The Indians host what could be the 4A District 5 soccer championship game today, Oct. 13, at 4 p.m. after beating Pocatello 3-1 on Oct. 8, at home. They await the winner of Monday’s loser from the contest between Century and Pocatello.
“Regardless of who we face we just have to capitalize on our chances,” said Coach Kira Mathews.
If Preston wins they punch their ticket to the 4A state tournament for the first time since 2014. A loss would force a fifth and final game in Pocatello on Saturday, Oct. 16, at 11 a.m. against the same opponent.
Rain did not deter the players or the fans from showing up for Game 2 of the 4a District 5 Tournament. The rain never let up and at times came down hard, soaking fans and players alike and making the field and ball exceptionally slick.
In the first half neither team could gain the advantage. Though both had opportunities it was 0-0 going into the second.
“The rain effected everyone on both sides,” Mathews said. “It definitely makes the ball skip a little faster and you have to make sure you have a solid touch on it or it will really touch off your foot crazy. Sometimes it makes it hard to stay focused, but the boys definitely pushed through that and stayed focused on the ultimate goal of getting the win.”
Tyce Shumway slotted in a pass from Parker Cromwell, catching the keeper out of position about 20 minutes into the second half. Pocatello got one back about 10 minutes later and tied it 1-1.
“Pocatello scoring made us more determined and fueled our fire to want the win that much more,” said Mathews.
Like the rain, Preston didn’t let up. They kept knocking on the door until Cromwell hit a high arcing shot into the goal assisted by Parker Kofoed four minutes later to go up 2-1.
A well-placed corner kick by Shumway allowed Cromwell to strike again with under two minutes to play giving the Indians an insurance goal.
When the whistle blew, the drenched and muddy, but jubilant Preston players celebrated their 3-1 victory. Thunder and lightning rolled in soon after capping the victory with a light show.
When asked how she fired them up at the half Coach Kira Mathews replied, “I just asked them at half how bad they wanted it. And they really showed how bad they wanted it. They really just settled down and got comfortable playing our game. I think the key to us winning was really focusing on getting our shot on frame. We know we get a lot more shots and should score them, but we struggle putting them on frame. So, to see us really put those last few on frame and in the back of the net was great.”