The Centennial High girls soccer team repeated as 5A District Three champions Wednesday, coming from behind to top Borah 2-1 at Rocky Mountain High.
The victory clinches the Patriots (16-2-0) the top seed at next week’s state tournament. But it also means Centennial heads into state saddled with “The Curse.”
No District Three girls soccer team has won a district and 5A state championship in the same season since the Idaho High School Activities Association began sponsoring the state tournament in 2000, leading some to believe teams would be better off to lose the district championship than win it.
But Centennial isn’t buying into the urban legend, even after losing to eventual state champ Lake City in last year’s state semifinals as a district champ.
“We’ve brought it up before,” Centennial coach Steven Snider said. “But we feel like realistically that hasn’t affected anything. We need to be the best team if we’re going to win (state).
“I think there has been reasons why that’s happened before, and it’s a team not being at their best on a given day or getting beat by a better team on a given day. I don’t think it has any effect on us, and we’re not worried about it going forward.”
Both Centennial and Borah clinched state tournament berths before Thursday. The win allows Centennial to open the state tournament against the to-be-determined East Idaho runner-up at 9 a.m. Oct. 19 at Meridian High. Borah (14-3-0) will face the winner of Saturday’s state play-in game between Rocky Mountain and Post Falls at 2 p.m. Oct. 19 at Rocky Mountain.
The Lions, who qualified for state for the first time since 2006, opened the scoring Wednesday in the 27th minute when Myrrin Tylinski fired a shot to the far post from an impossibly low angle. Borah carried that lead into halftime before the Patriots took over with their dynamic striker pair.
Utah commit Makayla Christensen dribbled through three Lions defenders in the 50th minute for her 37th goal of the season to tie the game. Two minutes later, BYU commit Josie Bush put the Patriots ahead when she one-timed an assist from Jade Maldenado at the top of the 18-yard box.
With back-to-back district titles in hand, Christensen dismissed “The Curse” as an obstacle for Centennial next week, saying the Patriots control their own destiny at state.
“It’s cool to say we’ve got two (district titles),” Christensen said. “But that’s not it. We’re not done. We’re not going to stop there. We still have state, and we’re ready.”
BOISE BOYS CLINCH ANOTHER TITLE
Conference-leading scorer Kaden Baratcart proved too much for the Borah defense to handle, scoring two goals and adding an assist to lead the Braves to a 3-0 victory and their fourth 5A District Three title in six years.
But Baratcart said the defending state champs have their eyes on a larger goal.
“It’s big, but it’d be bigger if we won state back to back,” the senior forward said. “That’s our biggest goal.”
Baratcart took over the game from the opening whistle, notching an assist in the fourth minute when he set up Carter Luthy’s opening goal.
Baratcart then paired with midfielder Matt Ivanoff for two insurance goals. Ivanoff laid the ball off for Baratcart in the 35th minute, and he split a pair of Borah centerbacks for his 18th goal of the season.
He added his 19th goal in the 59th minute when he banged in a rebound off a point-blank Ivanoff shot to put the game out of reach.
“He’s a beast,” Boise coach Mike Darrow said. “He’s strong, he goes 100 mph and even if you hit him, he’s still going 100 mph and it hurts you. He’s been huge for us all year.”
Boise (15-1-1) will face the to-be-determined runner-up from East Idaho at 9 a.m. Oct. 19 at Eagle High in the first round of the state tournament. Borah (12-4-1) faces the winner of Saturday’s play-in game at 2 p.m. Oct. 19 at Eagle.
4A STATE BERTHS CLINCHED
Lauren Elwer scored twice to lead the Bishop Kelly girls (18-0-0) to a 4-0 win over Caldwell that clinched the Knights their 38th straight victory, a state tournament berth and a spot in the 4A District Three championship at 3 p.m. Saturday at Caldwell.
The Knights will face Skyview (16-2-0), which edged Vallivue 2-1 to also earn a state bid.
In the 4A boys tournament, two-time defending district champ Caldwell (12-3-3) knocked off Vallivue 3-2 in the district semifinals. The Cougars face 4A SIC regular-season champ Ridgevue (16-1-2), a 3-1 winner over Skyview, at 3 p.m. Saturday at Emmett High for the district title.