Bulldog girls go down fighting

The home season came to an unceremonious end for the Butte High girls’ soccer team Tuesday evening.

The Bulldogs fell 3-0 to an outstanding Billings Senior squad at Bulldog Memorial Stadium.

Bulldog coach Sean Cleverly was disappointed after the match. He said he didn’t feel like the score was a true measurement of the effort his girls displayed.

“We had some opportunities,” Cleverly said. “I think they knew we were there.”

The loss dropped Butte High to 0-8-1 on the season. The team heads to Billings to take on Senior Friday. Butte High plays Skyview on Saturday.

“That’s the best team in the state,” Cleverly said, pointing out that Senior recently beat Bozeman 3-1. “They have such a sophisticated, mature attack. Senior was patient. They knew it was just a matter of time before they got one or two.”

The match was only 1-0 at halftime. Chloe Rector put the Broncs on top in the 22nd minute of the match.

Michaela Kueffler scored in the 46th minute.

Senior added a goal in the 78th minute when Alex Harvey found the back of the net.

The match could have been a lot worse if wasn’t for the stellar play by fill-in goal keeper Natalee Faupel. The senior is the team’s usual center midfielder. She was filling in for classmate Taylor Lovell, who missed the last three weeks with a concussion.

Lovell said she’ll back as the Bulldogs close out the regular season and head to a playoff match.

Faupel made several crowd-pleasing saves in the match.

“She did a nice job directing the defense, too,” Cleverly said. “She’s getting more comfortable.”

Cleverly also pointed to the play of a freshman.

“I was really impressed with Mijah McLeod on top,” the coach said. “She did a great job. She played very physical.”

The match was the final one at home for 10 Butte High seniors — Kaitlyn Ackerman, Kaitlyn Bennett, Emily Cleverly, Alberta Dean, Ciara Norman, Baylee Reighard, Mattie Scott, Katey Walsh, Faupel and Lovell.

“They competed,” Cleverly said. “I’m proud of how hard they played.”

Heflin takes control of the ball as Alberta Dean (21) defends. Butte’s Baylee Reighard is also close by.