Weiser girls come up short at 3A state tourney

The SRV District 3A soccer champions Lady Wolverines traveled to Twin Falls for state tournament that started Thursday, Oct. 18. They played three matches over three days. They walked away from the tournament with one win and two losses.
Game 1 vs Sugar-Salem 
 “Sugar-Salem was undefeated coming into this game Thursday, so we knew this would be a great opportunity to compete right away,” coach Bernie Weldon said. 
 Sugar-Salem had only been scored on twice all season, and that it would be a tough game from the start for Weiser.
 Weiser scored first with Marissa Moyle launching a long, powerful shot from outside the top of the goal at the 25 minute mark.  
 The Sugar-Salem Diggers responded just a couple of minutes later with an almost identical goal.  The game was tied 1-1 at half-time.  
 Early in the second half, Sugar-Salem scored again by passing through some gaps in Weiser’s defense. Weiser stepped up and played strong defense the rest of the game and kept the Diggers from scoring again.
 The Wolverines stayed aggressive with their offense and had several opportunities to score in the second half. Andrea Bouvia had a great shot after she faked the Sugar-Salem’s goalie into committing to the right then sent her shot to the left. The shot bounced off the goal post much to the surprise of both teams. For the whole game, the Lady Wolverines took a total of 21 shots at the Diggers’ goal.
 Final score was 2-1 in favor of Sugar-Salem. 
 Sugar-Salem went on to defeat Sun Valley Community School 3-0 before losing to CDA Charter in the finals and taking home second place.  
Game 2 vs Timberlake
 After the opening-round loss, Weiser met up with the Timberlake Tigers. Weiser scored early in the game at the 7 minute mark with Liz Perez dribbling through the middle of Timberlake’s backfield and sending the ball to the back of the Tiger’s net after receiving a great pass from Bouvia.
 At the 25 minute mark, Bouvia was able to get a long shot off from outside the 18 that cleared just higher than Timberlake’s keeper could reach for Weiser’s second goal of the game. 
 Five minutes later, Madelyn Erickson and Perez worked the ball together past Timberlake’s defense with Perez finishing off the goal.  
 Timberlake was able to sneak in a goal at the 35 minute mark bringing the score to 3-1.  
 In the next 3 minutes there would be a flurry of offense by both teams.  Alex Bittinger sent a great pass to Perez who then used her superior ball-handling skills to score her third goal of the day.  
 Shortly afterward, Timberlake would score a long-ball from the right side high into the goal.  The half-time score was 4-2. 
 Weiser controlled the tempo throughout most of the second half, but was unable to convert several great attacks from both sides of the field by Weiser’s outside midfielders, Rhianna Soliz, Abi Harris, Emma Burns, and Elle Svedin.  The aggressive play by the offense tallied up a total of 16 shots on the Tiger’s goal.
 The final score was 4-2 in favor of Weiser.  
Game 3 vs Teton
 Saturday brought about the final game of the tournament for the Wolverines against the Teton Redskins.
 “Teton’s only loss in the tournament was a close game against CDA Charter who was undefeated this season and ended up taking first place in the State tournament.  So we knew this was going to be a tough game,” coach Weldon said. 
 The beginning of the game was a defensive struggle with very strong play from team captain, Aline Cortez, as well as the rest of the backfield, Yerika Marquez, Madison Phillips, Shalee Huggins, and Kaiya Sanchez. 
 The first goal of the game was made by Weiser’s other captain Perez, at the 30 minute mark of the first half.  Liz launched a powerful long-ball straight-away from outside the 18 to the top-left of the goal.  
 The Wolverines would hold a 1-0 lead at half-time.  
 Five minutes into the second half, Kate Bleffert of Teton made a left-footed shot from outside the center of the 18 for Teton’s first goal of the game.  
 Both teams would battle back and forth for the next 25 minutes.  Weiser’s Alexis Warner, Makaela Ruiz, and Jakaela Ruiz rotated frequently in a center-midfield position to keep fresh both offensively and defensively.  
 With approximately 10 minutes remaining in the game, Teton was awarded a penalty kick which they converted into their second goal.  
 Weiser made a strong push to score down the stretch, but the final score was 2-1 in favor of Teton. While Weiser’s offense had a strong showing, they only made 6 shots at the goal this game.
 Coach Weldon could not be prouder of the team, “Not only did Weiser girls soccer play very well in the state tournament, they also represented the school and the program very well.  Several times they were complimented about their respectfulness and positive attitudes both on the field by officials and opposing team’s parents; as well as off the field by restaurants where they ate and places they visited during the tournament.”

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