Two firsts were accomplished at the 5A Region I boys and girls soccer championship matches Saturday afternoon.
The Post Falls boys and Lewiston girls captured their first regional titles, doing so in impressive fashion with shutouts. No. 1 seed Post Falls blanked visiting Lake City 3-0 and visiting Lewiston knocked off top-seeded Lake City 2-0.
All four teams are headed to state. The tournaments, which begin Thursday, will be held in the Meridian area. In the boys, Post Falls (16-0-2) meets District III third seed and 2010 state runner-up Centennial (8-4-5) and Lake City (9-6-2) faces District III champ Mountain View (15-1-1). In the girls, Lake City (10-4-3) takes on District III champ and defending state champ Boise (13-3-1) and Lewiston (9-5-3) goes against District III third seed Timberline (11-3-3).
5A boys: Post Falls coach Gabe Lawson thought the Trojans’ play mirrored how they performed most of the season. They dominated on the back line and that carried to the front, where standout sophomore forward Timmy Mueller scored two of the three goals.
Mueller, who led the 5A Inland Empire League in scoring, has 23 goals and eight assists. He got an assist on the Trojans’ other goal.
Eight minutes into the match, Mueller went high to head a corner kick by Reece Jackson into the back of the net.
About 20 minutes later, Post Falls took a 2-0 lead when Mueller beat LC goalie Tanner Horton to the corner for a loose ball that he fed to Cole Jesienouski, who chipped the ball from 7 yards out into the open net.
A minute into the second half, Mueller drilled a shot from 18 yards past a diving Horton.
“In warmups we were focused and we dialed in on what we needed to do,” Mueller said. “We just executed it.”
Post Falls is making its second trip to state in three years.
Trojan defenders Kyler Floch, Gerrard Rezinowski, Jackson Redline and Brady Ulen kept things relatively clean in front of goalie Scott Benner. In the middle, Jackson, Matt Howard and Nathan White possessed many balls and pushed them through to Mueller, Jesienouski and Ruben Briseno.
LC’s Horton, one of the best goalies in the region, scrambled for 10 saves.
“There’s nothing we could do on that third goal (by Mueller),” LC coach Chad Beadell said. “It was an unbelievable shot by an unbelievable finisher.”
5A girls: Lewiston is making its second trip to state, and they come in back-to-back years.
The Bengals dominated ball possession in the first half.
“We haven’t had a first half like that for a long time … well, since the last time we played at Lewiston and that was our last loss,” LC coach Matt Ruchti said. “From the beginning I knew we weren’t prepared for the first half. Not to take anything away from Lewiston. They played hard and deserved to win.”
On the match’s first corner kick, Lewiston freshman Madison Taylor curled the ball perfectly and senior forward Kellsi Parson put it away on a point-blank header at 12 minutes.
With less than 2 minutes to go before intermission, Parson fed Taylor, who put in her first goal of the season from 8 yards out.
3A District I-II
The Bonners Ferry boys advance to state for a seventh straight year as the Badgers shut out St. Maries 3-0 in the title match in Rathdrum.
Hayden Wakkinen scored two goals, each on an assist from Andrew Zarate.
The Badgers, state runners-up last year, open state Thursday against District IV champ Filer (7-7-4) at Vallivue High School in Caldwell.
• In the girls title match, Timberlake topped Kellogg 3-2 at Rathdrum.
Both teams are headed to state, which begins Thursday at Vallivue High. Timberlake (8-7-2) faces District VI champ Teton (13-1-2) while Kellogg, making its first trip to state, meets District IV champ Community Schools (13-4-1).