Roth boots Vikings to state, joining T-Wolves

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MARK NELKE/Press Jordan Roth of Coeur d’Alene takes a shot in the first half as Kaysha Walton, left, and Kaylee Moate of Post Falls defend on Saturday.

One hundred and seventy minutes later, someone finally scored, in the third meeting this season between the Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls high school girls soccer teams.

Then they scored again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

Senior Jordan Roth tallied a hat trick as second-seeded Coeur d’Alene came out strong and blanked visiting and third-seeded Post Falls 5-0 in the semifinals of the 5A Region 1 tournament on Saturday.

The victory clinched a state berth for the Vikings (5-5-5), their first since 2015. Coeur d’Alene will play at top-seeded Lake City on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. for the regional title and seeding to state.

“The nerves were high; we’ve never been to state for the four years with us five seniors,” Roth said. “Winning this was a big thing for us.”

“We’ve had three years of heartbreaking losses to go to state,” Coeur d’Alene coach Andy Vredenburg said. “I couldn’t be prouder of the girls; this season has been a grueling season for us, and today they came out on fire and with the passion they needed to win this game.”

Coeur d’Alene 5, Post Falls 0: The teams had played to scoreless ties in their two 5A Inland Empire League meetings — the second one played in the snow.

But in the third matchup, on a sunny afternoon, Coeur d’Alene controlled the run of play from the start. Roth scored on a rebound in the 10th minute, then headed in a corner kick from McKenzie Mattis in the 19th minute. Geneva Bengtson made it 3-0 at halftime, and added on after that.

“I guess we had more energy than in those first two games,” Roth said.

“Jordan was amazing today,” Vredenburg said. “Always hungry to score, and today she came through for her team, and she needed it.”

During the season, Roth had several near-misses, which frustrated her.

“I was like doubting myself,” Roth said. “Usually when I shoot it goes over the goal, and I was like, if I focus now, they’ll go in. And luckily these three ones helped us get to that win.”

To generate more offense, Vredenburg moved Roth from outside forward to striker, and Tierra Lambert from center back to an outside forward. Lambert scored three minutes into the second half, and Roth concluded the scoring with a corner kick that curved in, off the Post Falls keeper’s hands, and into the net.

“I just felt like we had a really solid defense, and moving her (Lambert) up top gave us some more opportunities to make some goals,” said Vredenburg, noting teams tend to double-team speedy forward Zoe Cox.

Post Falls, which finished 4-8-3, started putting pressure on the Vikings at the outset of the second half. Morgan Rust had the Trojans’ best scoring chance, but her shot from in front of the net trickled just wide left.

“Obviously not the way we wanted it to end today, but I’m proud of the girls — from last year to this year, absolute amazing steps these girls have taken,” Post Falls coach Steve Mills said. He said the Trojans were hampered a bit by injuries to two starters — defender Katelyn Jesienouski, out with a knee injury, and midfielder Trinidie Nichols, who played despite a rib injury.

“Coeur d’Alene, give them credit,” Mills said. “They played a really good game. Their passes were a little bit more crisp than ours, and they moved the ball a little bit better.”

First half — 1, Cd’A, Jordan Roth (Julieanna Stith), 10:00. 2, Cd’A, Roth (McKenzie Mattis), 18:00. 3, Cd’A, Geneva Bengtson (Olivia Wyatt), 38:00. Second half — 4, Cd’A, Tierra Lambert (Holly Hudson), 43:00. 5, Cd’A, Roth (unassisted), 60:00.

Shots on goal — PF 6, Cd’A 26.

Saves — PF, Ashley Grant 21; Cd’A, Lily Foster 6.

Lake City 3, Lewiston 0: Maddy Lasher scored a pair of goals and the top-seeded Timberwolves punched their ticket to state by eliminating the fourth-seeded Bengals in a 5A Region 1 semifinal at the Irma Anderl Soccer Complex.

“I think having five days off, we lost a little bit of our sharpness, that’s for sure,” Lake City coach Matt Ruchti said. “But once we put a couple in the back of the net, it enabled us to manage the game.”

Hailey Jo Parks posted the shutout in goal for Lake City (10-2). It was the Timberwolves’s sixth straight shutout, and ninth of the season.

“I thought Hailey Jo had a great game,” Ruchti said. “She wasn’t challenged much, but the couple times they challenged her, she came up big.”

Coeur d’Alene handed Lake City its lone league loss, 1-0 at Lake City. The T-Wolves won the rematch 4-0 at Coeur d’Alene.

“They have a result against us, so they will have confidence,” Ruchti said of the Vikings. “We have to be ready to go, that’s for sure.”

Lewiston finished 4-13, losing its last 12.

First half — 1, Maddy Lasher (Kali McKellips), 7:00. 2, LC, Lily Tweedy (unassisted), 10:00. Second half — 3, LC, Lasher (Madison Smith), 48:00.

Shots on goal — Lew 7, LC 21.

Saves — Lew, unknown 15; LC, Hailey Jo Parks 5.

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