Lady Broncos come ohh, so close
POCATELLO — Prior to Thursday's 4A District 5/6 championship game against Century, Blackfoot head coach Alisha Yeates told her team she wanted to start fast and get on the board early.
It took less than three minutes for Cassandra Clarke to take advantage of a Century turnover and put the ball in the back of the net.
Clarke scored the equalizing goal in the second half, but halfway through the first overtime Century's Sydney McRoberts scored the game-winner as Century won the district title 3-2 on Thursday and taking the state tournament berth as well.
"Getting that first goal and the opening five minutes of the game are the most important part of the game for us because it gets the team pumped up," Yeates said. "But in the end I guess Century got a better shot than we did. It was a good clean game."
After Clarke's opening goal, Century's Malina Austin slipped a shot just out of the reach of Blackfoot goalie Madison Leslie to the the score at 1-1 in the 29th minute.
In between the two goals the two team battled in the middle of the field. Century was able to pick up more scoring chances, but Leslie was able to stop each one.
During her halftime speech Yeates told her team she wanted another fast start an a second early goal to put the pressure on the host Diamondbacks.
But it was the Diamondbacks that struck just minutes into the half when Taylor Raschke found a rebound in front of an open net and placed into the back of it with a shot that easily beat Leslie.
It took a little more than 11 minutes for Clarke to notch her second goal of the game when she ripped a shot to the right of Century goalie Sara Holt and into the net.
With the game tied the two teams kept up the pressure on both ends of the field.
Blackfoot tried to find a way to get Clarke open against the Century back line, but the Diamondbacks had three or more defenders surrounding Clarke anytime the ball came near.
Century on the other hand used a quick passing game to get a bunch of really good shots on Leslie who stopped the ones that came near her, the others rolled away harmlessly.
"Both teams put a lot of pressure on each other's defense," Yeates said. "Our defense pushed hard, we just did not get enough shots on goal."
In the overtime, Century continued to pressure the Century back line. The consistent pressure eventually led the Diamondbacks to the winning goal.
On an attempted clear by Leslie, the Diamondbacks Macy Goodwin tracked down the ball at midfield and found a streaking Miranda Navarro down the right side of the field.
Navarro sent a cross across the goal box finding McRoberts who scored the game-winner.
Some tears were shed by the Blackfoot players as they walked off the field, but the season is not over the Broncos still have one more shot to clinch a state berth.
The Lady Broncos will take on Preston on Saturday and the winner will head to state.
"It is going to be a very physical game," Yeates said. "We know that Preston is going to come out ready to play and we will be too."
The Indians and Broncos kick-off at 11 a.m. Saturday at Century High School.