At the start of the season, fourth-year Lake City boys soccer coach Alan Rich wasn’t quite sure what to expect from his team in 2019.
Call it a youth movement, but the Timberwolves were replacing 10 starters lost to graduation.
After Saturday, you can’t really call them newcomers anymore.
State qualifiers, you can do that.
Noah Janzen and Jackson Henkle scored one minute apart in the first half for third-seeded Lake City, which beat second-seeded Post Falls 4-1 in the 5A Region 1 tournament opener in Post Falls.
“Our kids have a lot of heart,” Rich said. “They wanted it as much as I wanted it for them. At the end of the day, the coaches can’t go out and execute for them. They went out and did it today, and they deserve it.”
Lake City (8-2-3) advances to the regional championship game where it will travel to top-seeded Coeur d’Alene — a 7-1 winner over Lewiston — on Thursday at 3:30 p.m.
Post Falls, which tied Coeur d’Alene for the 5A IEL title and lost a coin flip for the top seed to regionals, finishes 10-2-1.
In the regular season, Coeur d’Alene beat Lake City 1-0 on Sept. 21 at Coeur d’Alene High. The teams tied 3-3 in the second match on Oct. 2 at the Irma Andrel Soccer Complex at Lake City High.
“The first game was a little rough, but the second game was a good game,” Lake City senior midfielder Jackson Henkle said. “I’m hoping that this next one will be a better one.”
Lake City 4, Post Falls 1: Noah Janzen crept behind the Post Falls defense and opened the scoring in the fifth minute. His goal was followed by Henkle, who took a pass from Noah Janzen to give Lake City a 2-0 lead six minutes into the match.
“In the first game, we started slow against them,” said Henkle, whose Timberwolves lost 4-3 at Post Falls on Sept. 24, then tied the Trojans 2-2 on Oct. 5 at home. “We knew that if we started fast, we’d be able to catch them off guard.”
“Our plan was to start fast and that was the pregame message,” Rich said. “Like a lot of teams, we’ve got some injuries right now and had a lot of guys that gutted it out. I’m proud of this team because it’s probably the youngest in Lake City history with two freshmen, six sophomores, only two juniors and a handful of seniors. Those younger kids played at least two grades above their age today, and played really well.”
“We lost a mark twice in the same spot in the first five minutes of the match,” Post Falls coach Gabe Lawson said. “We were playing catchup and adjusting things that we wouldn’t have been doing otherwise. At that point (of the first two goals) we were dominating the match and it was only the second time they’d been in our half of the field. We gave up those goals, and it was frustrating.”
“Early in the season, it seemed clear to us that we couldn’t beat the other teams in our league,” Henkle said. “We just kept going as a team. Today, it was everyone giving their best effort. We knew we had the win just as long as we were playing together as one.”
Jacob Janzen capped the first-half scoring in the 28th minute for Lake City.
Post Falls cut the deficit to 3-1 in the 54th minute on a breakaway goal by Carson Jacobsen.
Bryce Allred capped the scoring on an assist from Jacob Janzen in the 62nd minute for Lake City.
“I’ve been telling them all season that they’ve been playing well enough to win,” Rich said. “But we had some mental errors that cost us games. This time around, this group was mentally sharp and did exactly what we’ve been telling them to do. Everyone gave me their best game today.”
First half — 1, LC, Noah Janzen (Bryce Allred), 5:00. 2, LC, Jackson Henkle (N. Janzen), 6:00. 3, LC, Jacob Janzen (Tate Novak), 28:00. Second half — 4, PF, Carson Jacobsen (unassisted), 54:00. 5, LC, B. Allred (J. Janzen), 62:00.
Shots on goal — LC 6, PF 10.
Saves — LC, Tyler Allred 3; PF, Kael McGowan 1.
Coeur d’Alene 7, Lewiston 1: Cameron Dance had four goals — two in each half — as the Vikings blitzed the visiting Bengals in a 5A Region 1 tournament match.
“We started slow, not playing the form of soccer we’d like to play, and it showed,” Coeur d’Alene coach Braden Ridgewell said. “Though it was 3-1 in our favor at the half, all heads were down on the sideline. Knowing the quality we need to produce down south and not being able to meet it that first half turned into fuel going into the second half. In the second half, things clicked again.”
Drake Prohaska had two goals and Noah Cobb a goal and two assists for Coeur d’Alene (9-2-1).
First half — 1, Cd’A, Cameron Dance (Noah Cobb), 10:00. 2, Cd’A, Drake Prohaska (unassisted), 22:00. 3, Lew, unknown (penalty kick), 30:00. 4, Cd’A, Dance (Tristan Delbridge), 37:00. Second half — 5, Cd’A, Dance (unassisted), 43:00. 6, Cd’A, Cobb (unassisted), 49:00. 7, Cd’A, Dance (Alex Reyes), 61:00. 8, Cd’A, Prohaska (Cobb), 64:00.
Shots on goal — Lew 5, Cd’A 22.
Saves — Lew, unknown, 8; Cd’A, Cooper Proctor 4.