Pocatello soccer vs. Canyon Ridge

Pocatello’s Adi Spillett (in blue) controls the ball as Canyon Ridge players Jaden Johnston (17) and Grace Tigue (15) try to defend during the teams’ matchup on Oct. 9 at Hawthorne Park in Pocatello.


4A state tournament, Brothers Park/Middleton HS

Defending champion: Bishop Kelly


Last trip to state: 2007

IHSAA state titles: none

First-round opponent: Sandpoint

Preview: Excitement is running high around the Pocatello team as the Indians (12-2-3) make their first appearance at the state tournament in over a decade.

The last time a Pocatello team made it to state was 2007.

“They’re just pretty excited,” Pocatello coach Eric Davis said. “They’re excited to be here, they have a lot of energy, they’re really ready to go. The nice thing especially is that the seniors aren’t letting it get to them, they’re just proud to have made it.”

Adi Spillett is the focal point of the Pocatello attack. The forward can play on the wings or through the middle and scored 24 goals this year.

She’s supported by Gabby Madrid, who led the team with 18 assists, and freshman forward Lexi Bott. Kjersten Bunderson and goalkeeper Seanee Still, who recorded 89 saves, anchor the defense.

The Indians take on Sandpoint in the first round. Win that, and they’ll likely play defending state champion Bishop Kelly.

“The level of play is going to be very high,” Davis said. “I think we’ve raised ourselves to the point where we can definitely compete against these teams.”

3A state tournament, Vallivue HS/Middleton HS

Defending champion: Couer d’Alene Charter


Last trip to state: 2012 (lost consolation final)

IHSAA state titles: 2 (2003, 2004)

First-round opponent: Couer d’Alene Charter

Preview: It’s the first time in a long time for the American Falls Beavers (12-7), who haven’t been to state since 2012.

Their reward? A first-round matchup against three-time defending state champion Couer d’Alene Charter.

“We’re very excited for getting this far,” American Falls coach Nate Armstrong said. “Part of the team wants to be happy because we accomplished our goal, but part isn’t satisfied yet and wants to do well in this tournament.”

The Beavers’ attack revolves around Halle Romero, who scored 25 goals in the regular season and added eight more in the district tournament.

It’s a young team around her, with some freshmen seeing important minutes.

“This experience is really good for them, and I’m hoping they’ll make a habit out of it,” Armstrong said.


Last trip to state: 2018 (lost third-place game)

IHSAA state titles: none

First-round opponent: Sun Valley Community School

Preview: An experienced Marsh Valley team is looking for a breakthrough at this year’s state tournament.

The Eagles (12-2-2) are a fixture in the bracket, but have never won a state title.

“I’m trying not to make a big deal out of it,” head coach Rachelle Gilbert said. “I don’t want them to feel like there’s any sort of pressure. I just want it to be a fun tournament to go out with, and we hope to end the drought.”

After losing the third-place game last year, nine of the 11 starters for the Eagles are seniors this year.

They’ll play Sun Valley Community School, one of the top teams in the state, in the first round on Thursday. Also in the bracket are Couer d’Alene Charter — the three-time defending champ — and Sugar-Salem, which handed the Eagles one of their two losses this year.

Korbie Bowman is the player to watch for Marsh Valley, providing bushels of goals and assists from her attacking midfield spot. She’s supported by goal-scoring wingers Cami Harris and Abby Vaughan, and the Eagles’ defense is led by Macey Morris.

“We’re excited,” Gilbert said. “We’re going against some pretty good teams, so we’re ready to prove ourselves.”


3A state tournament, Vallivue HS/Middleton HS

Defending champion: Sun Valley Community School


Last trip to state: 2018 (two-and-out)

ISHAA state titles: none

First-round opponent: Couer d’Alene Charter (8-5-2)

Preview: This year’s state tournament is the culmination of a long journey for American Falls.

The Beavers (16-1-1), making their second consecutive state tourney appearance, will bring 13 seniors to their opening-round game Thursday against Couer d’Alene Charter.

That game is at 2 p.m. at Vallivue High School.

“The thing about this team is they’ve literally been playing soccer together since they were babies, so they work really well together,” assistant coach Caroline Wight said. “(Head coach Miguel Mata Rangel) and I have been here for four years, so we started with these boys when they were in 9th grade. This has been a long time coming for us.”

American Falls brings an explosive offense into the state tournament.

Junior Jose Jaime led the team with 31 goals in 18 games. Senior Daniel Peña added 20, and senior Brian Martinez had 18, despite missing six games.

Wight also pointed out David Torres in midfield and Adolfo Alvarez in defense as players to watch.

“The boys have been pretty focused,” Wight said. “We practiced hard all week. They’re ready, they’ve been prepping for this all season long.”

If the Beavers beat CDA Charter in the first round, they’ll face either Sun Valley Community School or Teton in the second round.

Sun Valley, the defending state champ, knocked American Falls out in the first round at state last year, while Teton beat the Beavers 3-2 on Sept. 14 for their only loss of the season.