BILLINGS — The Butte High boys’ soccer team continued its red-hot start to the season.
Less than 24 hours after knocking off Billings Senior, the Bulldogs beat Billings Skyview 3-1 Saturday. The win lifts the Bulldogs to 4-1-1 overall and 3-0-1 in Eastern AA play.
“This is huge for us and it’s huge for the kids,” said Butte High coach Eric Zahler, whose team didn’t win a game until the playoffs last year. “It’s a big turnaround.”
After a tired Bulldog team fell behind 1-0 early, Zach Archibald scored on a penalty kick to tie the game at 1 in the 25th minute of the game. That is where it stayed until the 70th minute.
Then Brock Powell headed in a perfect corner kick from Archibald into the goal to put the Bulldogs up on top. Two minutes later, Oscar Kronenberger scored off a Kyle Rauch assist to cap the scoring.
Zahler praised his players for playing on tired and sore legs.
“They really found a way to win,” the coach said. “They gutted it out. They found a way to win in a tough AA conference.”
The Bulldogs will play at Bozeman Tuesday in a battle of top teams in the Eastern AA.
In the girls’ match, the Bulldogs gave up six second-half goals, and the Falcons topped Butte High 7-1.
“The flood gates opened,” Butte High coach Kevin Petritz said. “Skyview just raised their level in the second half, and we weren’t able to match it.”
Butte High’s lone goal came from Marti Ludwick, who picked the pocket of a defender, cut past a Falcon and knocked in a shot from 30 yards out. That tied the match at 1-all heading into halftime.
Petritz said the Bulldogs played two good halves in two matches in losses at Skyview and Senior.
“They have the ability,” the coach said. “They just have to come out and play 80 minutes. Everybody is working and everybody is giving it their all. We’re just making mental mistakes.”
Butte High has another quick turnaround with the match in Bozeman on Tuesday.
“We took some hard lessons out of this weekend,” Petritz said. “We’re looking forward to seeing how we improve from now until Tuesday.”