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Lake City girls soccer wins state title on penalty kicks

Just as the ball trickled into the net, the mob rush for Chloe Teets was on for the Lake City girls soccer team Saturday afternoon.

Teets made it 5 for 5 for Lake City on penalty kick as the Timberwolves got past Rocky Mountain 2-1 in the State 5A championship match at Coeur d’Alene High School.

It was sweet redemption for the Timberwolves, who lost on sudden-death penalty kicks after 100 minutes of back-and-forth on the field last year in the final.

Rocky Mountain made four of its five penalty kicks, missing on the first.

Feeling especially redeemed was Havana Johnson, who missed a penalty kick last year.

“Walking up there (before the shot) it was super nerve wracking,” Johnson said. “But I’ve been practicing them and I’ve been spotting them in the right corner and that’s exactly what I did.”

Teets said the T-Wolves (14-3-3) have taken extra time this season at practice for penalty kicks just in case they found themselves in the same situation again.

“We’ve been nailing them throughout practices,” Teets said. “It’s just amazing to get redemption. It was a little stressful but I knew I’ve always nailed (penalty kicks). I was as confident as I could be.”

When the second overtime ended scoreless, prompting penalty kicks, LC coach Matt Ruchti asked who wanted to kick.

Three players raised their hands – Johnson, Teets and Bridget Rieken. Then Lily Scott and Annica Wilson stepped forward.

It concluded what had been to that point a match chock full of adversity. The T-Wolves had to overcome five yellow cards, a yellow card on an assistant coach and a red card on a player.

And then there was the tenacious defense by Rocky Mountain (16-4-2). LC’s goal was just the eighth scored against the Grizzlies in 22 matches.

Scott gave LC a 1-0 lead in the 19th minute when she drilled a shot from 25 yards after a Rocky Mountain player tried to clear the ball off a header out of the crease.

LC’s defense – led by Rieken, Tiana Cydell, Larissa Bailey and JC Holton – did a splendid job in front of goalie Emily Parson.

In the 49th minute, LC was called for a foul in the penalty box. AJ Reed made the penalty kick.

LC coach Matt Ruchti didn’t expect his players to have to overcome as much adversity as they did - even if some was of their own making.

“When I had a vision of what today was going to look like, I didn’t think it was going to look like that,” said Ruchti, who coached LC to its first state title in 2012. “The flow of the game was a struggle for both teams. A testament to (the Grizzlies), they were good today. They connected a lot of passes and held most of the possessions.”

The fact the match got to penalty kicks was seemingly a relief to Ruchti.

“Something we always pride ourselves on is we defend in those last moments where you have to,” Ruchti said.

In the State 4A final, Bishop Kelly jumped all over Sandpoint, building a 3-0 lead in the first half before topping the Bulldogs 3-1.

In the State 3A final, Brooklyn Cunningham scored both goals for Coeur d’Alene Charter as the Panthers topped Community School 2-1.

It’s the second state title in three years for CdA Charter.

Community School scored the first goal but Cunningham tied it just before intermission. With 11 minutes left, Cunningham got free for the game winner.

Timberlake took fourth with a 1-0 win over Shelley.

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