Girls soccer in the 5A Southern Idaho Conference is always a back-and-forth battle between the league’s heavyweights.
This season, any one of six teams could finish atop the league standings, win the district tournament or capture the state title. Or three different teams could claim those three championships.
Who will come out on top? And at the 4A level, can anyone end Bishop Kelly’s dynasty?
PLAYERS TO WATCH
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Kylee Geis, M, Borah
The junior and Utah commit runs the point of Borah’s attack, spraying the ball all over the field to find the defense’s weak point and the most advantageous route toward the goal.
“She can switch the point of attack and catch teams on the counter,” Mountain View coach Alyssa Gentle said. “She also is not afraid to take a shot or go one-on-one with a keeper.”
Zoe Transtrum, M, Borah
The senior and Montana commit does it all in the midfield for the Lions, tracking back to eliminate danger, winning loose balls and kickstarting the counterattack.
“She’s patient and always makes great decisions while helping her teammates get better and improve,” Capital coach Jon Ruiz said. “Leaving her room to work can be a mistake that could hurt you.”
Makayla Christensen, F, Centennial
The two-time, first-team all-state and all-conference striker enters her senior season committed to Utah. Her ability to break down defenders off the dribble and her nose for the goal have her poised for another prolific season.
“She is one of the hardest players in the district to defend against,” Ruiz said. “She has an incredible shot and amazing speed. A great goal scorer.”
Lily Schlake, M, Rocky Mountain
The Portland commit returns for her senior season after earning first-team all-conference and all-state honors last season. Her tight control of the ball, composure and field vision make her a nightmare for other teams.
“If you have your players chase her on the field, they will just get tired and sad,” Boise coach Chris Siegenthaler said.
Lauren Elwer, M/F, Bishop Kelly
The junior will shoulder much of the scoring load after the graduation of Aubree Chatterton, the state player of the year. Elwer’s intelligence, creativity and raw speed will make her a force.
“She has a real nose for the goal,” Bishop Kelly coach Meagan Lyons said.
Sydney Smith, GK, Caldwell
She was a first-team 4A SIC selection in the midfield last season, but the Cougars moved the senior back to her natural position this season in goal. She’s committed to Boise State.
“We were kind of young this year,” Caldwell coach Eric Garza said. “So having somebody back there and not having to worry about that position is a big deal confidence-wise.”
5A SIC BREAKDOWN
The defensive line at ROCKY MOUNTAIN will remain one of the conference’s most suffocating as it returns three starters from a unit that allowed just eight goals last season, including the district and state tournaments.
Look for the defending state runner-up to boost an offense that struggled at times last year. Jordyn Dalling, the league’s second-leading scorer, returns at the top of the formation, and the central midfield pairing of Schlake and Grace Wilson is formidable.
Perennial power BOISE didn’t win a state tournament trophy last season for the first time since the IHSAA began sponsoring the tournament in 2000, going two-and-out. But the Braves return plenty of talent to bring home more hardware this fall.
Defensive midfielder/central defender Julia Lewis (a Boise State commit) returns for her third season as a starter. And the team’s leading scorer, Abby Keeley (14 goals), will lead the attack again.
Defending district champ CENTENNIAL fields one of the most potent striker pairs in the league in Christensen (Utah commit) and Josie Bush (BYU commit). Add in wing Delaney Johnston (Idaho State commit) and the Patriots could lead the SIC in scoring again.
BORAH returns a loaded lineup as the Lions try to qualify for state for the first time since 2006. Five players have committed to Division I programs. Geis and Payton McBride are headed to Utah, Transtrum and McKenzie Kilpatrick to Montana and Macie Nelson to Boise State.
TIMBERLINE remains a potent goal-scoring force with the return of forwards Gabi Coprivnicar and Madison Carter. And MOUNTAIN VIEW is strong in the middle with all four midfielders returning to feed the ball to senior forward Tori Sloan.
4A SIC BREAKDOWN
BISHOP KELLY remains the undisputed favorite after closing last season on a 20-game winning streak to claim its eighth straight district title and seventh state championship in the IHSAA era. The Knights outscored their opponents 112-8 during their run.
The Knights return seven starters, including the Elwer triplets. Lauren was a first-team all-conference forward and Evelyn a first-team defender. Grace earned second-team honors in the midfield.
SKYVIEW stands as the top contender to BK. The Hawks bring back first-team all-conference midfielder Brenna Rill, an Idaho commit, but must replace 12 seniors.
Meanwhile, MIDDLETON is building a potent attack around underclassmen with sophomore Emalie Wood, and juniors Emmy Williams and Maddy Arnold.