Varsity Extra

Weiser sweeps 3A state soccer titles; Bouvia extends national scoring record

The Weiser girls soccer team celebrates winning the 3A state championship over Coeur d’Alene Charter on Saturday at Middleton High.
The Weiser girls soccer team celebrates winning the 3A state championship over Coeur d’Alene Charter on Saturday at Middleton High. For the Idaho Statesman

Weiser High junior Lauren Bouvia scored more goals this season than any player in high school soccer history.

The standout striker added three more to her record-setting total Saturday while helping the Wolverines achieve the biggest goal of all — a 3A state championship.

Bouvia netted a second-half hat trick — pushing her record goal totals to 16 for the three-game tournament and 127 on the season — and senior Grace Zimmerman added a first-half goal as Weiser rolled to a 4-1 victory over defending champion Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy.

“This is awesome,” Bouvia said. “I’d take this over scoring goals any day. It’s a whole team accomplishment and a really cool experience to share with all my friends and teammates.”

Weiser (20-1-0) got off to a slow start as CDA Charter (14-6-1) spent the first 10 minutes pressuring in the offensive zone. But Weiser goalkeeper Brittany Hickey stood tall, allowing the Wolverines to find their footing.

After generating several quality scoring chances, Weiser broke through in the 23rd minute. With defenders trying to keep Bouvia in check, Zimmerman found an opening and cashed in with a booming shot for a 1-0 lead.

“Teams try to target Lauren because she’s such a stellar player, but we have a good team working around her,” Zimmerman said. “We’ve worked hard to get here. ... This is definitely something I’ll remember forever.”

Weiser’s 1-0 lead held up through halftime, and Bouvia took over in the second half. The UC Davis commit pounced on a loose ball in the eighth minute to make it 2-0.

Bouvia’s full array of skills was on display in the 23rd minute, when she dribbled through defenders near midfield, zipped down the left sideline past two CDA Charter players and ripped a high shot into the top right corner for a 3-0 lead.

Bouvia iced the game in the 31st minute. She was hauled down just outside the penalty box, twisting her ankle in the process. She stayed on the field in obvious pain, and when the free kick was redirected to her standing near the goalpost, she used her good foot to send it home.

“Lauren is fantastic,” Weiser coach Sharona Olsen said. “And she’s not just a great player; she’s a good student and a really humble person. She’s a team player, too, and she’s the first one to congratulate her teammates when they have success.”

WEISER BOYS CAP 3A SOCCER SWEEP

Hours after the Weiser girls captured their title, the boys made it a sweep with a dominant victory. Senior captains Jose Perez and Oscar Padilla scored highlight-reel goals in the first half and the Wolverines maintained control from there in a 5-2 win over the Community School.

It is the first state championship in 15 years for Weiser, which finishes with a record of 16-2-2.

“It’s history,” Weiser coach Kathy Bokides said. “Weiser boys and girls champions in one day, it’s awesome. These guys worked so hard and wanted it so much. We’ve had some close calls at state the last few years, so I’m really happy to see these seniors get rewarded.”

Weiser was the more dangerous team from the outset. The Wolverines threatened multiple times in the early going, including a Tony Lopez bicycle kick that sailed just wide and an apparent goal by Perez that was nullified by an offside call in the 11th minute.

But the Wolverines kept the pressure on, and in the 21st minute, Perez cashed in. The senior dribbled along the left sideline and sent a bending, booming blast from an improbable angle into the top corner for a 1-0 lead.

Another impressive shot doubled the Weiser advantage in the 32nd minute. Padilla lined up for a straight-on free kick 10 yards outside the box and hit a high, looping shot over a wall of defenders and the goalkeeper

“The last couple years, coming up short, it was painful,” Padilla said. “But we learned from our mistakes. Growing up together has really helped us to become one, to become a family, and it really showed on the field.”

In the halftime huddle, an impassioned Perez urged teammates to keep the pressure on. He led by example in the 3rd minute, dribbling in close and slamming home his own rebound for a 3-0 lead.

Three minutes later, senior midfielder Roy Arana booted a long, looping left-footed shot that appeared to fool the keeper, and it found the back of the net, all but ending Community School’s hopes.

“It’s a great feeling, and a feeling that hard work really does pay off,” said Perez, who led Weiser with six state tournament goals. “We were the team that wanted it the most, and we’re really thankful to come out with this championship.”

Community School got on the board with Jay Fitzgerald’s penalty kick in the 9th minute, but Weiser’s Rodolfo Paloato roofed a rebound under the crossbar to restore a four-goal cushion. Weiser’s defense and goalkeeper Seve Bokides slammed the door from there, allowing only a late Cutthroats’ goal for the final margin.

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