Varsity Extra

No clear favorite as 5A girls soccer moves to postseason

Mountain View midfielder Hailey Hill (18) fights for possession of the ball with Centennial defender Sasha DeVille (5) during a game on the Patriots’ home pitch Oct. 3, 2016.
Mountain View midfielder Hailey Hill (18) fights for possession of the ball with Centennial defender Sasha DeVille (5) during a game on the Patriots’ home pitch Oct. 3, 2016. doswald@idahostatesman.com

The final day of the 5A Southern Idaho Conference regular season in girls soccer Monday brought little clarity.

Although seeding for the 12-team District Three Tournament is set, the top half of the league remains tight heading into Thursday’s opening round at Mountain View and Centennial high schools.

All but two of the regular season games between the conference’s top four teams were decided by a single goal or ended in a tie, and no team scored more than one goal in those matchups, save for No. 1 Timberline’s 3-1 and 5-1 victories against No. 4 Mountain View.

“It’s just one of those seasons where really anybody has a chance,” Timberline coach Ross Schultz said. “I’m not going to predict anything. I’m just saying that any given day, any given team can win at this point, and each coach likes their chances. We all think we have the better team.”

Two-time defending state champion and No. 2 Centennial tied Timberline (1-1), Mountain View (0-0) and Rocky Mountain (1-1), and preseason favorite Boise dropped to fifth in the standings despite only two losses.

“The margins are smaller than they used to be,” Boise coach Chris Siegenthaler said. “And so that makes with one or two chances missed here or there, or one or two chances given away on the other side, games that were wins are now draws and games that were a little clearer in advance for certain teams aren’t as easy.”

Boise beat Timberline 2-1 and Mountain View 1-0 in early-season games that did not count toward league standings. The Braves then tied the Wolves 1-1 and Mavericks 2-2 while suffering losses to Centennial 2-1 and Rocky Mountain 1-0.

“This is probably the closest year in the six years I’ve been coaching here that I’ve seen the league,” Schultz said. “It literally will go down to the last minute probably of each game. It’s going to be that close.”

The 5A District Three boys tournament also begins Thursday with play-in games at Timberline. Championship games are set for 5 p.m. Oct. 12 at Timberline (boys) and Centennial (girls).

Rachel Roberts: 208-377-6422, @IDS_VarsityX

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