Each side of the District 91 rivalry celebrated a victory in the first Emotion Cup of 2017 on Wednesday.
The Idaho Falls High School boys soccer team defeated Skyline 3-1 to begin the evening and the Skyline girls ended the night with a 2-1 win under the Ravsten Stadium lights.
A freshman arguably stole the show for the I.F. boys in their win. Scoring the final goal of the game in the 78th minute was Chris Peretti, who drilled the ball into the net off an assist from JoJo Harris despite having defenders on his heels. Peretti spread his arms with glee after the goal and was soon after embraced by Harris.
Idaho Falls head coach Ryan Cook, who is coaching the Tigers again for the first time since 2013, said freshmen rarely make varsity. The 2017 Tigers include two, Peretti and Israel “Junior” Sotl, and Cook said that is no mistake.
“I broke my own rules,” Cook said. “As we got going with our tryouts, I realized I’ve got two freshmen that can step up and play. You look at them and they don’t play like freshmen.”
Peretti’s goal was unlike I.F.’s first two, which were from penalty kicks by Kyle Fogg. His first penalty took place six minutes into the game to put I.F. up 1-0. The lead held until the 16th minute when Skyline’s Garret Wadsworth scored off a Carlos Ponce assist to knot the contest at 1-1. The rivals exchanged free kicks, corner kicks and saves, but the first half ended with the game tied.
The second half began much like how the first half ended. Defense ruled early in the second half and the wind picked up, carrying the ball higher and farther every time it went airborne. Idaho Falls drew a penalty kick in the 64th minute, which Fogg took and sent into the net to make it a 2-1 Tigers lead. Peretti’s goal came five minutes after a one-handed save by Skyline’s keeper, and it wrapped up a night that Cook said brought a lot of memories back for him.
“Since yesterday’s practice, I’ve had nerves,” Cook said, patting his heart. “Once the whistles blew, they went away. I played in this as a player for four years and it never changes. It’s an amazing feeling. Tonight was about them. Coming out with a win is a great way to end this game.”
Skyline coach Byraun Moretz said the Grizzlies were “outhustled” by the Tigers.
“We were gifting it to them,” Moretz said. “Even without the penalties, we were getting beat. Hats off to I.F. for taking advantage of a situation.”
Idaho Falls (4-3-1, 3-1-1 4A District 5-6) hosts Blackfoot on Monday at the Idaho Falls Soccer Complex while Skyline (2-3-3, 1-2-1) hosts Rigby on Saturday at the Idaho Falls Soccer Complex.
The girls game was not without intensity as the Ravsten Stadium lights came on later in the evening. A scoreless slugfest ensued until the 25th minute, when Bernice Chavez scored off a Bailey Johnson assist to put Skyline up 1-0. As was true in the boys game, the score remained unchanged entering halftime despite several shots from both teams that went just wide.
The score became 2-0 Skyline when Nachelle Horne scored on a free kick from just inside midfield in the 49th minute.
Horne took nearly every free kick for the Grizzlies on Wednesday, showing impressive range and precision each time.
“We watch her in practice and we tell her, when you get the opportunity to shoot, go ahead,” Skyline coach Kip Archibald said. “She can score from anywhere.”
Idaho Falls made it a one-goal game when Alex Herrera broke loose to score in the 52nd minute.
The game became a nailbiter for the remaining 28 minutes. While the Tigers sought an equalizer, the Grizzlies sought an insurance goal. Idaho Falls goalkeeper Oaklee Gose was a huge reason why the score remained 2-1 until the full time whistles blew.
The senior had a highlight reel of a game, featuring everything from one-handed saves to stuffing one versus one shots to making a diving save on a close-range second half free kick that drew “awes” from supporters of both teams.
“That was such a great save. Wow,” Archibald said. “Oaklee played amazing toinight.”
First-year I.F. coach Erika Cortez said Gose’s performance is a product of her offseason preparation.
“She’s inspiring to the whole team,” Cortez said. “She’d make a save, get back up and make another save. She has been training hard and working hard off the field.”
Skyline (6-1-1, 4-1-0) plays Saturday at Rigby while Idaho Falls (0-7-1, 0-5-1) plays Monday at Blackfoot.