent at the 4A classification is found outside of the SIC with the top four seeds at state last year; Twin Falls, Skyline, Canyon Ridge, and Pocatello, all coming from outside the Treasure Valley. Despite that, the Southern Idaho Conference still performed well at state with Vallivue finishing as runner-up and Bishop Kelly taking 4th place.

The SIC is likely to be a three-team race between Bishop Kelly, Vallivue, and Skyview. The Hawks return to the 4A SIC after four years in the 5A SIC and should be contenders right away. BK will have two of the best players in the league with Boise State commit Lexi Chatterton and Sophia Schmautz.


Caldwell, which finished 6th in the league during the regular season, will also look to build on its Cinderella run to the state tournament last season and become a regular contender in the conference as well with key players Grace Sams and Shaelyn Olson returning for the Cougars.

Columbia and Ridgevue are also capable of surprising and are worth keeping an eye on.

The Magic Valley was home to a dominant state champion. Twin Falls dropped their opener to Highland, but went relatively unchallenged from that point forward, winning 20 straight en route to a state title.


The Bruins lost some key pieces from last year’s title team. 4A state player of the year Kaylin Bailey graduated as well as Madelyn McQueen and Emily Miller. However, the Bruins should be able to reload, and first-team all-state selection Miranda Wilson is back. Canyon Ridge, Wood River, Mountain Home, and Jerome look to round out the next tier in the Great Basin Conference as they look to catch ground on Twin Falls.

Pocatello will look to repeat in District 5, but it should be a tightly contested league. Century is firmly in the discussion as well and despite a disappointing year from Preston, the Indians can never be counted out only being two years removed from a state title.

In District 6, Skyline will look to repeat in the High Country Conference. While it did not cruise through its league like other teams around the state, the Grizzlies still earned the number two seed at state and finished in 3rd place.


Skyline’s biggest threat in the High Country Conference seems to be Bonneville, who will seek to make up for a state play-in loss to Caldwell and get back to the state tournament. Hillcrest and Idaho Falls, the latter of which returns to 4A after two years at 5A, will also look to contend in the league. 

Perhaps the biggest team to keep an eye on comes from Northern Idaho. Sandpoint missed the state tournament by virtue of an upset loss to Moscow in the district tournament. The Bulldogs were 12-0 all the way up until losing a 1-0 shocker to the Bears.


Sandpoint will enter the season with plenty to prove as it looks to get back to the state tournament and reestablish its position among the top teams in the state. Even with three all-state players gone, Sandpoint should still remain the team to beat in the Inland Empire League.


CLASS 
3A

The biggest storyline at the 3A classification in 2021 was Coeur d’Alene Charter not winning the state title. The Panthers were upset by Teton in the first round of the state tournament, but were able to rebound and win the consolation bracket. It was the first time they failed to win the state title since 2015.

2021, instead, was a story about Fruitland. The Grizzlies’ first state title since 2008 capped off an impressive 19-0-1 run with the lone tie coming against La Grande, Oregon. The next closest team in District 3, McCall-Donnelly, will have a wide gap to close to catch up with Fruitland. The Grizzlies should be strong yet again as 3A player of the year Abbi Roubidoux is back along with plenty of other talent.

 
Sun Valley Community School proved strong yet again, finishing as runner up in the state tournament and giving Fruitland all they could handle in a 4-3 loss. While Kimberly won the regular season title and swept the regular season series with the Cutthroats, Sun Valley avenged the losses by beating the Bulldogs in consecutive games in the district and state tournament.


Gretel Huss and Mia Hansmeyer will be key players for Sun Valley as they look to remain firm on top of the High Desert Conference.

Kimberly will look to remain in the top tier of the league with Sun Valley yet again while Wendell, Buhl, and Gooding appear to be the teams most up to the task of joining the two in the top tier of the conference.

 
Marsh Valley and Snake River look to be the frontrunners yet again in District 5. The Eagles return two all-state players in Camri Campbell and Kamailee Singh.


Another two team race is expected in District 6 between Sugar-Salem and Teton. The two teams met in the 3rd place game last season with the Diggers winning in penalty kicks. Sugar-Salem will have two all-state players back in Gail Garcia and Ellie Puzey. 

Up north, Coeur d'Alene Charter will be on a quest for redemption after having a streak of five straight state titles snapped. Even with less returning talent compared to previous seasons, the Panthers should yet again be a clear favorite in the Intermountain League, as Rebekah Hines is a dynamic scorer.


Timberlake looks to be the biggest threat to Coeur d’Alene Charter, but the Tigers still have some work to do to close the gap with the Panthers.









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