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Sandpoint new ruler of 4A

MIDDLETON, Idaho – It was an incredible scene Saturday in the 4A State girls soccer final as Sandpoint pulled off a 1-0 upset of Bishop Kelly at Middleton High School.

Senior forward Sierra Scott scored a first-half goal and the Bulldogs made it stand up, ending the Knights’ 89-match unbeaten streak and three-year run as state champion.

For the first time in their varsity careers, Bishop Kelly’s seniors walked off the field in defeat, while the Bulldogs – who did not reach the state tournament last season – walked off as champions.

“It’s an indescribable feeling,” Scott said. “We’ve wanted this for so long. To finally get here and win, it’s just incredible.”

Bishop Kelly got off to a rocky start. Standout forward Mickie Piechowski was injured on an inadvertent but violent collision in the ninth minute and did not return. The Knights also had a goal disallowed in the 25th minute when officials ruled that Bishop Kelly forward Maddie Minnaert was offside.

Then, in the 32nd minute, Sandpoint struck. Paige Crane centered a free kick from the left wing, and Scott was there to knock home her second goal of the state tournament, her 17th of the season.

“I tell myself to want it, every second of every game,” Scott said. “I just try to get anything I can on the ball to tap it in, and that’s what I did.”

Bishop Kelly kept the pressure on throughout the second half, but Sandpoint goalkeeper Makayla Sundquist was equal to the challenge. The senior, who did not allow a goal in three state tournament matches, finished with seven saves in the victory.

“I’m just ecstatic,” Sundquist said. “Ever since I was a freshman, I’ve wanted to sign a state championship banner.”

Desperation kicked in late for the Knights, who threw everything they had at the Sandpoint defense. But the Bulldogs stood tall, calmly controlling the ball and rallying to block any clean shot at the goal.

“This team perseveres,” Sandpoint coach Conor Baranski said. “You saw that today with the girls’ commitment to get to every loose ball, to get two bodies in front of every shot. The girls deserved to win.”

Sandpoint also defeated Bishop Kelly for the state championship in 2009, but the Knights had not lost since. Bishop Kelly was seeking a fourth consecutive title – and sixth in seven seasons – prior to Saturday’s stunner.

5A State

Maeghan Bare, Havana Johnson and Maddi Ward all scored as defending state-champion Lake City edged Highland 3-2 in overtime in the consolation championship at Meridian HS in Meridian, Idaho. Timberwolves’ keeper Tiegan Horton made eight saves.

3A State

Katie Baxter scored twice to guide Coeur d’Alene Charter to a 3-1 win over Shelley in the consolation championship at Vallivue High School in Caldwell, Idaho. Johanna Ramb also scored for the Panthers.