Rocky Mountain girls, Boise boys claim 5A District Three soccer championships

rroberts@idahostatesman.comOctober 17, 2013 

  • TODAY’S 4A TITLE GAMES

    Girls: Bishop Kelly vs. Middleton, 5 p.m. at Emmett High

    Boys: Emmett vs. Caldwell, 5 p.m. at Columbia High in Nampa

EAGLE — Two was the lucky number for two soccer teams Wednesday night.

The No. 2 seeds in the boys and girls championship games emerged with victories at Eagle High’s Thunder Stadium.

The Rocky Mountain girls used a second-half comeback to defeat Timberline 2-1, while the Boise boys led from start to finish in a 3-1 victory over Centennial.

All four teams advance to their state tournaments Oct. 24-26 at Eagle, Meridian and Rocky Mountain high schools.

GIRLS: ROCKY MOUNTAIN 2, TIMBERLINE 1

Raimee Sherle was easily the smallest person on the field, but the 5-foot-2 sophomore didn’t have any trouble making her presence known. Sherle scored two second-half goals to give Rocky Mountain the school’s first district title in the sport.

“I think everyone underestimates her just because of her size,” Rocky Mountain coach Donal Kaehler said. “But her speed and quickness and her agility with the ball give her the ability to find exactly that one little gap that she can get through.”

Sherle has scored the game-winning goal eight times this season. She led the 5A Southern Idaho Conference in the regular season with 23 goals and eight assists. She has five goals in three tournament games.

“We did this as a team,” said Sherle, who got assists on her goals from senior Makenzie Welch and junior Addy Standlee. “It wasn’t any individual. We were a team with this, and I am so happy we won.”

Rocky Mountain (15-1-2) earns the district’s No. 1 seed at state. The Grizzlies will open against the District One-Two (northern Idaho) runner-up at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at Rocky Mountain High.

Rocky Mountain won its first state title in 2011, but missed the tournament last year after being upset at districts.

“I think bummed is an understatement. It was a disaster for us,” Kaehler said of failing to make state in 2012. “For some of the girls it took weeks for them to recover from that. It was hard because we had such an incredible (regular) season.”

The Grizzlies are also determined to end a “curse” associated with winning the district championship. Since the mid-1990s, coaches say no 5A District Three girls team has gone on to win a state title in the same season.

“I think we can break it. I definitely believe that we can do it,” Rocky senior defender Sarah Toney said. “We have the team, we have the potential and we have the talent.”

Timberline (12-3-2), Boise (15-2-1) and Centennial (7-6-3) also qualified for state.

BOYS: BOISE 3, CENTENNIAL 1

Boise’s dominant first half proved more than enough to secure back-to-back district championship wins.

Mursal Dahiri, Peyton Harris and Gavin Gunner each scored goals during an 11-minute stretch to knock the wind out of Centennial’s championship hopes.

“We like to start a game so fast that our enemies are afraid of us when they come back,” said Dahiri, who was the first to score on an assist from Reagan Phillips in the 28th minute.

Boise will be the district’s No. 1 seed at state, where the Braves aim for their fourth championship since 2007 and first since 2011. Boise lost 3-0 to Post Falls in last year’s title game.

“I think it means a lot to all of us. Four of the guys on the team have already won it, so we know what it feels like,” said goalkeeper Grant Billings, who was a part of the 2011 title team, along with Carter Perry, Everett Smith and Garrett Hardesty.

“Obviously the rest of them haven’t. We were so close last year coming in second, so we want it really bad.”

Centennial junior Robert Madril ended Boise’s shutout bid with a goal in the 45th minute.

“We played really well in the second half,” Centennial coach Brian Gillenwater said. “We brought it back together as a team and the boys showed character. That’s what we needed and we’ll use that momentum going forward.”

Centennial (15-2-0), Timberline (10-7-0) and Borah (10-7-0) join Boise at state.

Rachel Roberts: 377-6422, Twitter: @IDS_VarsityX

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