Bishop Kelly girls, Emmett boys win 4A district soccer titles

Knights claim fifth in a row, while Huskies bring home first championship.

rroberts@idahostatesman.comOctober 18, 2013 

EMMETT — For 80 minutes, freshman goalkeeper Kylee Atkins barely had to lift a finger.

She has her Bishop Kelly High girls soccer teammates to thank for the easy night.

The Knights kept Middleton on the defensive en route to a 2-0 victory and their fifth consecutive 4A District Three championship Thursday at Emmett High.

BK held the Vikings to three offensive shots, and Atkins was called upon only once to scoop up the ball, and that was with less than 5 minutes remaining after the Knights (18-0-1) had already cleared their bench.

Senior forward Mickie Piechowski accounted for both of Bishop Kelly’s goals, raising her season total to 31.

“She has an incredible work ethic that somehow is able to track down all those balls and continue to work the entire game and then put goals away when you need them,” Bishop Kelly coach Curtis Eisenberger said. “The overall impact that she has on our team is as big as any player. She’s amazing.”

Overwhelming speed and ball control proved to be the Knights’ greatest assets against Middleton (13-3-3).

Three of Bishop Kelly’s forwards — Maddie Minnaert, Mikaela Sawyer and Piechowski — ran track and qualified for the 4A state 100- or 200-meter finals last season.

“We are very fast,” Eisenberger said. “I think the ability to combine all that speed with all the skill is pretty incredible.”

Piechowski scored her first goal in the 11th minute, collecting the rebound off her own shot — which Middleton keeper Maddie Brown had deflected with her foot.

She added her second goal — and fourth against Middleton this season — in the 70th minute.

If not for Brown, the score could have been much more lopsided.

The senior — who also is a standout for the Vikings on the basketball court — made multiple saves on tough shots, jumping once to deflect a ball over the crossbar.

“It just motivates us even more to go harder. Every time we get so close and we get so close, we just want to push a little bit harder,” Brown said. “It is going to be even sweeter to go into state and give it all we’ve got.”

BK and Middleton played to a 1-1 tie in September. It marked the first time since October 2009 that the Knights finished a game with anything other than a win.

Both teams advance to the state tournament Oct. 24-26 at Brothers Park in Caldwell. Columbia (10-7-3) — a 3-0 winner over Skyview in the third-place game — is headed to state for the first time since 2008.

The Knights aren’t making any guarantees they’ll be hoisting the state championship trophy for a fourth consecutive season.

“State is definitely another level. We’ve won the past three times, but it could have gone either way all three times,” senior Lizzie Thometz said. “We still need to work hard. It’s not going to be a cake walk at all.”

BOYS: EMMETT 4, CALDWELL 3 (2OT)

Trailing 3-1 at halftime, Emmett completed a furious comeback to win its first 4A District Three championship in boys soccer.

Senior forward Kevin Solis scored two goals in the final 10 minutes of regulation to force overtime.

Solis then broke through for the game-winner with about 3 minutes remaining in double overtime.

“Everybody grabbed him after the goal, and we were running around the field like chickens with no head,” Emmett coach Aristo Alvizo said. “All the parents and friends that were watching the game went also on the field. It got crazy for like 10 minutes.”

Emmett (10-7-2), Caldwell (13-4-2) and Mountain Home (13-5-2) advance to state.

Rachel Roberts: 377-6422, Twitter: @IDS_VarsityX

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