The Stevensville boy’s soccer team has one more game to play and it’s a big one – the state Class A championship game. They will meet Livingston for the title on the pitch in Stevensville this Saturday at 2pm. Livingston is the No. 3 team from the east. They defeated Whitefish (4-0) in the quarterfinals and Belgrade (2-1 OT) in the semi finals.
Most of the Stevensville team has been playing together since they were in grade school according to Daniel Pendergast. He said the team’s presence in the middle and the play by the midfielders, controlling the ball and spreading Billings Central out worked really well.
“We finally pulled it off and now we’re going to the state championship. We knew we were going to win it from the start. The defense, we played as a unit,” he concluded.
Stevensville topped Billings Central on Saturday, 4-1, to advance to the championship. Billings Central was ranked No. 2 in the state. Stevensville scored first when Payden Belcourt took a Joseph Fecteau pass and sent the ball into the right side of the net at the six-minute mark. Just two minutes later, Billings Central’s Zach Wall scored to tie up the match. The two teams battled back and forth with Stevensville losing a little of their trademark poise and showing some frustrations.
“After that first goal by Billings Central, they (Stevensville) got out of sorts and was out of time and started yelling at each other but we came back and got the job done,” said Stevensville coach Ralph Serrette.
The speed of the Yellowjackets and the play in the middle of the field kept Billings Central from gaining an advantage. At 38 minutes, Joseph Fecteau booted in a goal from an assist by Joseph Daniels. The team, and the crowd, both gave a big sigh of relief. Daniels scored twice more, once at 48 minutes and again at the 60-minute mark.
“It’s a great win. It couldn’t happen to a better bunch of kids. They did a good job; it was a hard fought game and the best team won. I hope this was the toughest game but I’m going to remind them next week that it’s a tough team (Livingston). We can’t go in there thinking that it’s over,” concluded Serrette.
Both teams took 18 shots on goal. Billings Central had two corner kicks and Stevensville had three. Joey Thompson of Billings Central had 12 saves while Stevensville’s Daniel Bradt had 11 saves. There were a total of 20 fouls, Billings Central 9 and Stevensville 11, and one yellow card on Billing Central.
Pendergast summed up the win after the game, “it feels amazing.”
The Hamilton girl’s soccer team lost to Billings Central, 2-1. The two teams were pretty evenly matched but the speed of Billings Central wore Hamilton down. Mariah Wittman scored for Billings Central at 14 minutes. Lillia Moore of Hamilton came on strongly in the 29th minute and booted in the tying goal. However, at 56 minutes, Kelsi Nusbaum of Billings Central knocked in a rebound past Taylor Goligoski for the winning goal. Hamilton took eight shots on goal while Billings Central took 10. Goligoski had eight saves. The loss was the only one for Hamilton who finished with a record of 12-1-1.