Bravettes pull away from Butte High girls

Bravettes pull away from Butte High girls
Butte High's Kenzie Jacksha gets a shot past Flathead's Mauraia Nigon Saturday at the Jeremy Bullock Complex. The shot did not score, but Jacksha scored later in the second half. (Bill Foley photo)

Whiteman scores five in win, Jaksha finds net for Dogs

By Bill Foley

Just when it looked like Saturday might be Butte High’s day, Ashlynn Whiteman stood up and said otherwise.

The Kalispell Flathead senior scored four of her five goals in the final 29 minutes, and the Bravettes pulled away for a 10-1 Western AA victory over the Bulldogs at the Jeremy Bullock Complex.

In all, Flathead scored seven goals over the final 30 minutes, 15 seconds to break open a match that looked like a contest for the first 50.

Flathead took a 3-0 halftime lead on goals by Mykel Lee, Elaina Stern and Whiteman.

Butte High got on the board for the second time this season with 32:56 left to play in the second half. Sophomore Kenzie Jaksha, who got off a handful of shots on goal, stole the ball and bounced one past Flathead keeper Joy Sund.

The goal was the first for Butte High since Emma Quist scored on a direct kick Aug. 31 at Helena Capital.

“We just talked about it the other day about when you don’t get a lot of scoring chances, and all of a sudden you get one, you have to fight that panic setting in,” Bulldog coach Steve Shahan said. “She did a great job doing that. She took her time. She got her head up and saw what she had, and she hit a beautiful ball and right in the net. That was awesome.”

Butte High celebrated the goal that cut the lead to 3-1.

Unfortunately for the home team, the celebration did not last long.

Just 41 seconds later, Kyrie Gislason scored to make it 4-1. Then Selah Lackey scored. Then Whiteman and Whiteman and Whiteman. After a goal by Fionna Coulter, Whiteman scored again.

“It was just boom, boom, boom,” Shahan said.

Butte High, though, managed to stop the bleeding and got a few scoring chances before the final whistle. Senior Madyson LaPier, who bounced back from taking a shot to the face, got off a few shots.

Shahan praised his team for breaking out of what he called a “negative mindset.” He said that is something that has plagued the team all season. When something goes wrong for the Bulldogs, it tends to snowball, the coach said.

“I told them I was proud of them. Today was the first time that when we got into the mindset, we snapped out of it,” Shahan said. “They snapped out of it and played better down the stretch.”

In addition to Jaksha, Madyson LaPier, Emma Quist and junior keeper Kaylee LaPeier, the Bulldogs got contributions from Haylie Williams, Taylor Burke, Aurora Kemper Elli Quist, Kierra Case, Jozi Daugherty, Catherine Sholey, Kali Burke, Taryn Gilboy and Jesse LaPier.

Despite the late run, Shahan said he liked what he saw from his team that will play a playoff match at Helena High on Tuesday.

“The goal is always to get a little bit better than the day before,” Shahan said. “Today was better than Thursday, and Tuesday we got to be better than today.”



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