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3A DISTRICT 1-2 BOYS SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP: Timberlake's chance

by JASON ELLIOTT
Sports Writer | October 18, 2020 1:18 AM

POST FALLS — If you let a team hang around long enough, all it takes is one shot to make something happen on the soccer field.

So when Timberlake senior midfielder Michael Simpson had his shot on Saturday, he sure made it count for the fourth-seeded Tigers.

Simpson scored on a scramble in front of the net in the 36th minute as the Tigers held off second-seeded Coeur d'Alene Charter Academy 1-0 in the 3A District 1-2 boys soccer championship at The Fields at Real Life Ministries.

Timberlake (6-7-2) opens at state against Gooding (10-1-1) back at The Fields on Thursday at 10 a.m. Coeur d'Alene Charter (5-4-3) opens at state against McCall-Donnelly (6-1-0) at 4 p.m.

"Timberlake took advantage of their chance and put it away," second-year Coeur d'Alene Charter coach Justin Nitti said. "We controlled most of the game, but that's soccer. We could have one chance, or 500 chances, but if you don't put it away, that's soccer."

Timberlake won its second regional title in three years. The Tigers also won in 2018 when Simpson was a sophomore.

"From the beginning of the season, I saw potential in our team," Simpson said. "I showed up to the first practice and saw freshmen and sophomores. Outside of a few upperclassmen, it was young, but we had potential to do something. Not just this year, but beyond after I leave."

"Michael has been phenomenal this season," first-year Timberlake coach Justin Mooney said. "He's one of our team captains and he's been a true leader for this team. When things are getting down, he'll pull the team back together and calm them down."

Timberlake beat St. Maries on Tuesday, then upset defending district champion Bonners Ferry 2-1 on penalty kicks in Friday's semifinal round.

"After all the hard work this week, the guys just put it together and made it happen tonight," Mooney said. "I knew they had the potential if they put it all together and didn't get down on each other when times got hard."

First half — 1, TL, Michael Simpson (unassisted), 36:00. Second half — none.

Shots on goal — TL 9, Charter 11.

Saves — TL, Nate Anderson 11; Charter, Miles Taylor 8.

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JASON ELLIOTT/Press Timberlake senior midfielder Michael Simpson attempts to deflect the ball away from Coeur d'Alene Charter senior defender Jordan Gallegos during Saturday's match at The Fields at Real Life Ministries in Post Falls.