HELENA – Few teams have challenged Billings Skyview like the Flathead girls soccer team did on Thursday afternoon.
But the Falcons came from behind to spoil the Bravettes’ bid for an upset, defeating Flathead 4-2 in the first round of the Class AA State Tournament at Siebel Fields.
Skyview (15-0) allowed just three goals all season, but the Bravettes (5-8-2) were first on the board when sophomore Skyleigh Thompson scored in the 21st minute. Heather LaSalle recorded the assist.
“Our girls stepped up ready to play,” Flathead coach Bledy Doda said.
He said the girls were not fazed by Skyview’s reputation or defensive record.
“It was a very even match,” he added.
Flathead had 11 shots on goal to Skyview’s 12.
The Falcons responded with two goals before halftime — which Doda said were the result of a few mistakes on defense — and added another goal 10 minutes into the second half to make it 3-1.
But there was no quit in the Bravettes.
Junior Chloe Nadeau scored in the 78th minute on an assist from Thompson. Flathead pressed forward, searching for another goal, and Doda said the team had multiple quality chances to tie the match.
“After 3-2 we felt we could get another one ... I think we could have scored more,” Doda said.
But Skyview iced the match on a goal in the 79th minute, which Doda said came off a cross that happened to find the back of the net.
Regardless of the result, Doda was proud of his team’s effort against the tournament’s undisputed favorite.
“We fought with them 50/50, we fought until the last minute ... we believe the game could have been on our side,” Doda said. “I think they [the Bravettes] showed everyone who was watching that we can play with any team.”
Flathead faces Missoula Hellgate today at 11 a.m. in loser-out play. Undefeated Skyview meets Billings West in the semis at 1:30 p.m.
Flathead 1 1 – 2
Billings Skyview 2 2 – 4
F – Skyleigh Thompson (Heather LaSalle), 21:00
BS – Sommer Walker, 31:00
BS – Jordan Roe, 35:00
BS – Ashlyn Braun, 50:00
F – Chloe Nadeau (Skyleigh Thompson), 78:00
BS – Roe, 79:00
Shots on goal – Flathead 11, Skyview 12; Corner kicks – Flathead 3, Skyview 4; Keeper saves – Flathead 8 (Aaris Hill), Skyview 8; Fouls – Flathead 13, Skyview 12; Cards – Flathead 1 yellow (Elena Jimenez)
Missoula Hellgate 4, Billings Skyview 0
Billings Senior 3, Missoula Sentinel 3 (Senior advances 4-1 on penalty kicks)
Bozeman 6, Helena Capital 0
Helena High 2, Billings West 1
Missoula Big Sky 3, Billings Senior 0
Missoual Sentinel 3, Bozeman 2 OT
Billings Skyview 4, Flathead 3
Billings West 2, Missoula Hellgate 1
Boys (1:30 p.m.)
Missoula Hellgate vs. Billings Senior; Bozeman vs. Helena High
Girls (1:30 p.m.)
Missoula Big Sky vs. Missoula Sentinel; Billings Skyview vs. Billing West
Boys (11 a.m.)
Billings Skyview vs. Missoula Sentinel; Helena Capital vs. Billings West
Girls (11 a.m.)
Billings Senior vs. Bozeman; Flathead vs. Missoula Hellgate